Pula Arena / Amphitheatre de Pula, Pula, Croatia
Pula Arena, also known as Pula Amphitheatre, is a large Roman amphitheatre situated in the coastal town of Pula in the former Istrian region of modern-day Croatia.
Designed by the same Emperor Vespasian who designed the world-famous Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre) in Rome, and built in the first century AD, Pula Arena had a capacity of 20,000 spectators watching gladiatorial battles. Today, with a more modest capacity of 5,000, film and music festivals still play host to capacity crowds.
During our visit to Pula in autumn 2017, it was clear that the arena is the focal point of this city, and region. Modest in size compared to its bigger brother in Rome, it stands out among the quant city streets of this Croatian gem.
The arena, like the region itself, is extremely affordable, at around £5 per person to enter (with concessions for children and the elderly). There are cafes around the outside of the Arena, but not inside. There is a gift shop. Tours are available, though more-so during peak holiday times.
Whilst we had gone off season, as we had with Rome, the architecture remains comparable, whereas the queues and access is far more palatable. We saw few people inside, but those there included people walking their dogs, others sat on the steps eating lunch, all treating the Arena more as a park, than the historical monument it is. There are no upper floors to the arena, the structure itself is something of an outer shell, but there is an underground wine cellar full of trinkets and information boards.
Pula is an incredible accessible city, with flights direct from the UK via WizzAir, making it a tremendous weekend break destination.
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- TripAdvisor: www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g295373-d550323-Reviews-Amphitheatre_de_Pula-Pula_Istria.html
- Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pula_Arena
‘Visit’ series: Part 1