Stroll past the 3rd oldest synagogue in Europe
Touring a new city is easier with both a native expert and an expat with ties to the community. During a recent visit to Split, we learned that Sightseeing Croatia offers that opportunity. Robert Aronson runs the company from Split and publishes a free travel newspaper called Discover Split. The publication features detailed maps, a calendar of events, and information on services. You can pick up this free handy guide all over town.
The plaza in Split, Croatia
Robert also offers private tours of the city he now calls home. He always has a local, licensed professional guide on all of his programs. But when you book a tour, request that Robert comes along for added insight and context. This way you can experience Split with a local and a seasoned expat/entrepreneur.
The narrowest road in Split
Thanks to an introduction from Paul Bradbury (an inspiring blogger who specializes in Hvar Island) , we met Robert at a local tourism office and began our day tour with a stop at the bronze model of Split. Cast in dark metal with a lovely patina, the tiny city model represents Diocletian’s palace, the city walls, and the snaking walkways through the city. Robert pointed at the different sites we’d visit, suggesting that we try to keep the sculpture in mind as we weaved through the complex byways of Split.
The headless sphinx of Split
Highlights of the Split Tour with Sightseeing Croatia
The Old Town of Split possesses an ancestral pizzazz. Architecture dates back to the times of Roman emperors and earlier. Little gardens sprout up between marble boulders and placards commemorate famous residents of the city. Wine shops and lace sellers dot the streets while cafes offer a mid-afternoon break for weary tourists.
bronze cast “map” of Split
The Oldest Water Fountain in Split
Tucked into an alcove, this lion head’s fountain has brought fresh mountain water to the city for 1800 years. Water still flows from the toothy jowls and you can fill your water bottle for free.
Let Me Pass Road
The narrowest road in Split, “Let Me Pass” Road is barely the width of a man. It slinks between buildings and sunny palazzos, opening up to the Temple of Jupiter where an original Egyptian sphinx stills sits on its pedestal. Her head has been removed as a symbolic Christian gesture against pagan gods. With all the fame that Split receives, many archaeological pieces that have survived since Diocletian’s time have been sheltered indoors. This one has not been. So enjoy it now. Take a picture!
The wall around Diocletian’s Palac
Green Spaces Amongst History
While Split has its fair share of cruise ship tourists and independent travelers, life in Split remains family-oriented. Young workers go home for long lunches. Some shops close for the winter months, while others stay open to cater to tourists While Neil and I loved the deserted streets during the off-season, we still caught the flavor of life. Laundry hung across lines in green squares. Coffee breaks seemed almost mandatory with men and women chatting away throughout the afternoon. This was one of my favorite parts of Split; its beating heart. People still hold true to their culture and traditions which make this city vastly different from famed Dubrovnik.
Seafood Lunch Just like Locals
Before parting ways with Robert, he steered us toward a little restaurant by the port that served two of Split’s famous dishes: black rice and prawn soup. With a cold Lasko beer, we settled back on a wooden bench, digging into delicious food as a light breeze rolled past and Split began to slip into winter’s slow season. We can’t wait to return to Split and take one of Sightseeing Croatia’s tours in the warmer months.
We’d like to thank Robert for showing us a small fraction of his city. From the port to Diocletian’s eastern gate entry, the day was wonderful! If you’d like to contact Robert for your own tour, check out his website for more tourist information on Split. Remember to ask him to join his guides on your tour.