Ptuj, between ancient Rome and the spas.

Ptuj, between ancient Rome and the spas.

Have you ever heard of Ptuj in Slovenia?

If your answer is no, imagine the Roman legions marching towards the edges of the Empire to defend the plains of Pannonia. Imagine revisiting this colony called Poetovio painted by the glittering colours of ancient Rome and having rich banquets accompanied by local Pullus wine. At this crossroads of different cultures about forty thousand people were living. Here was named Emperor Vespasian in 69 AD, and also these were the lands from which the barbarian invasions came. With the passing of centuries, Ptuj has earned the title of the oldest city in Slovenia.

The imprint left by antiquity can be tasted through the wines produced with and according to the ancient traditions. All around there are the hills with vines. Just like in Maribor, in Ptuj, on the streets of the city centre, there are tunnels full of enormous wooden barrels where the wine is seasoned. Tunnels that can be explored by booking a visit to Ptujska klet. The wine can be accompanied by local dishes ranging from meat-based continental cuisine to delicious dishes based on mainly river-water fish.

The Drava river surrounds the town, creating romantic green landscapes where you can go for walks or bike along the cycle path that follows the river for kilometres on end. Ptuj can be described with two words, relaxation and nature. Those wishing to go for the sports can do so by taking advantage of the rivers and lakes, having a variety of options ranging from bicycle rental to several water sport opportunities. History lovers can cross the boundaries of the ancient town and visit the Castle, the museums and the churches, staying fascinated by this image-mixture of the visible Roman and medieval times.

To devote yourself to one of the favourite activities of the ancient Romans, the spas, you can turn to Valens Augusta Wellness. A complex that includes swimming pools, bars, gardens, tennis courts, an excellent spa park and a wellness centre offering the most complete treatments. You will be absorbed by the beauty of the sunset colours as a background to the green of the hills while you enjoy the hot water of the outdoor spa pool.

Ptuj is a few kilometres from the border with Croatia and Hungary. It is easily reached by car via the Slovenian motorways. From here you can visit the nearby cities of Maribor and Celje.

Do not miss the previous post to discover Maribor and the oldest vine in the world, Ljubljana the City of the Dragon and the interview with the eclectic artist Jakov Brdar and the further posts out on Thursdays. For a complete guide, full of photographs, curiosities and travel tips, you can browse my travel guide Slovenia edited with Morellini Editore, available both online and in bookshops in Italian language.

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Do not miss a stay at the Terme di Ptuj. You can choose between the luxurious rooms of the Grand Hotel Primus, bungalows, lodges or camping. A solution for every possible taste.

For a mainly water-based dinner, do not miss Restaurant Ribič along the Drava River at Dravska Street 9.

Do not miss a tasting of local wines by contacting the Ptuj cellars.

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