Split, Croatia. 10/7/21

Today we are taking a tour called the Flavors of Dalmatia. First we go into Split and so a walking tour Diocletian’s Palace and then we ride into the countryside to see a working farm which produces organic olive oils, sweets, and cosmetics. The second is basically a shopportunity.

I do not know what my notion of Diocletian’s Palace was but it was certainly not what we saw. Diocletian, infamous for creating quite a large number of Christian martyrs, had this palace built in 305 as a vacation and retirement home. It consisted of a palatial home, a mausoleum for him after he died, and a military fortification.

A model of the palace – residence on the right, mausoleum in the center, and garrison on the left  

The palace continued to be used after Diocletian’s death in 312 and was still in use as late as 480.  In the 7th century the expelled population of nearby Salona took refuge inside the now abandoned palace and organized a new city building their homes and businesses inside the basement and on the walls. So when you walk into the palace grounds you find a mishmash of shops and restaurants inside. It is kind of weird.

Entrance through the bronze gate. You can see that the outside buildings are built right into the Roman wall.
This is the Roman basement area. It is full of souvenir shops.
Using part of the Roman building is a jewlery store
Diocletian’s waiting room
Roman road and forum area plus modern restaurant 
Diocletian’s mausoleum expanded and turned ironically into a Christian church. Bell tower a later addition.
Golden gate
Outside wall

At this point it starts to rain very heavily and we battle our way down the narrow streets crashing into oncoming umbrellas. Our next stop is at an olive oil manufacturer. Along the way we see an Roman aqueduct which is still functional.

Roman aqueduct from 300 AD

We get off the bus at the Stella Croatica  factory in Klis. There we have a tour in the pouring rain. We are given snacks, a very fast tour of the olive oil museum, and the main event, time to spend money at the shop. We buy a bottle of olive oil. There are also candies, tapenade, and cosmetics which the owner, Pasko, assures us will make our skin wonderful and eliminate bags from under our eyes. He has obviously spent a lot of money developing the site and the pandemic did not come at a good time for him.

Pretty grounds of Stella Croatica
Inside the shop

We are pretty weary and wet when we get back to the ship. We take a nap, have our accustomed negroni sbagliato which the bar team have perfected, listen to Allen, the guitarist, and have dinner at The Restaurant.