September 11, 2010

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Piran/Pirano, our Mediterranean pearl

Let me introduce you one of Slovenia's most picturesque towns

Panoramic photo of Piran (Source:

Piran (Italian Pirano ) is one of Slovenia's most famous towns and it's also said to be the most beautiful. It's also the smallest among the famous old Venetian troika, the bigger ones are Izola and Koper, which I have introduced before. What's so special about Piran? Well, the first thing is obvious: The town was built on a small peninsula. And that historic part is completely intact. You won't find modern buildings in that part of Piran, which is great. When you walk around this town in 2010, you will feel as if you're in the year 1492. Piran is like an open museum.

The interesting thing about Piran is, that its origins are unknown. But every historian agrees, Piran is very very old. The peninsula was already inhabited by Romans in 2nd century BC. The name is said to (most likely) come from Greek "pyrranos", which means "red", because of the red stones commonly found in the town's area (source). The Latin name of Piran was Pyrrhanum (source). From 1283 until 1797 Piran came under the Venetian rule and became a very rich town in this part of Istria through trade. A very important part of life for the people of Piran were the Sečovlje salt works. Many would live in one of the houses there (called fontaniggia) during summer and gather salt and live in the old part of Piran during winter. Piran is also famous for being the birthplace of Giuseppe Tartini, an Italian composer from the 18th century. Piran's main square is named after him.

✰ Our Piran

After the trouble with the hostel, we decided to go back to the old part to do some sightseeing. Luckily there was a bus station near the house we stayed and the buses around 7pm were quite frequent, so we quickly got one and in 15min we were back at the Tartini square.

This famous square used to be a mandrač (a small harbour), but because it was dirty and stinky and threatening the health of the citizens, it was filled up with sand from 1894 on and it became the biggest square in Piran soon after.

Another angle of Tartini square.

This square was really lively when we visited. You had kids and teens (mostly from Ljubljana) riding roller blades here, people sitting and taking a break on the benches, tourists either taking photos or sitting in one of the cafés and observing the happening, locals chatting, old men playing chess. This is really the heart of Piran.

We decided to go up to the St. George's church (Cerkev Sv. Jurija).

We soon enjoyed the marvelous view over the roofs of Piran's houses.

Cerkev Sv. Jurija (St. George's church) from 12th and 14th century (source).

The church again.

The main part of the church is separated from the tower.

Part of the old wall and fortification of Piran on the left, St. George's church on the right.

The entrance of St. George's church.

The view from near the church is beautiful on every side.

Another view on the Adriatic sea.

Piran, a Mediterranean pearl.

Tartini square as seen from near the St. George's church.

When we went down, we saw a boy playing Chinese yo-yo and my girl was surprised. His skills were not bad.

St. Clement's church (Cerkev Sv. Klementa) stood here in 13th century already.

The current form is from the 18th and 19th century (source).

The church is located at the very tip of the Piran peninsula.

It started to get dark, so we decided to return back to Tartini square and then take a bus and go home. We walked slowly and took some more photos.

Hare Krishna singers on the street. I felt like I was in India for a little while.

The St. Clement's church at the end is one of Piran's landmarks.
Many good restaurants along the southern promenade Prešernovo nabrežje.

A small square on the way back.

The town hall of Piran at night.

The Tartini square at night. Our best shot.

✰ Another blunder

Soon after we finished with sightseeing, we decided to go back. It was already close to 9 pm, so we decided to take the free shuttle bus back to the station near our house. Once on the bus, we wait and wait, but nothing happened. The driver starts to call something and from that conversation I found out that the engine didn't start. It was obvious, that we won't go anywhere with that bus, so we went out and tried to find another. The other one was not a free one, but I had to go inside and ask the driver, if he goes the direction where we wanted to go. But frankly, I wasn't able to tell him where exactly I am staying, because I wasn't really sure where our room was. So there we were, tired and angry. No bus back, the only choice we had was either cab or walking. I wanted to walk, I was strong enough, but my girlfriend urged me to call the girl, who works for the hostel, to ask her friend (the guy who picked us up with the silver BMW), to pick us up again. That made me moody, because I thought she won't help us and I felt awkward to call her. While we walked slowly, wehad an argument over this. I said I'd rather take a cab, but my girlfriend refused, she didn't want to pay. In the end she called that girl and told her our situation, but she only could offer us calling a cab. I knew this will happen, but well, my girlfriend, she likes to try everything before giving up. In the end we decided to walk back. We were mad tired, it took us about 30min uphill and after several discussions we finally reached home. We slept soon after.

In conclusion: All that didn't spoil our impression of Piran. It's a beautiful place. We just weren't lucky with the hostel and unfortunately it was our fault. Next time we'll be smarter, that's for sure. Piran is one of the most beautiful towns in this part of the world and it's definitely worth a visit.. or two.. or three... Come and visit it, too.

My rating of Piran:

Great place for photos ✰✰✰✰✰
Well preserved and clean ✰✰✰✰✰
Toilets, parking, souvenirs ✰✰✰✰✰
Friendly to tourists ✰✰✰✰✰
[All photos by MKL, 2010, except the first]


  1. WOW... you're country is simply awesome! :-O
    I am waiting for the next day then! ;-)))

  2. The girl suddenly pretended that she did not understand English and asked for you? After she has been speaking in English the whole time? WTF? That's annoying. Good thing it didn't ruin your mood.

    The photos are, as always, awesome.

