Calli, campi, broli and lions of St. Mark
The porticos of the Palazzo Pretorio
The medieval Piazza del Duomo

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Close relationship with Venice

A visit to Capodistria means being catapulted into a port of the “Serenissima” Republic of Venice that administered the city for almost five centuries.
As you set ashore from your MSC cruise ship and take a stroll through the historic centre you will see certain features that are very similar to what you see in Venice: calli (typical narrow streets of Venice), campi (small squares), broli (assembly squares)... lions of St. Mark, coat of arms of the nobility and rulers adorning the facades of the palaces.

One of the most attractive expressions of this urban fabric is the Via Calegaria, traditionally dedicated to trade and artisans’ workshops, especially shoemakers. Amongst the most interesting excursions one can take during an MSC cruise of the Mediterranean is to the marina of Porta Maggiore, up to the porticos of the Palazzo Pretorio (the praetorian palace), rebuilt in the mid-15th century, in Piazza del Duomo. The church has a beautiful 15th century façade with portals made by Pietro Lombardo, its 18th century interiors also host Saint Nazarius’ alabaster sarcophagus made in 1422 by Filippo De Sanctis; even older than the Duomo, built between the 12th and 13th century, is the bell tower.

The entire historic centre of Capodistria is to be admired, from the Romanesque building (Casa Percauz, 13th or 14th century) to the many late medieval gothic buildings of the brolo and along the Via Calegaria; the buildings of Tuscan origin designed with the characteristic "gheffo", the jutting out upper floors, or the Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-classic buildings.

In alternative you can enjoy an excursion to Lubiana, the capital of Slovenia, a very beautiful city and yet to be discovered in which different architectural styles coexist harmoniously. One can explore Lubjana with a tour along the river that cuts in in two, but also interesting are the Ponte Triplo (triple bridge), the splendid Tivoli gardens, and a visit to the Castle that towers over the city or the market, the heart of the city which will add unforgettable memories to your cruise.

Must see places in Koper

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    Cycling in the woods
    Cycling in the woods

    Stable, prosperous and welcoming, Slovenia is a charming and comfortable place to travel, with architecturally grand, cultured cities, and lush pine-forested countryside, perfect for hiking and biking in summer and skiing in winter.

    The country managed to avoid much of the strife that plagued other nations during the messy disintegration of the Yugoslav Republic. 

    Administered by German-speaking Habsburg overlords until 1918, the Slovenes absorbed the culture of their rulers while managing to retain a strong sense of ethnic identity through their Slavic language. 

    A cruise to Slovenia would be incomplete without a visit to its sophisticated capital, Ljubljana: a delight, pleasantly compact and cluttered with fabulous Baroque and Habsburg buildings

    A short ride away, the Julian Alps provide stunning mountain scenery, most accessible at the majestic twin lakes of Bled and Bohinj, while the Soča Valley, skirting the country’s western border, is even more memorable. 

    Further south are spectacular caves, notably at Postojna and Škocjan, while the short stretch of Slovenian Mediterranean coast is punctuated by two starkly different towns: historic Piran and party-oriented Portorož

    In the eastern wine-making regions, Ptuj is Slovenia’s oldest and best-preserved town, while the country’s second city, Maribor, is a worthwhile stopover point on the way to Austria.