My old hometown Pula has many stories to tell to its visitors. Actually, the local population is often not aware of some interesting details or tales that have been “living” here in Pula but, somehow, they tend to be forgotten when not continuously mentioned and repeated.
For example, the story about Dante’s visit to our town and his mention of Pula in the Divine Comedy. Or the legend about one of the Roman gates that hold 30 kilos of gold which fossilized in time. And many others…
The story I want to tell you about today is about one of the most beautiful theatres in the open air – the Roman amphitheater, called Arena. There are millenniums and centuries since this magnificent setting opened its doors and they have never been closed since.
Of course, we all learned from our history lessons that the Roman amphitheaters were built not just for festivities but also for the fighting spectacles that were put on for the entertainment of the people, although brutal and savage for today’s minds and tastes. Fortunately, this is history; we do not hide it but we tell these stories in a way we understand them today.
Today’s article is about the new, modern way that the old Arena is used – as a fantastic stage for many stars of stage and screen who are happy to perform just here – under the stars. Right now, for example, there is the annual film festival, this year happening for the 64th time. It started as the „Yugoslavian Feature Film Festival“ but now, since 1992 when it changed its name, as „Pula Film Festival“. Besides the national film production and competition presentations, there are a number of other presentations, including international films, short film programs, films for children, a workshop for children about filmmaking, and a number of other accompanying activities. It is real fun and many, not just film lovers, can enjoy it and find their particular interest. Not to forget our beautiful weather, clear seawater, attractive beaches, and night parties… A true summer under the stars.