Piran, at the tip of the peninsula, 4km from Portorož, couldn’t be more different. Its web of arched alleys, tightly packed ranks of historic houses and little Italianate squares is delightful. The centre, 200m around the harbour from the bus station, is Tartinijev trg, named after the eighteenth-century Italian violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, who was born in a cream villa on the square and is commemorated by a weather-beaten bronze statue in the centre. With its striking oval shape, it’s one of the loveliest squares on this coast, fringed by Venetian palaces and an imposing Austrian town hall. From the square’s eastern edge, follow Rozmanova ulica all the way up to the commanding Baroque Church of St George, crowning a spectacular spot on the far side of Piran’s peninsula.

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Slovenia features

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Video: Kurentovanje, one of Europe's strangest festivals

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