Diocletian was a bit crazy. Among other things, the Roman emperor believed he was Jupiter and enjoyed killing people that thought otherwise. But in spite of his flaws, he managed to build a pretty impressive retirement home in Croatia. Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the best-preserved Roman palaces in the world, and the only one that still functions as a living city. And that’s why I can’t wait to spend 24 hours in Split.
Most people thought I was crazy to travel to the Balkans by myself. I was lectured on safety, on health, on everything imaginable. But I had been curious about the region for years, not least because the only thing I really knew about it related to the conflicts in the 1990’s. There was surely more to the Balkans than that, and I couldn’t wait to discover it.
I was nervous to return to Dubrovnik. It’s not that there was anything wrong with the city. It was just that I hadn’t been there in over eight years, and I was afraid that everything had changed. Back when I first visited, most Americans had never heard of the place, let alone been there. But shortly after my Dubrovnik travels in 2003, the city became a hot destination.