Piran

One of the gems of traveling in Slovenia is Piran, a small town located on the Piran peninsula along the Adriatic Sea. One of the best-preserved medieval towns on the Slovenian coast, it is almost a living museum, and Piran travel is one of the best ways to experience Slovenia's history in this unique, Italian-influenced area. Piran's history as part of the Venetian Empire from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century means that many of Piran's beautiful medieval buildings are Italian in style, and many of Piran's inhabitants speak both Italian and Slovenian. Several well-appointed Piran Slovenia hotels are found, or travelers can book a room in a private residence and have the opportunity to experience local life first-hand.

Piran's compact Old Town is best explored by foot, as most of Piran's attractions are located within easy walking distance of each other. Most who undertake Piran travel are on the prowl for medieval Venetian-style buildings and should head straight to Piran Square, also known as Tartinijev trg. The Venetian House at the square is one of the most beautiful buildings in the area. Dating from the fifteenth century, the Venetian House features a balcony and triflora in the typical Venetian Gothic style. It also has an interesting history: A Venetian merchant built the house for his mistress, and an inscription on the building says "Lassa pur dir," meaning "let them talk."

Piran Square itself is also one of the most popular sights in the town. At its center is a bronze monument dedicated to Giuseppi Tartini, the famous violinist and composer whose hometown was Piran and who contributed greatly to the local history and culture. Near the square, the Church of St. George has a famous bell tower built in Renaissance style and a richly ornamented interior. Piran also has a well-preserved city wall with seven towers, and tourists can climb the wall for a lovely view of the city with the ocean in the background.

History buffs may appreciate Piran's museums. The Piran Town Museum contains many interesting artistic, archaeological, ethnological, and historical exhibits, as well as a special exhibit displaying the violinist Tartini's manuscripts and violins. The Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum also has some interesting collections about Piran's maritime history.

Those in search of sandy Piran beaches may be slightly disappointed as the town beach is rather small. Nevertheless, Piran compensates for this lack by the crystal clear waters of the Bay of Piran and the Adriatic Sea. Travelers can go swimming from the many piers that line the coast, and diving schools are available for those who wish to explore the waters. Many cafés and restaurants also line the beach area, and watching the sun set over the Adriatic Sea is one of the highlights of Piran travel.

Tourists in search of Piran Slovenia hotels have several choices ranging from the luxurious four-star Hotel Piran to the budget Piran Youth Hostel. As one of Slovenia's most popular destinations, however, room is sometimes limited in the busy season. Booking a room in a private residence through one of the tourist agencies is a good alternative to staying in one of the Piran Slovenia hotels, especially if there happens to be an accommodation shortage. Piran's lovely attractions make this one of the best cities to visit during any trip to Slovenia, and the opportunity to stay in a private residence may only make you feel even more at home.

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