The scene is like something out of a dream: The sea stretches for miles, piercingly blue and dotted with mountainous islands hazy in the distance. The shoreline is rocky and white, and dusty-brown mountains jut into the sky behind it. At sunset, the cities along the coast take on a faint pinkish glow as the light bounces off their terracotta rooftops.
Before I arrived in Croatia, people told me that it was one of the most beautiful places in Europe. “If you love Italy, you’ll love Croatia,” they said. “After all, the Croatian coast is where the Italians go to vacation.” Most of Croatia’s coast is along the historic Dalmatian region — a place that perfectly meshes Italian and Eastern European inspirations in architecture, food, and even language.
I based myself in Split – the second-largest city in Croatia and the hub of central Dalmatia–and for only $750 a month rented a small, exposed-stone studio apartment just outside the 2,000-year-old palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian.
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