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Located on a tiny, beak-shaped peninsula that juts into the Adriatic, Piran has the feel of a charming Italian coastal town. Indeed both Slovene and Italian are the official languages here. A walled city (fortified to protect the town centre from Ottoman raids), the architecture is in the Venetian Gothic style, as Piran was once a town of the Venetian empire. The houses on these narrow winding streets have generally remained intact, making the town arguably the most picturesque in Slovenia.
The tangle of streets open up at the oval-shaped Tartini Square (Tartinijev trg), named in honor of the Italian composer and musical theorist, Giuseppe Tartini, who was born in Piran in 1692 during the days when the town was part of the Republic of Venice. A statue of the composer stands in the handsome square and his house there is one of the oldest on the square, dating to around 1384, although renovated between 1985 and 1991. It’s now plays host to various events and exhibitions. Another notable residence on the square is Venetian House, another Venetian Gothic classic, with finely detailed architectural flourishes and a romantic Gothic balcony.Read more
While the area where Tartini Square is today was once the town’s port, today’s protected harbour leads off the square and is a suitable place to start a walk around the waterfront (Presernovo nabrezje), where there are many restaurants, bars and cafes. Besides Tartini Square, another main feature of the town is St. George’s Cathedral, originally built around the 12th century, but in its current Baroque form dates from 1637. Pieces worth noting if you visit the cathedral are the two sculptures of St. George, the patron saint of the city, as well as the magnificent cathedral organ.