Stayed : May to June 2023
Dubrovnik is a mesmerizing sight for the senses. While it may not possess the intricate and elaborate details often found in Italian cities, it captivates with its abundance of natural textures and vibrant hues. The layers upon layers of its beauty are almost overwhelming, making it a visual extravaganza that transcends cognitive comprehension. It evokes a sense of tactile exploration, as if one could run their hands over the surroundings with eyes closed but wide open to absorb every nuance.
It is like wandering through a patchwork quilt crafted from stones, concrete, and tiles, bordered by lush foliage and rugged rocks. Alongside this tapestry lies an endless expanse of tranquil turquoise and navy waters that lap at the shore rhythmically, akin to the steady ticking of a metronome.
What sets Dubrovnik apart is its unwavering contentment with its identity. It requires no validation or strives to be something it isn't—a quality that only enhances its exquisite beauty. Standing as though it always has in simple elegance. Unfazed by everything around it—the awe-struck tourists who roam within its borders, indifferent to the sun and rain; or the birds and cats that have claimed its nooks and crannies as home—Dubrovnik stands unperturbed. As if these spaces were purposefully created over time for these specific roles. As though it is completely natural for trees to grow where there is no soil and thrive within a place of polished limestone.
This probably all sounds way too poetic and obscure, and maybe I am a little bias because this was my Great-Grandmother's favourite place in the entire world and she saw many. But the unbiased part of me wants to say that it goes beyond a fanciful portrayal and is simply something one cannot grasp until they've experienced it first-hand. If you ever visit Dubrovnik, read this afterward and tell me if the words resonate with more clarity.
The City of Dubrovnik dates back to the 7th Century and borders the Adriatic Sea. Considering its war torn history the fortified Old Town still remains in its full glory. Perched on a cliff overlooking the sea it is an exquisite representation of Medieval Architecture.
Founded by refugees, it was initially under the protection of the Byzantine Empire and later the Republic of Venice. Becoming a free state during the 14th to 19th Centuries. It was a place of wealth and skilled diplomacy derived from it's strong Maritime Trade.
During it's peak sometime in the 16th Century, the city was quite nearly destroyed by an earthquake and then later occupied by the French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars, to which it lost it's independence to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. It changed dominion again in the late 19th Century to the Austrian Empire and then again Yugoslavia. In 1991, amid the Croatian War of Independence the city of Dubrovnik was relentlessly sieged by the Yugoslav People's Army incessantly for seven months. It is almost unbelievable how much remains after knowing the tragedy inflicted during the War of Independence. The Residents in Bari, Italy across the Adriatic Sea still say that the they can still hear the sorrow of this war float across the water to their shores.
I visited Dubrovnik for a month in the off season. The weather is perfect for exploring, enjoying the ocean and the sun. It was also just before the exponential quantity of Tourists arrived. Dubrovnik is one of the most visited places in the Europe, otherwise I would have stayed. But in the time I was there it was such a wonderful temperament to take a stroll along the Marina, or further along the Beach, work from a Restaurant or Café and take a swim on a Sunday.
The Croatians have a philosophy called "Pomalo". It contribute greatly to the atmosphere I describe earlier. It means to slow down the way you move through a day. Little by little. It is their recipe for a balanced and well enjoyed life. You cannot help but be engulfed in it in Dubrovnik. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of and enjoyed more thoroughly for extended periods of time.
Despite what you might first assume, Dubrovnik is such a popular destination it is very accessible. If you are in Italy you can catch an over night Ferry directly from Bari into Dubrovnik. Or from Ancona into Split and then a secondary Ferry from Split to Dubrovnik. That is a great way to experience Split for a few days, all that in another Article.
Dubrovnik has it's own International Airport accessible through a number of Airlines and connecting Airlines.
There is no train line that runs to Dubrovnik. The closest point of arrival via Train is Split.
Do not take a Taxi in Dubrovnik unless there is no alternative. Not because it isn't safe, Croatia is the most remarkably safe place I have encountered. But because a Taxi Charges nearly 4 times what it Costs to use Uber. And most often, the Taxi is the Uber, laughs.
To make the most of your time and slip into the feel of Dubrovnik and make the most of embracing Pomalo, I would recommend an AirBnb.
And I would recommend finding somewhere South of Old Town near the Marina in Gruz, Montovjerna or Lapad. It is far quieter and many less stairs, than staying within the walls of Old Town, less expensive and more of a local experience at the right time of year. You will be warmly welcomed no matter your location. I particularly preferred this location for the access to the Ocean, Ocean Tours, local Cuisine and Amenities. From these locations everywhere is no more than a £5,00 Uber Ride. And if you are really up to explore everything, is a 45 minute walk to the furthest point which is Old Town.
Go out the Islands on a Small Private Speed Boat Tour with Pavo to the Blue Cave. You will experience the Blue Cave, the Island of Kolocep and Lopud. The Adriatic Sea is a law unto itself to swim in and speed across. If you have Lunch at Lopud, I would highly recommend trying the Local Salad, it is the epitome of delicious Croatian flavors and fresh produce.
Visit and get lost exploring Old Town. Definitely walk the Walls.
Zipline Du the Wire over the Adriatic Sea.
I have never seen the Game of Thrones, but it is a huge reason why so many People visit. And if you loved the series it would definitely be worth doing a Filming Locations Tour while you're here.
Sail or Ferry out to some of the 100 Islands for day trips or over night. The closet one to Dubrovnik is Miljet with its luscious National Park.
