The next morning we packed up, sat by the lake one last time, and then set off for the coast. We would ultimately be getting to Croatia that evening but wanted to make a stop at the jewel of Slovenia’s short Adriatic coast. Piran is a handsome red-roofed town jutting out on a peninsula at the crossroads of Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia.
We spent the first part of our day enjoying a slow lunch on Tartinijev trg—the town’s main square—which interestingly used to be part of the harbor before it began to smell too bad to bare and was filled in. While we worked on our gnocchi and mussels we couldn’t help but notice how nice of a communal space the square was, hosting families, pets, tiny craft stands selling knick knacks, and even young children blasting across the square on their little scooters.
After lunch we made our way up to the Church of St. George. The main attraction here is the opportunity to climb the tower and get some of the best views of the town. After buying tickets from a hilarious singing and jovial older Slovene woman, we got up to the top and it did not disappoint. The color of the buildings and roofs against the bright blue water was striking.
From there we walked along the city walls and through the small, crooked streets. We ended up sitting for a while by the sea, enjoying hazelnut and caramel gelato from Bar Punta and dipping our feet into the Adriatic. After wandering back to the main square, we started to walk through some of the small streets on the other side of town and inadvertently ended up at Piran Castle. The castle actually got you higher up off the ground than the church’s tower and offered truly stunning views (and ones that included the church in them!).
We regretfully had to start making our way back to the car at this point. After some driving we finally arrived in Rovinj, Croatia and got settled into our apartment. We closed the day out with a dinner of local Croatian gnocchi and then passed out in bed. We would need the rest as we were getting ready to kick off four days of exploring Croatia’s Istrian peninsula!