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Pula - Far More Than Just A Beach Holiday

If you look just beyond the fabulous, famous beach at Pula in Croatia’s stunning Istria region you’ll discover there is far, far more to this ancient city than just a glorious seashore.

Don’t get me wrong, Pula is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but scratch beneath the surface of this thoroughly 21st Century resort and you’ll find a place that has been at the heart of European history since Roman times.

We all love a great beach holiday, right?

Of course we do. And Pula offers the opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful locations on the Adriatic.

But step inland just a little and there’s a millennia of culture and history to discover too – a great alternative when you need a break from the heat of the summer sun.

The Roman amphitheatre in Pula city centre is incredible. Better preserved than many you may come across in neighbouring Italy it is the sixth biggest in the world and possibly the most beautiful of the lot.

The Pula Arena was constructed between 27 BC – 68 AD and much of it is still standing to this day. The Romans also supplied the city with a water supply and sewage systems. They fortified Pula with a wall with ten gates. And a few of these gates still remain – check out the awe-inspiring Arch of the Sergii, the Gate of Hercules (in which the names of the founders of the city are engraved) and the Twin Gates.

The city even merits a mention in the famous Dante Alighieri poem ‘Divine Comedy’ and its old quarter of narrow streets, lined with Medieval and Renaissance buildings, are still surfaced with ancient Roman paving stones. Its impossible to walk through these old narrow streets on warm summer evenings without wondering what they must have been witness to over the last millennium.

Due to its incredible political history, Pula is a city which positively brims with a heady cultural mix of people and languages from across the Mediterranean and central Europe. It’s buildings and customs also reflect these intricate layers of history. It is not uncommon for Pulans to speak numerous languages including Italian, German and English.

At its essence it is a truly 21st Century European city, built upon the struggles of 1,000 years.

You’d kick yourself if you missed plugging into this massively rich tapestry of cultures and history.

You’ve just got to work up the momentum to tear yourself away from the beach for an afternoon.

Easier said than done, I know.

•Al Fresco Holidays has one parc in Pula, called Bi Village. It is a beautifully appointed parc with loads to do on site for all ages. Al Fresco also has another parc in Croatia, called Lanterna, which can be found in Porec.

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