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Calling all Pula experts!!!

S S
Vancouver, Canada
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Calling all Pula experts!!!

Now my turn to ask a question :)

We are CONSIDERING a night in Pula (I know I know...Rovinj is a better choice) But... We are interested in visiting the Amphitheatre for Spectacvla Antiqva. We are coming from Zagreb and the timing works great that we would have one night to spare and see the show. IF its recommended. Has anyone been to this before? I have watched the videos and it looks like alot of fun and I think my teens would enjoy it. But I'm not sure if its well done or kind of hokey? Also no idea how long the show lasts.

I read a previous post that says you can buy tickets at the arena. Im wondering if buying the day of will be too late? Would be great if we could pre-buy online but cant find that option anywhere. Does anyone have any further info on this?

We would spend the day/evening in Pula and in the morning drive to Rovinj for breakfast and a few hours before heading back to Vodice area. Would LOVE to see some hilltop towns but I think that's just too much driving for one day. Will have to plan for longer next summer to enjoy all of Istria.

We are late in the game looking for accommodation. Trying to find something reasonable for 5 people is not an easy task at the moment. We would like to be within walking distance of the Amphitheatre if possible (5-10 minutes) Can anyone advise if there is an area which we should steer clear of? Any tips of where to look would be great. Or even an apartment out a bit that may have a shuttle? We have a car so we could always drive to the area if thats an option...not sure if its car free zone there or what the parking situation would be like.

If this plan doesn't work out we may just do an overnight in Mostar again as we enjoyed it so much last summer. But thank you in advance for any tidbits of information you can toss my way, that will help make our decision easier :) :)

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11 replies to this topic
Sydney
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1. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

Sorry S S, I cannot help wiht Pula part. However, it owed be such a shame if you didn't visit at least 1 of the hill towns. I would get up very early and visit Rovinj and Motovun at least. Motovun doesn't need lots of time of you don't have it. Groznjan would be next on my list if it could be squeezed in.

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S S
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2. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

Thanks croman will have to convince hubby. I think its about 35 minutes from Pula to Rovinj and looks like just under an hour to Motovun. It would then be about 4 1/2 hours to get home. Groznjan is on the way to Motovun isnt it? Hmmmmm.....I'm up for it but have to persuade the driver :)

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Sydney
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3. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

Come on S S, surely you have some way of convincing your husband to do this for you.

Motovun is about 50 minutes from Rovinj. Groznjan is only about 20 minutes from Motovun. The road after the turn off the main road to Groznjan is not sealed. It is good road, but the car hire company might still have a problem with you driving on it. Everything is good if nothing happens. However, in case of accident, God forbid, your insurence might be voided.

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S S
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4. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

Haha yes Croman I'll find a way. Groznjan not really far at all then. May have to take our chance with the road if we do make it there.

The Gladiator show looks interesting....Being inside the arena in the evening just in itself must be magical I would imagine. My son has just finished a school project on the Gladiators in Ancient Rome so I think he would love it. I have read they have concerts in arena from time to time as well. Now That would be spectacular!

So many trips to Croatia and still so many undiscovered spots and favorite places we want to return to. Difficult to choose! Well...Istria will always be there so if not this year then next....

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5. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

Hello SS. When are you hoping to arrive in Pula? I'm assuming its July or August which could be quite a problem acquiring accommodation at this late time of year. I can also tell you that car parking in the summer months in Pula is something of a nightmare - especially if the sun's not shining!. There is a tourist area 2 miles from Pula centre with lots of hotels, apartments and villas with car parking and a very good bus service into the centre with a short walk to the amphitheatre and I would suggest you Google Verudela peninsula which should come up with details of apartments, hotels etc.,

I can't help you with advice on Spectacvla Antiqva and hope someone else can help out there. During the summer months there's lots of what I would call tacky, fake (you use the word Hokey), Roman displays in the Forum and streets which I personally find embarrassing. I've no idea what goes on in Spectacvia Antiqvq in the Amphitheatre. However I would say that the amphitheatre is beautifully situated, very close to the harbour and facing out on to the Adriatic. The amphitheatre is well worth a visit regardless of the show. Take a wander round; see the authentic Roman artifacts below (which your teens may enjoy) with many more in the Museum.

