Slovenia is maybe the most unexplored country in the Alpine region. Its coast on the Adriatic Sea has practically nothing to do with the Alps, they can only be seen from here during sunny days. Though food and products from this region influence the whole Slovenian cuisine. No matter where you go in Slovenia Istrian olive oil, Adriaric fish and its famous salt will complete your meal.
Piran lays directly on the Gulf of Piran on the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the major towns of the Slovenian Istria with a population of about 4k people. Piran is often called Slovenian Venice, and this is not wondering Venetians ruled here for more then 500 years. In the main square, called Tartini square, there is a monument in memory of Giuseppe Tartini, Venetian composer and violinist. The municipality is bilingual, both Slovenian and Italian are official languages.
The city of Piran offers very touristic infrastructure. No cars are allowed in the city (only for inhabitants and for short visits up to one hour), parking lots are located by city entrance. Then one can decide to take a free bus or to have a nice walk by the coastline.
There are plenty of hotels and restaurants, which can make it difficult to choose the right one for you. Our decision to stay in Hotel Piran was one of the best we have made during our travels. This Hotel is a part of large group of companies, nevertheless you feel here like at home.
It was built in 1913, and following its renovation in 2013 it boasts with modern equipment and an offer of various culinary delights. Most of the rooms have a sea view, including two president suits and two deluxe suits. There is also Wellness area on the second floor with a steam bath having the same temperature like in the sea. During May and September Heaven Terrace is open to share for sure the most beautiful viewpoint in Piran - over the Piran Bay to neighboring Italy and Croatia. Especially in the late evening the view is impressive.
The food at the hotel was really tasty. Breakfast was light, local and very Adriatic.
As there are mostly international guests, the restaurant team tries to offer Mediterranean cuisine with local Slovenian flair – local produces, fresh fish from Piran fishers and vegetables that grow not far away from the city border. There are three sommeliers in the house, so the variety of wines, mostly Slovenian, is very impressive too. During our dinner we explored the whole range of Slovenian taste. For starter octopus with cherry tomatoes and red pesto, avocado cream with capers, marinated sardines, šavor with bluefish, crab cake with homemade mayonnaise and sea snail pate. “Šavor” is a type of marinade used for marinating fish. It is very typical for this Slovenian region, as fishers always tried to keep fish for a long period of time.
As “primo piatto” wild garlic gnocchi with wild asparagus and walnut gnocchi. Wild asparagus looks almost as thick as normal asparagus and tastes also very similar, this is because of the mild and warm climate of Istria. During our meal we also talked to the restaurant chef Jernej Podpecan who tries his best to give a Slovenian note to all his dishes.
For the main dish we became dorado with parsley potatoes and monkfish with grilled polenta and dried tomatoes. We were served by Sašo Ambrož who told us a lot about Slovenian cuisine, typical dishes and products.
It was almost impossible to say “no” to the dessert. So crème brûlée and chocolate mousse gave a sweet note to our very tasteful dinner. If you liked our story and impressions, just think about this hotel when planning a visit to Piran.
From our side I would like to thank Dagmar Pečovnik and her wonderful team for being so helpful and hospitable.
Piran is a very beautiful city on the Slovenian coast, it is worth to come here!
Hotel Piran is located at Stjenkova ulica 1, Piran
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