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Banje golden beaches, impressive 14th century forts, sea view restaurants.
Journey through Dubrovnik’s city walls to Dalmazia coasts. Pleasant both in the evening and during the day.

A birds-eye view of the city from Banje beach transforms Dubrovnik into an anchored stone ship with a chalky keel cracked by loopholes, pink tiles along the sides and the Cathedral's dome as a sail. Even without fine sand and carribean colors, Banje offers the best landscape.

The old powerful city walls rise up near the seaside and are lapped by the waves. The enormous bastions were built between the 13th and 16th century: the first polygonal city walls were reinforced by fifteen square forts and other ones later.
The city is now contained within a curtain of stone over 2km long and up to 25m high. The walls are thicker on the land side than on the seaside, as to demonstrate that the only way to go in is the Mediterranean sea.
For these reasons, Banje has a particular charm: the city meets and enshrounds it. Anybody can cross this little piece of land on their travel: children play, employees touch base on their lunch break for a quick swim, youngsters come here to benefit from happy hour deals, tourists relax during their visits. Banje welcomes them with its crystal blue sea, restaurants and bars.
East/West Beach Club represents its coolest bathing establishment. The place is extraordinary, also thanks to its ability to constantly change and adapt to the needs of its guests. Throughout the morning, it is a bathing establishment with beach umbrellas and sunbeds. At lunch it offers a wide menu with fast food and more elaborated dishes (for example, fried octopus with lime sauce and pineapple cream) served on teak tables with small armchairs and bamboo chairs. On the other hand during the evening, it becomes the ideal place for a candlelight romantic dinner, a fancy named cocktail (Southern Suicide, Bon Voyage, Shark Attack) or a good glass of wine. At night, on the beach, in front of Saint John's Fortress, you can dance to the music of the best DJ’s.

Only the Adriatic sea can explain Dubrovnik’s history, art, and architecture. The sea can be considered as a lake, where nearby coasts are connected to different nations.
Some of the city’s streets resemble the "calle" of Venice, just as the decorations of some of its palaces recall those of Instanbul. This cultural melting pot is clearly visible inside Pomorski Muzej (the Sea Museum) in Saint John's Fortress where there are more than four thousand antiques (ship models, nautical instruments, maps, paintings).
Dubrovnik’s topography is strictly connected to the Adriatic Sea: at first, it was built on a little island separated from the land by a narrow canal, the old part of the town was placed between the port and Mount Srd while the new one was located in the peninsula of Lapad. The large pedestrian street "la Placa", also known as Stradun, divides the old town into two parts. This street features some of the most important monuments: the big Onofrio Fountain with its sculpted masks, the Assunzione della Vergine baroque Cathedral and its art treasures, the Gothic Renaissance Rectors Palace whose atrium is used for concerts during summer festival, the Sponza Palace, venue of mint state and treasury department.
Other Dubrovnik historical buildings became fashion hotels after renovation.

The Puci'c Palace is a renaissance building situated in Ivan Gunduli'c square in the heart of the historical centre. It has 19 rooms named after the city’smost important personalities, and furnished with ancient turkish carpets and flemish and venetian paintings taken from the Knezev Dvor museum. The Palace of Puci'c also has a Karaka, a reproduction of a 17th century schooner used for touristic tours towards neighboring islands.
Grand Hotel Villa Argentina is a luxury spa complex where it is possible to reserve historical mansion houses. For example, Sheherezade is a fantastic neo-Oriental villa built between the two world wars and decorated with majolica domes, colonnades, shadowy patios and chalky sea view balconies.
TheDubrovink Palace is another luxury hotel situated in Lapad’s peninsula. Its décor is modern and its rooms are both elegant and minimalist, including a comfort zone with spa, sushi bar with japanese furnishing, zen garden (Satu) and a diving centre for those who enjoy the thrill of a dive.

Several of Dubrovnik’s restaurants overlook the sea and flaunt overwhelming panoramic sights. They are situated near bastions and wharfs and their menus are mainly fish-based. An example of this is the Atlas Club Nautica, once home of the old Dubrovnik Marine Academy. The Penatur Terrace offers a fantastic view overlooking the sea (tables from 30 to 38) or alternatively one can benefit of the Lovrijenc Fortress view (tables 56, 57 and 64). Fish soup with polenta, adriatic shrimps and black risotto are among the specialities that one can enjoy. Gil's Cuisine & Pop Lounge, in the old town centre, offers fushion dishes that combine local ingredients and asian culinary tradition: tuna and wasabi, tandoori seafood, black ravioli and lobster sauce. Proto, near Stradun, offers traditional and sought food. Taverna Arsenal has simple but tasty dishes: grilled fish, Croatian wines and rakija. The tables along the wharf seem to lean on that same Adriatic sea to which the old Dubrovnik remains faithful, and which it continues to embrace.

Article by "Viaggi 24", travel section of the Italian journal "IL SOLE 24 ORE"
Translation by Marco Albani

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