Directly connected to Bucharest by the A1 motorway, Pitesti is a small-medium sized city on the banks of the Arges River which is surrounded by delightful countryside. Pitesti is also known as Tulip’s town around springtime owing to the amazing number of tulips that are grown in the nearby hills, and especially for the popular annual three-day Tulip’s Symphony where an array of color and music attracts tourists from all over Romania. There are several notable points of interest in the town, including the 14th century ruins of the Princely court and the 16th century Church of the Martyr Saint Mina, while the surrounding hills are loaded with wineries and plum orchards.
This region of Romania features the fabled painted monasteries of southern Bucovina that are r
esplendent in color and well known throughout the art world. They are, in fact, collectively regarded as one of Europe’s greatest artistic monuments and may take a few days to fully appreciate. If you have limited time however, the Voronet and Moldovita monasteries are easy to get to and are stunning to observe. The painted monasteries have a bit of history behind them as they were used to house large armies while Moldavia was under threat of attack from the Turkish invaders. As one would imagine, the frescoes would have kept the soldiers entertained.
Situated amid the beautiful surroundings of Transylvania country, Târgu-Mureş, more commonly referred to as Tirgu, is a medieval town on the Mures River. It has many fine old buildings, including the Cultural Palace, the National Theatre, and the 15th century Protestant church. This Gothic structure was famously built by Voivode Hunyadi János (Last Crusade) and is located within the in-tact city fortress.
Transylvania is the setting for Bram Stoker’s fictional novel Count Dracula. This region of Romania is covered with mountains and forests interspersed with intriguing ancient villages and fortress-like churches, which no doubt evoked Mr. Stoker’s imagination somewhat. If you have time, a trek of the region is the best way to grasp Transylvanian life.