Because it offered safe harbor from both pirates and the plague, Rovinj became extremely crowded. In the Istrian interior you'll find a thickly forested landscape of rolling hills and family farms. When Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, its Serb minority — about 10 percent of the population — was concerned about its rights. we rented a car in germany and took train in italy. You see a lot of winter scenes because these artists were farmers first...busy tending their fields through the growing season. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, So on the ceiling you can see really nice Roman carvings. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. We are totally open to seeing Venice, the Dolomites, Slovenia and Croatia. Understandably, artists love Rovinj. Thanks in advance for your invaluable advice! Tucked inside Zagreb's only surviving town gate is an evocative chapel. Sitting here, it's clear: Zagrebians love their city. Night or day, the streets are a parade of stylish locals — confident and looking good. The focal point is a painting of Mary that miraculously survived a fire in 1731. Maya: That would be it. A fascinating land with a hard-fought history in a complex corner of Europe, Croatia is emerging as one of Europe’s top destinations. After Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, the Yugoslav National Army laid siege to this town and lobbed mortars from the hilltop above. Smaller text Larger text. Its handy boat connections make this a popular stop. They painted in a figurative way, while the rest of the artistic world embraced, increasingly, an abstract style. This romantic, justifiably pretentious place for an expensive late-night waterfront drink. They're also the busiest and most expensive time to visit (with the north remaining just as busy throughout midsummer). While the coast is Croatia's main draw, some of its best attractions are inland. Expertly enjoying this town, seemingly made for relaxing, yachters stern-tie into the good life. Diocletian was notorious for persecuting Christians. Maya: The palace was huge, 200 meters on each side, and these were just the basements, so you can imagine what was on the upper floor. These Croatian naïve artists were outsiders — sought out by art-world insiders to validate their notion that artistic ability was more than a learned skill — it was an inborn talent. For most visitors, the walk in my guidebook provides enough details; for more in-depth information, you could join a walking tour or hire a guide. We're setting sail along the scenic Dalmatian Coast with its countless islands. Pausing reverently, the faithful bring their concerns to Mary. Maya: This is the grand entryway towards Diocletian's private area, private quarters. ©2021 Rick Steves. A 500-year-old building can be tight. This room may be small, but it's comfortable, air-conditioned, and half the price of a hotel. However, this guide was quite a disappointment, it completely ignores entire regions, like Zadar in Croatia while not being very useful in … [excellent!] Jump to bottom. Maya: Yes, we are still walking in the area of Diocletian's Palace, and you know Diocletian was "Jovius." Split feels modern. To avoid crowds, get up early and hit the trails (ideally by 8:30); by early afternoon, you'll be ready to move on (south to the coast, or north to Zagreb). Its modest main square is the only flat place in town — ideal for budding soccer stars. Free shipping. Rick Steves' Europe. Bye! Since you'll be travelling in August, the more popular places will definitely be crowded, especially Venice, which will be absolutely swamped with tourists. On one easy floor, the museum displays 80 paintings made mostly by Croatians from the 1930s to the 1980s. Split's top activity is visiting the remains of Roman Emperor Diocletian's enormous retirement palace, sitting on the harbor in the heart of the city. ... That's why this region is enthusiastically bilingual — an engaging mix of Croatia and Italy. Dear Mr. Steves, It was painful to read your latest article on Dubrovnik and Croatia. Two questions--can we rent a car in Italy and use it in Slovenia and Croatia? Just down the road is a thriving pedestrian zone — Zagreb's main café street and urban promenade. Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zagreb and the Istrian Peninsula. Rick: Very nice. Generalić, shown here in a self-portrait, was the father of the Croatian Naive Art movement. It is a laggard in post war tourism … But centuries later, in the Middle Ages, his mausoleum was converted into a cathedral. Rick: Dobar dan! In peak season, the cellars are open late, and the cathedral sights generally close at 19:00 (in the off-season, the cathedral sights close around noon). Rather than stay in a big resort hotel, I'm staying in a soba — that's a room rented in a private home. After a little island-hopping, approaching urban Split — Croatia's "second city" — feels like a return to civilization. rick Carefully maintained trails and boardwalks let you get intimate with the wonder of the place. The town's charms are all within a few steps. Smoke-stained plaques on the wall give thanks — hvala — for prayers answered. We're setting sail again. Rick produces a public television series (Rick Steves' Europe), a public radio show (Travel with Rick Steves), and an app and podcast (Rick Steves Audio Europe); writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe … Stroll the back lanes, where you may come upon a musical surprise. Its fortress, walls, tower, and palaces all built by and for the Venetians. Both lumbering car ferries and sleek cruise ships carry Dalmatia's many visitors efficiently from port to port. Croatia is a fascinating land with a hard-fought history in a complex corner of Europe. And Istria remained part of Italy until after World War II. Of the four places you wish to visit, I suggest picking just three - two weeks is not as much time as it sounds. The church's crenellated tower is a reminder that these towns were built on hilltops not for the view but for protection. If you want to enjoy the Croatian café scene, it helps to know a few words. From the top is a commanding view...and, if you're here at high noon, an ear-splitting memory. They pained in a figurative way, while the rest of the art world was embracing an increasingly abstract style [snort]. We'll enjoy its thriving capital city, the Italian-like charm of Istria, and that peninsula's most enchanting port town. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. Rick: Cheap labor. Because this is a baptistery, here we have a statue of St. John the Baptist. Since they live off-site, confirm your reservation the day before and let them know your arrival time (email@example.com). Zagreb's historic upper town blankets a hill. And, if you know where to look, evidence of the war survives. It's understandably Croatia's top draw. The sea of Croatian humanity laps at the walls of Diocletian's Palace along the pedestrian promenade, or "Riva." Watch. 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