Few were the empires that did not put their mark on Split. First came the Greeks although little remains of their tiny settlement. The Romans were much more proactive, expanding the settlement until the Emperor Diocletian built his retirement palace here in the third century AD. The Diocletian’s Palace is more like a walled town and it has endured as the centre of Split’s cultural and political life even as the Byzantines, Croatian kings, Venetians, Austrians and Italians planted their flag on the great city.
Today it is Croatia’s second largest city and the pumping heart of the Dalmatian coast. Islanders flock into the city to work even as ferries whisk tourists out to the islands. With the wooded Marjan hill to the west, a bevy of beaches, and a tree-lined harbourside promenade, Split offers plenty of spots to enjoy the mild climate.