This morning, your driver and guide will meet you at your ship to explore some of the Istrian peninsula. Today you will drive down the western Istrian coast along the Adriatic Sea to Pula, at the southernmost tip of the Peninsula.
Pula became famous under the Romans during the 2nd century BC, and became an Episcopal seat during the 5th century. It was sacked by the Ostrogoths but regained power under the Byzantines as a naval port during the 6th and 7th Centuries. It fell into decline until the Austro-Hungarians gained power and established their naval fleet here. The ancient barracks of the Austro-Hungarian Empire still house Croatia’s naval forces. Pula is also the administrative capital and an important educational center of the Istrian peninsula.
This morning, your guide will take you on a walking tour of Pula. You will start at the historic center of the city at its most famous landmark, the Pula Amphitheater, which dates back to the 1st century – one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world. Today it is Pula’s main cultural venue and is known for its music and film festivals.
Continue to visit the Golden Door at the Temple of Augustus, built between 2 B.C. and 14 A.D., which is dedicated to the goddess Roma and the emperor Augustus. Continue to the City Hall, with its blend of architectural styles. Its construction lasted from the 10th to 11th century, spanning a vast range of architectural syles from Romanesque to Renaissance. Pass through the Hercules Gate and the fragments of the city walls, as well as the Forum, the central square of classical and medieval Pula.
Later, you may want to visit the Church of St. Francis and the Franciscan monastery that is adjacent to it. The Franciscan monastery in Pula, as in other parts of Croatia, is still in function.
As you descend down towards the waterfront, you will come across the Basilica of St. Mary of Formosa. Today all that remains are fragments of the once large basilica of Byzantine design. Off to the side of the Basilica you will see the Arch of the Sergii. Smaller than the Hercules Gate, the arch is distinctly Corinthian in style.
Across the street and at right angles to the Basilica is the sight of the original barracks of the Austro-Hungarian naval forces. Today, the buildings are still used by the Croatian naval forces. Walking along the waterfront you will come to the main Cathedral of Pula. The church was rebuilt on several occasions and what stands today is a graceful Renaissance building that overlooks the Adriatic. A few steps from the Cathedral you will walk into the main square of Pula, distinctive by the prominence of one of Pula’s finest examples of Roman architecture—the original temple dedicated to Romae and Augustus. Dating back to the 1st Century, the temple is distinguished by its graceful columns and carved capitals. Close by, is the Town Hall, another beautiful example of Renaissance architecture.
Emanuel Grubić along with his family is the owner of the family mills-Grubic- located in Bale. After graduating with a degree in agriculture, he turned intensely to olives and olive oil; renewing old olive groves and planting new ones.
The family has 8 hectares of olive groves, with about 1600 trees, which gives about 1000 liters of olive oil a year. Overall the family is dedicated to continual investment into olives as their sole business, giving the maximum to the end product with superb virgin olive oil – due to this they have been awarded with numerous awards.
Return to Rovinj where your guide will also give you an overview tour of the city. Rovinj is at its most charming at dusk. Your guide will take you to visit the Church of St. Euphemia. The Venetian Baroque structure dominated the Old Town center of Rovinj and is dedicated to St. Euphemia, the patron saint of Rovinj. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.