The walled city of Piran juts out into the Adriatic Sea, welcoming ships into its port as it has done for hundreds of years. Once a key hub in the Venetian Empire, Piran belongs to Slovenia since 1947. Italian architecture and art are still evident all across the city, although Slovene has now replaced Italian as the most spoken language among locals. Despite its coastal location, the city does not have any beaches, but it is surrounded instead by a fringe of piers and marinas, which encapsulate the small medieval town centre. Visit Tartini Square with its show-stopping Venetian House, and get a sense of the history and heritage of this beautiful place.
Location: Piran–Almost Italian
Piran belonged to the Venetian Empire for several centuries before passing under Italian control in 1918. It has only been a part of Slovenia since 1947, yet its connection with the rest of the country is already strong. There is a small airport just 15 km away in Portoroz, and a train station in nearby Koper, while a regular bus service runs between Piran and cities such as Ljubljana, Izola, and the Italian city of Trieste to the north.
Business: Trade to tourism
Piran was a trade hub in the medieval era and wealthy merchants helped to shape the aesthetic of the old town. The beautiful architecture and artistry have helped to fuel the success of Piran’s tourist industry, as people come to see this perfectly preserved remnant of the Venetian Empire, and to use it as a base from which to explore the Adriatic coast.
Culture: Musical traditions
Piran is the birthplace of the famous violinist Giuseppe Tartini, and the main square is named in his honour. Music still forms an integral part of the cultural life of Piran, and musical evenings are held regularly in the atriums of the Greyfriars Franciscan Monastery near the town centre.
Activities: Give in to “pier” pressure
While there are no beaches in Piran, locals have a merry tradition of jumping off the pier on hot summer days. Join them if you’re brave enough, or head up the cost to the sandy beaches of Fiesa or Strunjan. The city is home to the small but multi-purpose Pod Obzidjem Stadium, where local football matches and other ball games are played.