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Galižana (Gallesano)

Galižana (Gallesano)

Located just 6 km from the beaches in an around Fažana (and Brijuni National Park) and from the centre of the Istrian capitol, Pula, Galižana is a small village dating back to Roman times which is still hardly touched by tourism.

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Galižana is, like many Istrian villages, heavily influenced by the times that Istria belonged to Italy. Hence the village is also called Gallesano and many inhabitants speak Italian rather than Croatian. Galižana is still hardly touched by tourism yet lies very close to all touristic attractions of this region.

Pula, the capitol of the region Istria, with its famous amphitheatre (the 6th largest in the world) is just 6 km away and a local bus connects the centre of Pula with Galižana as does a train. There is also a direct road from Galižana to Fažana (6 km), the gateway to Brijuni National Park where several kilometres of beach form the beautfil Brijuni Riviera.

In terms of its administration, Galižana belongs to nearby Vodnjan (3 km) which was also the centre of the regional administration during Roman times. Galižana marks the first stop of the train connecting Pula with other destinations in Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. Tourists arriving by car on the newly built Istrian highway (refered to as the "Ypsilon") heading for Brijuni National Park and Fažana can exit here and enjoy an amazing view of the Briuni islands and the green countryside surrounding Pula. Like many towns, Galižana is surrounded by lots of fertile agricultural land and one of the largest olive groves in Croatia. 

Galižana is full of monuments such as the church of St. Justin, a three-aisled Romanesque basilica with an apse built in the shape of a square from the 9th century. The parish church of St. Rocco was built in 1613 and restored in the 19th century with an elegant 36 meter high tower. On the outskirts of town is the medieval church "La Concetta" (from the 12th century) with an original "balcony" and a wooden crucifix from the 13th century. In the historic center there are two old churches: the church of St. Anton with the remains of an early Romanesque sculpture built into the facade and with Glagolitic inscription above the doorway portals, while in the north, there is St. Joseph with a small bell tower.

Galižana now has around 1500 inhabitants. As this is an agricultural region, the population is predominantly engaged in viticulture, olive growing and livestock producing excellent wine and premium olive oil (thanks to traditional presses with stone millstones that are still in use), goat cheese and other local products.

There are splendid views from Galižana of the Brijuni Island National Park, the town of Fažana, Pula and the Adriatic Sea since the town's elevation is higher than those of the coastal areas and the sea.