The Roman Emperors - Ancient Tour Croatia

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Follow the footsteps of the Roman Emperors and visit many beautiful cities in Croatia. If You like ancient and culture tours this is the best tour to explore Roman history on Croatian territory.

The Roman Emperors Tour –
Ancient Roman sites in Croatia

Tour info:

Day 1: Zagreb (D)

Welcome from our representative, transfer to the hotel. Short sightseeing and introduction to the city. A welcome dinner in a traditional Zagreb tavern with local specialties.

Day 2: Zagreb – Varaždinske Toplice – Varaždin– Šcitarjevo – Zagreb (B,L)

City tour of Zagreb – 2 hours. Excursions in the surroundings of Zagreb to explore Roman settlements Aqua Iasae, the archeological site of Varaždinske toplice near city of Varaždin and Andautonia, ancient Roman settlement at village Šćitarjevo near city of Zagreb. Aqua Iasae was named after the Illyrian tribe Jasi and it flourished for 300 years (until the 4th century AD). Aqua Iasae were public baths on 6,000 m2 with hot springs and relaxing massages very known during Roman time. In June is hold annual Aquafest. The tour continues to the baroque city of Varaždin and sightseeing: cathedral, City Theatre, City Hall, Sermage Palace, city square, Old Town Castle, city cemetery from the 18th century that is one of the pearls of garden architecture and natural monuments. After lunch and break, drive to Zagreb and Roman settlement Andautonia-Scitarjevo (1st-4th century AD), used in Roman times as an important river port. Archeological site consists with a Roman town, street, bath house and necropolis. Return to Zagreb.

Day 3: Zagreb – Pula (B, D)

Heading towards city of Pula and visiting of Amphitheatre Colonia Pietas Iulia Pola (the Pula Arena). Pola became an official Roman colony in 46-45 BC, with the population of 30,000 inhabitants (today 57,800). It became the centre of wine production, fishing, shipbuilding and a major port. The Pula Arena, the city’s great amphitheatre (27 BC-68 AD), is the symbol of Pula and is built during the rule of Emperor Vespasian. Gladiators fought here in front of more than 20,000 spectators until the start of the 5th century. The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers and with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. After tour of amphitheatre the ancient Roman city tour: Twin Gates (Porta Gemina) and City Walls, The Forum and Temple of Augustus, Triumphal Arch of the Sergi - Golden Gate, Gate of Hercules, Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary….

Day 4: Pula – Nin –  Zadar (B, D)

After breakfast we leave for Aenona (todays Nin) and Colonia Iulia Iader (city of Zadar).  In Aenona (Nin) Romans built a forum, an amphitheatre and the biggest temple on the Dalmatian coast. Eight statues of Roman emperors have been discovered here. It had a Roman spa and Peloid mud was and is still being used to heal skin diseases. Aenona was destroyed by the Avars and Slavens in the 7th century. We proceed to Colonia Iulia Iader (city of Zadar, 75,000 population). Romans came in mid-2nd century BC, adopting the Greek name for the people living here Iadassinoi and calling the settlement Iader/Iadera. The construction of the city started with Emperor Augustus. The Forum (45 x 90 metres), finished in the 3rd century AD, had a capitol in the southwest, with a temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. The monumental Roman column was used as “the pillar of shame” in the Middle Ages. One of the Venetian-style city gates, the Sea Gate, consists of a Roman triumphal arch, erected by Auniana Melia in memory of her husband. Zadar’s latest attraction, the Museum of Ancient Glass (MAS), has the biggest collection of ancient Roman glassware outside Italy.

Day 5: Zadar – Split – Solin - Split (B, D)

Arriving to Split and ancient city tour. Split was built around the Roman palace of Emperor Diocletian (293–305 AD), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Diocletian (ruled: 284–1 May 305) commissioned a palace for his retirement and lived in it until he died. The massive structure (38,000 m²) faced the sea on the southern side and was supported by an aqueduct that supplied water for the emperor and up to 10,000 people living in the palace and its surroundings. Visitors enter through the Brass Gate, the ancient Porta Meridionalis, the gateway to the harbour. Today, you can watch the changing of the guard, when “Emperor Diocletian” appears with six Roman guards and greets the masses at Peristyle (June–Sep, daily, 10.00– 21.00; the guard changes at 12.00). Peristyle was designed for worshiping the cult of the living son of Jupiter. Walk to the Golden Gate (Ancient Roman: Porta Septemtrionalis, Venetian: Porta Aurea). Diocletian passed through it for the first time on 1 June 305 AD. Stop by the Iron Gate (Roman: Porta Occidentalis) where the Statue Nike, the goddess of victory, used to be. It was removed in the 5th century by the Christians. Excursion to Salona (near Solin, 5 km from Split). In 119 BC, Quintus Caecilius Metellus decided to station his army there during the winter. It was Julius Caesar, then the governor of Illyricum, who gave it the Colonia Martia Julia Salona status and made it the capital of Dalmatia. When Salona was destroyed in 6th‒7th century, its inhabitants fled to Split and lived in what had remained of Diocletian’s Palace.

Day 6: Split – Vid – Dubrovnik (B, D)

We leave from Split to Narona (Vid). Roman armies arrived here for the first time in 156 and then in 135 BC and some of the major military campaigns against the Delmati were launched from the town. Octavian (later Augustus) established a regional administrative centre Colonia Iulia Narona in the 1st century BC. Inscriptions mention various Roman divinities worshiped in Narona (Jupiter, Asclepius, Mercury, Mars, Fortuna, Diana, Neptune, Ceres). A forum, mosaics, parts of marble sculptures (e.g. Emperor Vespasian’s head), baths and a theatre have been found here during several excavation campaigns from 1877 to 2004. The artefacts are being kept in the Archaeological Museum Narona (2007), Croatia’s first “in situ” museum, built on the site of Augusteum-a Roman temple erected around 10 BC in honour of Augustus. It was discovered in 1995 and 1996. There were 19 marble statues of Roman emperors and other members of imperial families in the temple. The monumental statue of Augustus is 3 metres tall! The museum tour extends to the archaeological park where sepulchral and decorative monuments and a mosaic can be seen. Excavations in the Upper Town (Gornji grad) and Lower Town (Donji grad) unearthed Hellenistic city walls (renewed in the 2nd century AD): city gates and six towers on the northern wall and four towers along the southwest wall. Visit the Ereš Tower while visiting the city walls. After tour we proceed to Dubrovnik.

Day 7: Dubrovnik (B, L, D)

Today is reserved to visit and enjoy the town called the Pearl of the Adriatic from ancient times, the old town of which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Starting with the Onofrio’s Fountain to the city Bell Tower, each step along Stradun is a unique experience par excellence. After sightseeing, lunch and free time for individual exploration of the city. Recommended ride in a cable car to the mountain Srđ – a magical view of Dubrovnik and the archipelago.

Day 8: Dubrovnik (B)

Breakfast. Free time and transfer to Dubrovnik Airport.
 

Included:

- transport in an air-conditioned tourist vehicle (bus or van)

- experienced guide during the entire journey, sightseeing according to the program

- 7 nights in hotel accommodation with breakfast (B) and/or dinner (D) as per the itinerary (hotels 3* or 4* depending on group wishes)

- lunch (L) in traditional restaurants or taverns as per the program.
 

Not included:

- services and activities that are not listed in the itinerary (personal expenses, tips...).
 

Available languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
Possible modification of the itinerary and services depending on needs/wishes of the group.

Send inquiry

More info on:
00385/1-4819-805; 00385/1-4811-389
or contact E-mail