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    DALMATIA (Croatia) -3a stage: Dubrovnik-Lokrum

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    Joel Fulleda
    @joelfulleda
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    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Dalmatia? one of the most? beautiful Croatian regions and the most popular tourist destination popular. The Dalmatian region? located in southern Croatia, from the coast of the Adriatic Sea to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The heart of Dalmatia? Split (Split); but are there also other cities? of great importance and beauty such as Zadar (Zadar), Trogir, Sibenik (? ibenik), Makarska and Dubrovnik.

    Many resorts in Dalmatia are included in the Unesco heritage, such as Diocletian's palace in Split, the plain in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, the city? old town of Dubrovnik, the old town of Trogir. Dalmatia? famous in particular for its fascinating, typically Mediterranean nature, exquisite food, renowned wines and mild climate. Dalmatia is not? only sea and coast, but also history and ancient testimonies. Our trip wants above all to discover its historical riches.

    1 day

    31 May

    DUBROVNIK (Ragusa)

    Apparently founded by the Roman fugitives of Epidaurum (the current Cavtat) in the seventh century, it was dominated by the Byzantines and then by Venice (1205-1358), achieving formal independence after 1382 and in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it arrived. to have a fleet of 500 ships. Set in? Adriatic? was until the outbreak of the war in 1991 one of the tourist destinations in Dalmatia for the beauty of its monuments, the grandeur? of its walls, the pleasure of living in a welcoming and elegant environment.



    We arrive at the Dubrovnik bus terminal at 19 past and by taxi we arrive at the Pile gate, the main entrance to the ancient center, there. access ? pedestrian only. We have to carry the luggage and alas? our mini apartment is located in the upper part. I knew about the various stairs of Dubrovnik but the reality? ? really hard how hard? the effort to climb them also why? show us which ones go? directly? overcoming the elevation gain in a? only solution, at Villa Vesna! L? apartment, also? it on the ground floor like that of Split, located in a characteristic courtyard,? complete with everything and furnished in a minimal way. The ascent is a good workout for our legs but fortunately the descent that we carry out later towards the ancient center? easy! We arrive in piazza della Loggia at the end of the famous Stradun (the name derives from the Venetian and means? Stradone, large road?), L? wide street also called Placa, which crosses the city? from west to east bordered by curtain walls of buildings built after the earthquake of 1667 and today crowded with bars and cafes. On Piazza della Loggia the Torre dell? clock that in addition to the one with dial and hands shows one with luminous characters, also overlook the church of S. Biagio and Palazzo Sponza which houses the? State Archives.

    Let's have dinner in a characteristic restaurant all? opened near the church of S. Biagio and after we walk along the Stradun where Bianca spots a shop of Max Mara, her official fashion supplier?. Then we go to the very characteristic marina in the evening! Let's go home by going up the graceful and elegant baroque stairs designed by Pietro Passalacqua, similar to those of Trinit? dei Monti in Rome, which flow into the square of the Church of the Jesuits then, walking along comfortable steps, we arrive gently at home!

    C? ? so much to see, tomorrow we will discover Dubrovnik!





    2 day

    1 June

    The position of the? apartment? incredible, close to the famous walls of Dubrovnik but far enough away from the crowded center. All in all, the? Climb? yesterday we are rewarded by this very particular location.

    Good? now we walk towards the famous stairs that facilitate the descent towards the center where we have breakfast (we could very well make it at home where there is all the necessary tea, coffee but not something solid) in a bar at the port with good desserts and excellent coffee? almost Neapolitan, almost ?. Well refreshed we set out to discover the walls of Dubrovnik.

    Some news about the walls.

    1.080 steps to climb starting from three entrances (from Porta di Pile, via San Domenico or from the Sea Museum) to reach the top? of the best preserved city walls in the Mediterranean and indulge in almost two kilometers of walking in the company of seagulls but one way. The walls of the city walls? connecting the entrances have a total of 1.080 steps which includes the three entrances. All of Dubrovnik has 5.423 steps! They were built in the 1453th century and fortified in 1667, reinforced until the th century and even survived a huge earthquake in .

