Roman amphitheatre at Pula - A view from our expert author


Roman amphitheatre, Pula, Croatia, Croatian National Tourist Board
© Croatian National Tourist Board

The sixth biggest in the world, this enormous amphitheatre has the most complete outer walls of any still standing.

Pula (Pola) has been continuously inhabited for the past 3,000 years. What you’ll find today, however, is a whole clutch of superb Roman ruins (including ) set in a cheerful, cosmopolitan, street-café city of 65,000 people. Pula lives on the fence, caught halfway between its shipyard, docks and busy commercial port, and the beaches, coves and tourist developments strung out along the indented peninsula a couple of kilometres south of the centre.

You can’t miss Pula’s enormous Roman Amphitheatre – it’s the sixth biggest in the world (after Rome, Capua, Verona, Syracuse and Arles, since you ask), and has the most complete outer walls of any still standing. Started  under Augustus, and continued under Flavian, it was enlarged and completed to its present 130m-by-105m ellipse under Vespasian (whose lover Antonia, it’s said, came from Pula) in the second half of the 1st century AD.

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