Ankaran – Ancarano
Coming across the border from Trieste at Škofija or Lazaret, we arrive in the first Slovenian tourist resort which begins with the first letter of the alphabet A – Ankaran It is situated on a long sandy beach’ on the north side of the Bay of Koper, and is well protected from wind. Owing to its agreeable climate, Ankaran is both a pleasant holiday centre and climatic resort.
Ankaran is surrounded by several hamlets and the village of Hrvatini, stretched along the ridge of the Milje peninsula. The ridge offers a beautiful view over the entire Gulf of Trieste, reaching in nice weather as far as to the Julian Alps and the highest Slovenian mountain, Triglav.
Koper – Capodistria
Koper is the largest Slovenian port. Built on what was once an islet, it was originally a Greek colony (Egida) and then a Roman settlement called Capris (hence the Slovene name Koper). The channel separating the islet from the mainland was filled in in the last century, turning it into a peninsula. There were salt-pans at the nearby shallows until 1911 (360 hectares – 9,000 tons of salt annually).
Of several city gates only the one (1516) which was connected to the mainland by a wooden bridge has survived. By this gate stands a fountain with the shape of a Venetian bridge (1442), a reminder that Koper was half a millennium under Venetian rule. After the fall of Venice it came under Austrian domination, and from 1918 up to the end of the Second World War it was part of Italy. There are two interesting buildings in the centre. of the old city, the Municipal Loggia (built in the 15th century and reconstructed in the 17th) and the Praetor’s Palace (15th c.). Among the more interesting churches mention should be ‘made of the 15th century cathedral built in the 15th century in a transitional style from Venetian Gothic to Renaissance, The cathedral has a Romanesque baptistry, many valuable paintings, one of which is signed by V, Carpaccio, and numerous Baroque elements. The building called Fontega, built in the 14th and reconstructed in the 15th century, was a granary until 1606. The 15th Belgramoni-Tacco Palace houses today a museum, and the 18th century Gravisi Palace – the local musical school.
Excursions: 20 km north-east – a medieval castle, Sočerb, built in the 12th century with a magnificent view of Triest and the surrounding area’; near Sočerb the Holy Cave (Sveta Jama), an unusual church with altars decorated in the style of a cave; 18 kilometres from Koper – Rižana, with a small zoological gardens and the nearby spring Zvroček, the beginning of Koper’s water supply system. Not far from Rižana is the small village of Hrastovlje with a 12th-13th century Romanesque church possessing a number of frescoes by Ivan of Kastav (15th c.).
Izola – Isola
Izola is a well known fishing centre situated on a small promontory. The most notable buildings: The City Hall dating from the 14th century, the parish church with valuable old paintings (15-17th cc.), the Manzioli House in Venetian Gothic Style (15th c.), and the Besenghi Palace (18th c,) which today houses the local musical school and the Italian Club (Circolo). The town’s warm-spirited and romantic character help attract visitors and it is said that once you have visited Izola you will never forget it.
Izola is surrounded by picturesque countryside with numerous valleys and long hills – an area full of gastronomic pleasures waiting to be discovered in a wealth of traditional inns and farm tourism establishments, most of them offering marvellous views over the Gulf of Trieste.
Piran – Pirano
Piran is a small town crowded onto Madonna Promontory (lighthouse and chapel) with a rich maritime tradition. The main square bears the name of the Italian violinist Giuseppe Tartini, born in Koper in 1692, The buildings on the square include the Town Hall, the Church of St. Peter (19th c.), and the Venetian Gothic Palace (Venecijanska Palača) dating from the 15th century. The parish church situated on a hill above the town was built in the 15th century, but got its present appearance after the reconstruction in the 17th century.
The campanile by the church resembles that of St Mark in Venice. The church has a fine 14th century crucifixion, The 14th century Franciscan Monastery, Which has been several times rebuilt, has a carved pulpit dating from the 15th century and several valuable paintings, among which one by Carpaccio. A small part of the city wall and two gates have survived. The Municipal Museum, in which there is Tartini’s room, has an archeological and an historical department,
Portorož – Portorose
Portorož is situated very near Piran, Portorož has no historical monuments to boast of, but has fine sandy beaches, a pleasant climate which attracts visitors both in summer and winter, wel l-tended parks, numerous hotels and villas.
You will find that this town is known as the Port of Roses. In Italian you will hear this town being referred to as Portorose. In addition to being a coastal town you will discover that Portorož is thought of as the country’s main tourist area. The town of Portorož belongs to the coastal municipality of Piran.
An international symposium of sculptors known as Forma Viva takes place in Park Seča at Portorož every year. .
There are large salt-pans at nearby Sečovlje (500 hectares), which marks the end of the Slovene Littoral and the beginning of the Croatian Littoral.
Published on: 09.04.2011