    The front towards the ground has a thickness of 4-6 meters reinforced by 10 semicircular bastions meters while the one towards the sea has towers of different shapes.

    Each of the four corners of the city? old has its own fortress, the Minceta tower, the Revelin Fortress, the fortress of St. John and the Bokar bastion.

    We enter from? entrance near Porta Pile and begins a? experience that will remain? imprinted in the memory. A path over twenty meters high that crosses towers and ramparts, overlooking the city? and outside on the Adriatic Sea.

    From up here? the gaze embraces the city? ancient, the old port and the coast up to the island of Lokrum pushing on? Adriatic. In 1991 and 1992 the two thousand bombs fell that destroyed a large part of Dubrovnik but the perfect geometries of the city, faithfully reconstructed after the bombings, are so fascinating from above that you can't? than to be admired. Are the surviving roofs of an ancient red-clay? .. The narrow streets perpendicular to the Stradun are populated with tiny cafes? and art bars or art galleries and where - weather permitting - even the stairways that climb towards the top become part of the furniture. The visit took us almost all morning and ideally ends, after having lunch, on top of Mount Srdj (Sergio), which can be reached by cable car whose station is not far away. Leaving the center through Porta Ploce we arrive after a few minutes at the lower station of the cable car, a symbol of the Dubrovnik tourism of yesteryear (built in 1969) which was not in operation since the recent wars of 1991, but thanks to the investment of five million euros for its refurbishment, today it shines again in its original splendor also offering two panoramic terraces, a gift shop and a snack bar. They inform us that soon it will be? also open an amphitheater that can? hold 250 people, suitable for hosting various events. In just four minutes, aboard the modern cabin that can host thirty people, you reach the altitude of 405 meters of Mount Sr? j (Sergio), from where? You can enjoy an unforgettable breathtaking view of Dubrovnik.

    After this wonderful experience we head to the port to board the boat that will take us? all? Lokrum island covered with lush greenery just 700 meters from the coast of Dubrovnik. In the 1023th century the island was used as a quarantine area to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. To settle first on? island were in 1667 the Benedictine monks who founded a? abbey rebuilt in the fourteenth century and then collapsed in the earthquake of 1859. In 91 l? Archduke Maximilian d? Habsburg had a palace built and restored? the cloister later used as a Museum of Natural Sciences. During the French occupation of the island, the French built a fortified citadel called Fort Royal on the highest point. high to 150 m above the sea level: today? a lookout that offers spectacular views of the island and city? of Dubrovnik. We decide to get to the top? but there enterprise soon proved difficult! The excursion? challenging, the path to the fort? very steep and rocky so we have to be very careful but once we get to the top our effort is rewarded not so much by the ruined remains of the fort but by the splendid panoramic points! After having rested we go back already? and we meet a peacock that makes us party with the trembling of its tail! The peacocks of Lokrum, imported from the Canary Islands years ago, are one of the island's main attractions. Beautiful and friendly, they welcome tourists and often accompany them in their exploration of the island. Lokrum? was used to shoot scenes in the series? Game of Thrones? and in a museum exhibition on this series I do photograph the famous? throne?!. IS? L? dinner time: back to yesterday's restaurant and along the way we cross a? historical patrol? or two gendarmes in costume with halberds and a drummer! They are part of? tourist apparatus provided by Dubrovnik! As well as music, which is also excellent jazz, in front of a bar.

    Home for a restful rest!



    3 day

    2 June

    Today visit the city. We pass through Gundulic Square where the popular fruit market takes place in the morning. It is located on the southern side of the Stradun, just behind the Dubrovnik Cathedral, with elegant buildings and numerous shops and restaurants. In the center stands the monument of the famous th century poet Ivan Gunduli? . On the pedestal of the monument there are some bronze reliefs depicting the scenes of Osman, the famous poem by Gundulic. We have breakfast with a tasty mix of berries that some vendors display on their stalls.

    We walk along the Stradun up to the square that opens immediately before Porta Pile where we see the Fontana Grande di Onofrio, one of the most famous monument. famous of the city. It was built in 1438-44 by? Neapolitan architect Onofrio de la Cava in charge of designing the city's water supply system. It originally had two floors but the upper one was demolished by the earthquake of 1667.

