Once the Austro-Hungarian Empire's chief naval base, PULA (in Italian, Pola) is an engaging combination of working port and brash Riviera town. The Romans put the city firmly on the map when they arrived in

177 BC, bequeathing it an impressive amphitheatre whose well-preserved remains are the city's single greatest attraction. Pula is also Istria's commercial heart and transport hub, possessing its sole airport, so you're unlikely to visit the region without passing through at least once. There's also an easily visited cluster of Classical and medieval sights in the city centre, while the rough-and-ready atmosphere of the crane-ringed harbour makes a refreshing contrast to the seaside towns and tourist complexes further along the coast. Central Pula can't boast much of a seafront, but there's a lengthy stretch of rocky beach about 3km south of the city centre, leading to the hotel complex on the Verudela peninsula, built in the 1980s to accommodate package-holidaying Brits.


Arrival, transport and information

Pula's airport is 6km northeast of the centre just off the main Rijeka road, but there's no bus link; a taxi into town will set you back 150-200Kn. The train station is a ten-minute walk north of the town centre at the far end of Kolodvorska. The main bus station is along Istarska, just south of the amphitheatre, although some intercity services also pick up and drop off at a terminal northeast of the amphitheatre at Trg 1. Istarske brigade, which is the main departure point for local buses to Faiana, Medulin and Pundiela. City buses also use the terminal on Trg 1. Istarske brigade, although most of them run through the central street, Giardini.

Flightnetwork.com -Specializing in Cheap Flights F