The old seaport of Piran lies at the end of the Piran peninsula, which gradually narrows between the bays of Strunjan and Piran. The peninsula reaches Cape Madona, ending with the Šavrini hills.
Clonisation and romanisation of theIstrian peninsula
With the Roman conquest of the Istrian peninsula in the years 178 and 177 B.C., gradual colonisation and romanisation of the peninsula began. This is how the Roman “ville rusticae” were built in the hinterland of Piran, but probably there was still no major inhabitation of this area at that time. It began only after the downfall of the Roman empire in the 5th Century, when because of the incursions and migrations of the barbaric tribes, the Roman population retreated to fortified coastal towns or islands.
The economic boom, which was brought to the Istrian towns by the sea and hinterland trade, made it possible for some of the towns to gain autonomy and become free municipalities with an elected governing body already at the end of the 12th Century: Piran in the year 1192. These towns chose their own officials – podestas – and made their own trade deals with other towns.
From the 15th until 17th Century, Piran was shaken by the social strife between the aristocracy and the plebs, who rebelled and expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that public funds were controlled exclusively by the aristocracy, ownership issues over the salt pans and the arable land in hinterland, as well as the political rights they wanted to obtain.
17th and 18th Century
In the 17th and 18th Century the Piran society still lived in the cultural atmosphere of Humanism and Renaissance, joined in the 17th Century by doctor Prospero Petronio.
Imperial Austria brought prosperity back to Piran in the 19th Century. It was chiefly aide by the salt pans, as Austria renewed and enhanced the production by substantially enlarging the salt pans in Sečovlje, which yielded approximately 40,000 tons of salt per year.
Development of tourismThe narrow gauge railroad , which led from Triest to Poreč, greatly boosted the transport of people and merchandise. At the enfd of the 19th Century the development of tourism began together with the improved traffic connections. In Portorož especially health resort tourism began to develop, and brought it fame and reputation as the most pleasant and beautiful tourist centre in the east Adriatic, mainly due to its climate.
After World War I, this area was assigned to Italy by the Rapallo peace agreement. The anti fascist movement grew among the Slovene inland population, as well as the Italian townspeople, to culminate in the War of National Liberation in the years 1941 – 1945.
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