  3. seriously... will 4-5 days do in slovenia?

  4. I still think I should bring the tripod with me, because the scene of Piran is so fascinating, whether in day or night. Although we arrived in Piran was pretty late, but I still liked the atmosphere, it's really could give you the feeling that I came here for vacation!! And the sea water was so clear and cool, I saw people swimming in the water and had a lot of fun, reminded me we swam in Kenting only for few minutes...

    Next time I would like to come again and swim here, even come with your family!! I believe we'll have lots of fun here!!

  5. Hi there, i'm stunned to see ur blog... Love all the pics u posted. Im now following u :)

  6. You have a really fantastic blog- and your country is actually beautiful! Thanks for the insight to Slovenia (I wouldn't even put it on my honeymoon's list before this =P).

  7. very nice... i think euro 100 is not that bad... i just need to save up a bit more...

    am thinking of going for a few more trips before having a kid :)

    and if i do go to slovenia... i hope the engine of the bus will work and... the food is good?

  8. wow wow wow... i really gotta visit slovenia next year!!!!! and well this piran looks like an italian city you know... especially the square (personally thinking) hehehe...cant wait till the day i step on the territory of slovenia

  9. holy! i'm not gonna come to slovenia without having you as my tour guide!!!

  10. Hey Hun! Oh my mugshot post was just for fun. I made it myself ;) It seems like you knew it was a joke for sure so I'm honestly really glad. I did not want to upset or worry anyone. I didn't think anyone would worry about me anyways LOL
    Well, I'm glad you made it back home from your evening trip back to Tartini Square. It's terrible about the hostel situation and what people would do just to get some money from others. But I'm glad to here it did not ruin your overall impression/trip to Piran.
    I love your sunset pictures, when all the buidling/street lights are coming on but it's not yet fully dark. It's so romantic and beautiful...peaceful by the seaside. I wonder why Tartini Square use to be so dirty and stinky? Were they using it as a garbage site?!
    St. George's entrance to the church looks beautiful and simple.

  11. hahaha I wish I was the queen! :P

    hey I've been watching you and your girl on Facebook, you guys are so cute together, when are you going back to Taiwan? My ticket is booked for october 7! weeheeewww!!!


  12. @Daisy: Yeah, soon to write about Trieste. Stay tuned :)

    @Gnetch: Yeah, we were fine in the end. :)

    @Lily Riani: Lily stayed 12 days and we tralveled 6 days and rested 6 days. We also went to Italy and Austria, even Slovakia and Vienna, which was a lot of travel for less than 2 weeks. 5 days can be enough, if you go to less places and travel slowly :)

    @LilyChen: I think Piran is great for history, the atmosphere, less so for bathing. I think Kenting is better for that, because more nature. But for pics Piran is great, next time we bring the tripod :)

    @Endy Daniel: Welcome and really happy you follow :) Terima Kasih ;)

    @Joan the Black Iris: Thank you and welcome to my blog. Happy you follow and thanks again for all your compliments :) I wonder, how you have found me. :)

    @zewt: I think the food is good, but not cheap, if you eat out in restaurants. Unfortunately we don't have food stalls or day/night markers of the sort like in Asia, where you get cheap food. Most Slovenians cook at home :)

    @fufu: Everything looks Italian here, because it used to be under Venice for centuries :)

    Bananazஇ: Thank you :)

    @Ejann: I can be your tour guide and cook, if necessary ;)

    @Karen: I guess that was a small harbour, which went pretty deep inside the town, so lots of garbage must have piled up. It's good that they made a nice square there. It's so lovely. :)

    @Shirley: Hi queen, welcome back :) Aw, you'll be in Taiwan before me, I can't come before December. What a pity. But once I live there, you gotta visit me one day, k :D

  13. oh my goodness!! thats beautiful!! may i ask why your travelling so much. lol.

  14. Oops, that was actually a random click on the Net.

  15. I think the city looks way more beautiful in these photos then in you previous one, don't know why.. And I can completely relate to you little "discussion". Typical men, never want to ask for help :P I'm with Lilly on this one, it doesn't hurt to ask even it seems unlikely... I don't think you should write of hostels completely due to one bad experience. I have stayed in a l of great hostels in souther'n Europe and never had a problem. I find that lonely Planet is an amazing resource for this..Did you use it? I find the reviews there are very truthful!It worked for me in Spain, Portugal and across central America. I never had one bad experience based on those authors experiences. Beside form a murder, but that wasn't the hostel fault really.. lol You should add this crappy one one to there to warn other travelers :)

  16. lol that girl sounds difficult! but regardless the city is quite nice, and so clean looking too. lol I used to play those chinese yoyo, they were fun!

  17. I think Piran makes a great tourist town. And very walkable.

    Hmm... there's no Piranhas in the surrounding waters, right?

  18. @Donna Baby: I'm traveling a lot, cuz it's my way of life, hehe. Saving money and flying intercontinental. I can't help it :P

    @Joan the Black Iris: I see...

    @Carina: I like to ask for info, but that kind of help was something different. I knew the girl won't help.

    @Julie: Cool.

    Shingo T: It's walkable and scenic, but no piranhas, hehe. They're not related by name :)

  19. suck! I hate the feeling of bad service and or wrong hotel!

    I would be very mad and angry!!!

    Lily is awesome! hahahahahah Cheers Bro!

  20. @Netster: Well, we tried to take it easy. We succeeded half ways :-P


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