This morning’s expedition took us to the heart of Pula, where we explored the impressive Pula Arena, a remarkably preserved Roman amphitheatre (the sixth largest during Roman times). Its grandeur and history left guests in awe as they walked through its corridors, imagining the gladiatorial contests and performances that once took place here.
Then we went to San Tommaso winery, close to the town of Golas. The winemaking traditions here are deeply intertwined with the local culture and history. These vineyards thrive in the Mediterranean climate, benefiting from warm sunshine, coastal influences, and a rich soil composition. It was a showcase of the area’s unique terroir and winemaking traditions. The grape varieties they grow are Malvasia Istriana, Teran, and Refosco, and a few international varieties like Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Many guests chose as a favorite the Malvasia Istriana. This white grape variety is a flagship of the Istrian peninsula. It produces aromatic and crisp white wines with notes of citrus, white flowers, and a distinct minerality. Teran was the winner, however. Teran is a red grape variety that yields deeply colored wines with vibrant acidity. These wines often exhibit flavors of red berries, dark cherries, and a touch of earthiness.
After lunch on board our home, the Sea Cloud, we swam around the ship in the azure Adriatic waters. Then we landed on Rovijn again, for a captivating journey through its cobbled streets. The scent of freshly baked pastries mingled with the salty breeze, as we explored local markets bursting with vibrant colors. We learned about the batanas (fishing boats), which immersed our guests in the traditional maritime culture of Rovijn. They belong to the family of flat-bottom boats, such as the Venetian gondola. Our guides told us about the boats’ significance to their community, their construction, and the traditional fishing techniques they have been used for over the centuries.
Later, we found ourselves perched atop the town's highest point, St. Euphemia church, gazing out at the kaleidoscope of colors that painted the sky. It was a moment to reflect on the day's adventures and to anticipate the wonders yet to be uncovered.