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Korcula, Croatia
Destination Dalmatian Riviera:
The Great Debate on Korčula
(Dispatch #11)

Story and photos by Tom Weber

view of Korcula, Croatia

sk any local from the island of Korčula and he/she will tell you straight away that Marko, not Marco, Polo, the globetrotting merchant, cartographer and author who straddled the 13th and 14th centuries, hailed from their picturesque, forested isle out in the Croatian side of the Adriatic Sea.

medieval cannon on the island of Korcula

On the other hand, if you ask a Venetian, any anonymous Venetian, he/she, without blinking an eye, will claim Marco, not Marko, Polo – BFF with Kublai Khan, by the way – is one of La Serenissima's favorite sons.

Revelin Tower, Korcula

And, that's the great, ongoing Italo-Croatia debate that lingers on this sun-drenched island like an endless summer's day. If you have time to wrestle with it, be my guest. I think I'll pass and leave this tug-of-war to scholar-historians while I enjoy my next photo shoot.

scenes from Korcula including the Revelin Tower with the Venetian winged lion and the 14th century Land Gate

Joined at the hip with the rest of the "band of merry media," 18 travel writers and photographers invited by Insight Vacations (Insight) to sample a portion of its Bosnia and Dalmatian Riviera itinerary, we follow Neda, Insight's local expert, up the 19th century Grand Staircase, past the 15th century Revelin Tower – sporting the emblematic winged lion of the Venetian Republic – through the 14th century Land Gate and into the historic center of Korčula Town.

scenes from the historic center of Korcula Town

We're immediately transported back in time by the warren of narrow streets, similar to the "body massage" calle of Venice, where history reveals itself around every corner.

"The streets on the western side were built straight," Neda tells us, "in order to open the town to the summer Mistral wind, while the eastern-sided streets were curved to minimize the cold, Bora wind of winter." Clever.

medieval strcutures and the pier at Korcula

Surrounded by rocky ramparts, once the town's first line of defense against would-be invaders attacking by ship across the deep cobalt-blue sea, Korčula is sprinkled with great architecture and camera-ready views.

St. Mark's Cathedral im Korcula

Marko/Marco Polo may or may not have been born here, but the influence of the Most Serene Republic of Venice is openly on display, in style and naming rights, like the town's lesser-known St. Mark's Cathedral.

tower house and museum

And, not surprisingly, there's Mr. Polo's tower house, supposedly where he was born, transformed into a museum.

Oh, did I mention that Insight's signature digs for our stay on Korčula is none other than the four-star, Marko (with a K) Polo Hotel? And, the great debate continues.

Insight Vacatoions' Sarajevo and Dalmatian Riviera brochure

For complete information on Insight's premium and luxury-escorted itineraries, including 113 journeys across Europe, just click HERE, or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.

There's more to the Adriatic's sixth largest island as we're about to find out shortly when we mount bikes and pedal our way out of town and go deep into Korčula wine country for some cheese and Grk.

Care to join us?

Related Articles:
Mali Ston, Croatia on the Half Shell; Split, Croatia: Diocletian's Seaside Digs; The Daredevil Divers of the Stari Most; Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope; My Kup Runneth Over with Kafa; Sarajevo's Storied Bridge to World War I

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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

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Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

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Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: Thanks for stopping by and commenting..


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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal

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