Have you ever seen images of a beautiful amphitheater in ads about Croatia? This amphitheater is the Pula Arena, a place where gladiators used to fight to entertain Roman Emperor Vespasian and about 20.000 other spectators.
After the Roman era was over, the amphitheater continued to play an important role in the life of Pula’s residents. During the Middle Ages, knights held their tournaments there and local farmers sold their produce at fairs and markets in the arena.
Today, the arena is used for concerts and film festivals. Joe Cocker, Sting, Simply Red, Seal, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli and many more celebrities have performed in the Pula Arena. Apart from the arena, you will find lots of other impressive Roman ruins here as well, such as arches, temples, gates and forums.
Pula is a great place for a two-centre holiday, and also as a base for exploring Istria, because of the excellent connections to other towns and villages. Many famous wine tasting routes start in Pula, and it is also very easy to take a day trip to Venice from Pula by ferry.
Pula’s coast is dotted with well-maintained pebble beaches and plenty of natural rocky beaches. Bars and restaurants along the coast can easily be reached from the 4km long seaside promenade called the Lungomare. If you want to go swimming in a quieter location, consider going 10km south to Cape Kamenjak, a remote area with 30km of coastline, untouched nature, crystal clear sea and so many little bays and coves that it will be hard to choose where to put down your towel and dive into the refreshing sea, straight from the cliffs.