Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
the Austro-Hungarians 'civilized' it

Well, with the area's long history of being under Rome and Venice (the Habsburg Empire got it only in 1848), it would be much more justified to call Austria and Hungary (and Yugoslavia and Croatia) the barbarian invaders :-) But what Austria-Hungary did was industrialization and belle epoque tourism development (Abbazia/Opatija).

3) the food is local, simple, and delicious (Italian and, I suspect, Hungarian influence)

I doubt it. The main food influences must be Italian, Croatian, Dalmatian (in that order).

At least in mid-April, there seemed to be about 10 of us turistas in the whole city of Pula.

Along Croatia's Adriatic Coast, the summer tourism season is very much marked - with a reason: especially in autumn and winter, the weather changes dramatically from sunny to one with strong winds (Bora, Yugo). In summer, the Western coast of Istria (and the island chain before it) is packed, too. Opatia also wakes from its slumber, and serves as port for miriads of boats taking tourists for round trips to the islands in the Kvarner Gulf. (Highly recommended should you visit again, BTW.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 11th, 2008 at 09:05:19 AM EST
the Habsburg Empire got it only in 1848

Correction upon checking: that was only when it was organised with other areas further North into a province called Küstenland ( = coastal land); most of the area belonged to the Habsburg Empire - with a Napoleonic Empire intermezzo - from 1797, parts of it in the North much earlier. Chewck maps over the millennia here [page in German].

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 11th, 2008 at 09:30:32 AM EST
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