I'm writing this in a rush as I'm about to go off for the weekend. Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

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6. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

SS, I just returned from month in Croatia and Slovenia and do not claim to be an expert. We were based in Rovinj for our time in Istria but spent time in Pula on a day trip. Amphitheater itself was a interesting but having seen quite a few other large Roman ruins we really could have spent our time better elsewhere in Istria. Did not find time spent wandering rest of Pula that impressive. Loved our time in Rovinj including some cycling. Especially at various times of the day seeing it in different light for photography and busyness.

Enjoyed Motovun more than Groznjan which because of our timing Groznjan was much busier. Also at time road construction detours made approaches more challenging but sure those would be finished.

Seems a bit out of your way for one night. Would think you could use time more enjoyably nearer to Vodice.

I really enjoyed Istria but it deserves more time. Part of the enjoyment was taking some of Chefathome’s restaurant suggestions that require a more leisurely pace to make worthwhile. Food is one of the highlights of this area which is not fair to rush.

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S S
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7. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

DannyG thank you for the info. Yes not a lot of apartment choices left but there are a couple OK ones within walking distance to the Colosseum that have parking. Will also look into Verudela. If we can get a bus to the arena then that might be a good option. I did manage to find a couple of reviews on the gladiator show that said its really well done and quite magical. Thanks again...enjoy your weekend!

Whistlernorth, glad you hear you enjoyed your Croatia trip! We live near Vodice (for about 6 weeks every summer) and then we plan lots of day trips and a few overnights in different parts of the Country. One of our side trips this year, as well as last, is Zagreb for a couple nights.

I have wanted to visit Istria for so many years but just havent made it there (other than Rijeka, Opatija, Piran & Koper on our way to Venice one year). I want to give it the time it deserves....at least a week, two would be better. We are bringing an extra person with us this year that hasn't yet visited Croatia so we will be spending most of our time in areas where we go every year between Zadar & Makarska and a couple of the close by Islands as day trips. This is why we don't have the time to dedicate to Istria this time.

I just noticed that the Gladiator show is on in Pula the night after we leave Zagreb and with only being about a 3 hour drive, would be such a great experience for our teens. Pula was never top on my list (at least not to stay) so we would solely go for the purpose of seeing the Arena, The show, wander around Pula, have dinner and then breakfast in Rovinj (with hopefully a stop, lunch? in Motovun and/or Groznjan before heading back to our house) I think next year we will allow the time to do Istria justice and hit all those wonderful towns at a leisurely pace and enjoy some of the fabulous food that I always hear chef talking about.

Thanks so much for your input!

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8. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

"I want to give it the time it deserves....at least a week, two would be better. "

Good luck dragging your husband away from his home in Croatia for 2 weeks. My wife always tries when she is there with me, but never succeeds.

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S S
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9. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

Hahaha croman SO true He would be very content to stay in the village with the odd dip in the sea when it gets too hot. I'm the planner. What starts out as an overnight somewhere I somehow manage to stretch to a week. He always grumbles and plays along to make me happy but when he gets out on the road and I take him to all these places in Croatia that he's never been, let alone heard of, he always has a great time and enjoys it. Now he has a few new "favorite" places that we return to every year for day trips.

I have such a wanderlust...when there's more to see, its calling my name Ha! If I had my way I'd visit every one of those (over) 1100 Islands. Ha! I do love the village but like to mix it up with exploring & sightseeing. Many of our relatives there hardly leave the village at all. Ever. We cant even drag them to the beach in 40 degree heat. Crazy. The Adriatic on a hot summer day is pure bliss :)

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10. Re: Calling all Pula experts!!!

Check the Pula official Tourism Board information page:

http://www.pulainfo.hr/

pulainfo.hr/where/spectacvla-antiqva-arena

Mind you, Pula is NOT just antique Roman empire heritage. It used to be the chief maritime base of the mighty Austo-Hungarian Empire, thanks to which it got the railway connection, fortresses, naval academy, numerous beautiful classicist and Art Deco buildings.

istra.hr/en/attractions-and-activities/arts-…

And if you visit nearby Opatija, you would walk into the town with which only Monte Carlo is comparable - and which USED to be Monte Carlo of Austro-Hungarian Empire, with 12 km long promenade ("Lungo Mare") along which stood and still stand beautiful old hotels and casinos. Visited by Emperors Franz Joseph I of Austria and Willhelm II of Germany, and rich and famous from all of Europe.

https://www.visitopatija.com/en

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