    Near c ?? the Church of the Savior whose facade? an interesting example of Venetian-Dalmatian Renaissance architecture and the Franciscan monastery begun in 1317 completed almost a century later and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1617. Intact? what remains is the cloister which in its forms documents the transition from Romanesque to Gothic (it can be seen from the capitals of the columns) in the center of which is a 1317th century fountain. From one of its sides you can enter the pharmacy, active since , where you can admire stills, mortars, precision instruments and beautiful decorated vases displayed on ancient shelves. We proceed towards Piazza della Loggia up to Palazzo Sponza, a magnificent th century Renaissance building, with an internal courtyard and a? elegant loggia resting on six columns. Originally the headquarters of the Customs and today it houses the State Archives. The customs warehouses have names of saints while on? arch on the bottom is the inscription:

    FAIL OUR VETANT AND FAIL PONDERA

    MEQUE PONDERO CUM MERCES PONDERAT IPSE DEVS

    (Our weights don't allow for cheating or cheating.

    When I measure the goods the Lord measures with me.)

    In front of c ?? the Church of San Biagio, protector of the city, rebuilt in the early decades of the 700th century according to the seventeenth-century project which preserves many works by? baroque style art. Next to the small fountain d? Onofrio of 1438 and a little more? next the statue of Marino Darsa, in Croatian Marin Dr? i? (Ragusa of Dalmatia, 1508? Venice, May 2, 1567), a Croatian playwright, poet and playwright. Iene then the Palazzo dei Rectors for centuries the seat of the most? important government institutions of the Republic of Dubrovnik. Built in the early fifteenth century on the site of a medieval fortress and designed by the gi? previously mentioned architect Onofrio de la Cava In the square stands the Orlando Column of 1418, a stone representation of the legendary Rolando, protagonist of the pi? important literary work of the European Middle Ages, the Chanson de Roland, but which also has a much more value? broad in what? recognized symbol of independence and freedom? of the city: on its top, in fact, for four centuries it has flown the flag of the Republic. The current appearance of the column? that of the early th century and represents an important testimony of the sculpture of that historical period.

    We proceed to the Cathedral built after the earthquake of 1667 by the Roman architects Andrea Buffalini and Paolo Andreotti. It has three naves, three apses and houses on the? the main altar is dominated by a gigantic Assunta by Titian.

    We go to the port to redo the tour on the semi-submarine even if it probably will be? a disappointment, but who cares, we love to play. This time the color of the boat? yellow well in tune with the? Beatles? memory! On the way back we meet a multitude of canoeists!

    We reach out to the Lazzaretti. In the Middle Ages, Asia and Europe were ravaged by epidemics of incurable diseases such as plague and malaria. Due to the maritime trade, Dubrovnik is not? been spared from these epidemics. In 1527, the plague in one blow claimed 20 lives. Are the Lazzaretti located at the eastern entrance to the city? and have impressive buildings and allowed the docking of large boats. They had large warehouses for goods and livestock, and rooms to house merchants and travelers in isolation.

    Today the lazarets have different purposes for leisure, commerce and entertainment and there is a very refined bathing beach nearby.

    Let's go back to town? and we witness a curious exhibition, to the delight of tourists, of colorful parrots shown by a girl with a pseudo-pirate costume complete with a pistol on the belt ?? mah?

    We eat dinner in a place located in one of the many side streets of the Stradun, the Konoba Dundo Maroje (Zio Maroje tavern) a small and intimate restaurant but also with outdoor tables arranged along the street, and a pleasant place to spend a night in summer, we opt for this solution. All based on fish and what a fish! After dinner, a good ice cream (in Croatia they make excellent and gigantic ice creams!) And then we attend a light and music show in Piazza della Loggia. Tomorrow we return to Italy but Dubrovnik greets us with the parade of the historic Ronda, a right farewell from this land full of history and fantastic landscapes! But we will return to the pi? soon to enjoy its splendid sea!



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