Have Lunch along the Ocean Walk by Lapad Beach. Café Bar More is a great place to lounge, work and then step into the Ocean for a swim from your table. Further along the Ocean Walk there is Restoran Levanat, you actually walk through it with seating on both the cliff and the hill. The view is amazing and food is a perfect teté e teté in the late afternoon.
Have a Massage or Facial Treatment at Touch of Thai Massage. Warning this will induce Pomalo immediatley and feel luxurious.
Swim in the Ocean.
Copacabana Beach Club.
Small Private Speedboat Tours
+385 98 393 737
Trip Advisor https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g295371-d17684555-Blue_Cave_4_Hour_Small_Group_Boat_Tour_Experience_from_Dubrovnik-Dubrovnik_Dubrovn.html
Cave Bar More
Nika i Meda Pucica 13
+385 20 494 200
Nika i Meda Pucica 15
Day or Three Day Trip to Montenegro including the Waterfalls in Mostar and Kravice.
Points of Interest
Dubrovnik Cable Car
Dubrovnik City Walls, est. 14th Century
Fort Lovrijenac, est. 1018 to the 16th Century
Pile Gate, est. 15th Century
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, est. 12th Century
Rector's Palace, est. 14th Century
Franciscan Church and Monastery, est. 1317
St. Blaise's Church, est. 1715
Dominikanski Samostan, est. 14th Century
Sponza Palace, est. 16th Century
Nomad List Ratings
Liked by Members = 100%
Quality of Life = Good
Safety = Great
Female Friendly = Bad
I personally disagree with this Rating. As a Solo Female Traveler Croatia I experienced no cause or reason to feel unsafe. I also encounter many exceptionally helpful and considerate People in my many weeks in Dubrovnik.
Internet = Fast 11Mbps [average]
I experienced much greater Speeds than this during my time here and found the connection to be solid and stable.
Power Grid = Great
Full Reference available https://nomadlist.com/dubrovnik
*** No Commissions are made from Recommendations in this Article.
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Stayed : April 2023
Perched over Lake Bracciano, Anguillara Sabazia is built around the site of the oldest Neolithic Village, [estimated 5750 B.C.], on any Lake in Western Europe.
As soon as I arrived in the Historic Piazza I was engulfed by it's charm and wisdom. In awe of the way the rooftops mirror the undulation of the hills, all leaning intimately towards the great expanse of Lake Bracciano. The atmosphere is dense with a thousand years of History and so too is the Lake, which was once home to the submerged ruins of an ancient city.
If one beautiful Lake isn't enough, Anguillara is home to two. The second being a hidden gem awaiting at the base of a forested hill, the ancient Lake Martigano. Both now occupy what was a volcanic crater system around 300,000 years ago.
The panoramic views that can be found from the top of the small narrow streets is exquisite. The fresh and local produce found in the Markets and Restaurants reminds you what food should taste like. The inhabitants of Anguillara Sabazia are rooted in the integrity of their History and committed to preserving what has always been in their small city.
You will find all the necessary modern amenities nestled amongst the History. But while standing in its cobblestone streets, you will be engulfed by tradition and a connectedness to a simpler life that many of us have long forgotten.
The hill scapes and surrounding towns are littered with the ruins. The Town encompassed by People who are passionate, kind and friendly. The Lakes are as glorious to look at as they are to swim in.
This testament to History can be seen in a day or a weekend. But would be more thoroughly appreciated and felt for a longer stay to contemplate life and be inspired.
There is a Train from Rome that stops at the Anguillara Station and takes about 30 Minutes. The Anguillara Station is about 4kms from the City and can be reached by the Local Bus [Schiaffini] or a Local Driver Emanuele who can be booked in advance via WhatsApp.
An reasonable alternative option is to arrange a Driver directly from Rome. Emanuele offers a pick up service from Rome also. And can provide much context of the Town's History.
While in Angulliara, a Driver or the Bus can be used to explore the surrounding ruins and towns. Unless of course you have your own car. It is best to speak with your accomodation as to the best place to park as most streets are too narrow to accomodate street parking.
An AirBnb allows you to make the most of your stay in this quaint city and immerse yourself in the essence of the town and its People. Ideally with a Rooftop Patio to enjoy the long lasting sunsets over the Lake.
Try Tozzetti, a one hundred year old Recipe for Almond Tart. Which you should most definitely buy from Il Chicco d’Oro.
Pizza from Moulin Cardé, which rivals even the most exquisite Pizza in Italy.
Broccoli Relish, Mushrooms and cured Meats, all of which a famous delicacies of this Region.
Local Restaurants and Cafes.
Walk the Lake Promenade.
Put your feet in the sand.
Swim in the Lake.
Local Driver & Tour Guide
+39 340 749 2725
Points of Interest
The Port Maggiore, est. 1490
The Orsini Baronial Palace, est. 1502
The Augusto Montori Museum
Musam - Aeronautical Museum
The Church of San Salvatore, est. Not Known
The Vicolo della Grondarella, est. 1st Cenrury
The Church of San Biago, est. pre 1574
The Fountain of the Earth, est. Not known
The Torrione and the Gardens, est. 15th Century
The Church of Santa Maria Augusta, est. pre 1574
The Sancturary of the Madonna delle Grazie, est. pre 1574
The Church of Saint Francis, est. 13th Century
The Monastery of Saint Francis, est. 1468
The Church of the Trinity, est. 1689
The Ancient Washhouse, est. 1878
*** No Commissions are made from Recommendations in this Article.