PIRAN, Slovenia -- The place to see and be seen on the Slovenian
coast is Piran (Pirano in Italian), a fishing village with an
Pasta and fresh seafood, served Mediterranean style, are more
prevalent at the surfside restaurants here than the pork in gravy
served farther north.
All signs here are in Slovenian and Italian, reflecting the
mixed culture of this Adriatic region, which is about
two-and-a-half hours from Venice by catamaran and an hour's drive
from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.
The city state of Venice ruled Piran from the 13th to the 18th
The evidence of the city's Venetian heritage is everywhere.
Piran's Venetian Gothic architecture gives the streets a more
somber air than one might expect in such a carefree summer resort,
where parades of families, vacationing Slovenian youths and
partying Italians mix it up on the promenade.
Most of the action is on the waterfront.
A marina filled with colorful sailing vessels keeps
photographers and fishermen busy.
But there is more to do here than watch the ships come in.
The maritime museum is housed in a 17th century waterfront
palace and showcases antique vessels.
Among several churches of interest is the outstanding
Renaissance and Baroque St. George's, which juts out over the
Not far from the church are the 15th century town walls, which
are topped by seven crenelated towers.
Inland, the Old Town is a series of winding alleys with brightly
painted facades and vaulted passageways.
Piran is only 1.5 miles away from Portoroz, the leading resort
on the Slovenian coast.
The widest stretches of sand in the country are here; beaches
are clean although crowded in the summer months.
Most of the hotels in Portoroz have the cement box look that was
popular during the Socialist era when Slovenia was still part of
Portoroz is well developed to satisfy the needs of
Close to the beach you will find restaurants, pizzerias, a spa,
a disco and a casino that is especially popular with Italian
Minibuses travel between Portoroz and Piran every 30
A pedestrian thoroughfare extends only part way between the two
towns so walking is not advisable.
In the summer, a 100-passenger sailboat makes regular
sightseeing cruises from Piran to Portoroz.