Pula is by far my favorite city in Istria. I visit there often because I have family living there. Besides visiting family I take the opportunity to take a walk in downtown of Pula and walk by Roman monuments a little more than 2000 years old. The best part about them is that they are all situated within a walking distance so You can easily make contours of the Old Town in Your head and get a good feeling of how it all used to be. Plus – You will not get too tired. 🙂

Every touristic walk should start with the Arena or the Roman Amphitheatre. You can read more about the Arena in the past few blogs because it was already mentioned it. It was built in similar style as the Coliseum in Rome, only that it is not so big. It is 6th by size in the world and during the Roman times it could host approximately 23.000 people. That tells us a lot about the size of the city and about the number of people living in Pula, which was about 30.000 people. Arena was situated outside city walls, and Pula itself was situated on the hill. Our walk will go round that hill with only short climb to see the Little Roman Theatre.

After a visit to the Arena and taking Your picture with a modern gladiator You can continue to the Twin Gates, Hercules’s Gates and Golden Gate or Porta Aureata. There were about 12 gates to enter the old Roman town, but we only have these three preserved. Since You are already by the Porta Aureata which real name is Sergi’s Triumphal Arch, you can climb up a bit to visit the Little Roman Theatre. Pula had a Little and a Big Roman Theatre, but the big one is not so well preserved as the little one is, and alongside with the Arena they testify about the importance of Pula. There were a lot of inhabitants and a lot of visitors that had to be entertained somehow.

Then I usually go back next to the Golden Gate and continue my way next to James’s Joyce statue in direction of the Roman forum. On Your way there is a hidden gem which is not shown to all visitors of Pula. People often get confused and miss it because you need to pass through a clothing store to get to this magnificent mosaic “Punishment of Dirce”. The mosaic was discovered after bombarding during WW II. and it was a floor mosaic in a private house. The mosaic shows that the ancient Pula was about 1-2 meters below today’s surface.

The final stop is the Forum or the main square. This was the place where all city life took place – trials, selling of goods, public events, worshiping pagan gods, and it was also a meeting place – as it is today. This place is perfect for a break at one of the local cafes or a wine bar located at the square. It is a good opportunity to sit down, relax with a glass of wine and maybe some finger food and easily imagine how life used to be. I can see the horses and Roman soldiers, women going about their daily duties, and kids running around. It must have been pretty lively. And You can do all that with a view on Augustus temple, one of three temples that is still standing on the Forum of Pula and that is still preserved till today (after being restored).

I know I will go there again, but will you? 🙂

I hope I was able to transfer some of the love I have for this city and I’m hoping to see you there one day.