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Pula Superiorum - Experience the days of antiquity at the Festival of History

Pula Superiorum - Experience the days of antiquity at the Festival of History

Take a journey through time!

Time travel is not possible, at least for now. But what if we told you, you can travel in time on your next visit to Croatia? All antiquity-lovers might be interested in what the largest town in Istria offers each summer! The Days of Antiquity - Pula Superiorum is a huge cultural event that is very significant for the region of Istria. This impressive festival has been organised for almost 20 years now and it presents the famous Roman history in the most authentic way.

It takes place on the most famous historical spots in Pula and it is held on Fridays and Saturdays only, during the months of May and June. The incredible program is repeated each weekend so visitors have enough time to attain it. It combines education and entertainment through music, dance, theatre, gastronomy and history, making sure each spectator dives in to the astonishing roman way of living.


When you walk the enchanting streets of Pula, you will notice the remains of rich roman heritage almost on every step. The trademark Pula is most known for, is for sure one magnificent monument - the Amphitheatre. The main event of the festival is happening there. Other spots where the program is happening are the Roman Square Forum, the area in front of the Temple of Augustus and the Town Hall.

On all these locations, visitors will learn more about the Roman Empire through intriguing performances and scenery. Society in ancient Rome was hierarchical and the festival’s organisers do their best to present it through different workshops, art exhibitions, open theatre performances and trade presentations. The clothing of each actor is very detailed; make up, jewellery, hair styles, togas, and footwear will make you feel like you walked into some Hollywood movie set. The people representing craftsmen, use replicas of the tools which ancient Romans used when they were making items. Everything is carefully conceptualised, as the goal is to present everyday life in Roman society, in the most authentic way. No wonder this event has an extraordinary tourist significance, also for the promotion of Istria.


To get a better picture of what you can experience, let us give you a tour of the festival. In 2019 a big roman wedding was organised for the first time, where all viewers could see the rituals and ceremonies that happen before the wedding ceremony. The preparation of the bride and groom, dances, songs, entertainment and all the preparatory ceremonies. Since the Romans were famous for celebrations and hedonism, the wedding ceremony ended with an extensive roman feast.

Every year the organisers make sure all age groups can benefit from the festival, so there are workshops, food and souvenirs you can try and buy at any point of time. Usually there is a Roman breakfast, where you can taste some delicacies prepared the roman way. At the workshops you can learn for example how to make jewellery, soaps, scents or mosaic. Little visitors can take part in a school for little gladiators, different ancient-crafts workshops and watch children’s plays. They are held during the day on different locations. across old town. The adult plays are performed in the evenings at the Roman Square Forum, in front of the Temple of Augustus or the Town Hall. You can see ancient dances, roman instrument performers, also enjoy famous dramatic and humorous sketches.


Don’t be surprised to see some craftsmen while walking the ancient streets of Pula, such as stonemasons and blacksmiths. You can see them using ancient tools, while making items like stone vessels or the famous gladiator sword called the “gladius”. At any point you can walk up to them and ask questions, take pictures, or maybe try to make something on your own.
If you stay in Pula during the Days of Antiquity, you will also see fully equipped legionaries marching the streets with their leader Centurion. They might look very intimidating at first with their helmets, armours, shields, swords and famous red tunics - but they are super friendly and are happy to take pictures with spectators at any time.

The main spectacular event - the gladiator fights, are held in the Amphitheatre as part of the historical and entertainment program “Spectacvla Antiqva”. The gladiator actors prepare and train for this manifestation for a full year, so you have the chance to watch them at the gladiator ceremony, with skills and performance in the same way they did it back in the day. That is one spectacular sight and for a moment you will have to remind yourself you are actually in the present year.


If any fans of the “Gladiator” movie are reading this, “The Pula Superiorum” shouldn’t be missed. The festival is a great opportunity to go trough an invisible time capsule and walk the Roman streets in the town of Pula. It is a family friendly manifestation and will make your visit worthwhile for sure. The whole town fills with music and scents from the past and the old-town’s monuments come to life. If you ever wanted to experience a piece of history, this is the place to be. Do not hesitate, treat yourself with a vacation in one of our amazing villas with pool in Pula and we will help you find the best accommodation, so you can cross it off your “to do “ list. Packing for a new adventure can start!

Sara Vargovic

+385 1 222 70 50