Imago Dalmatiae. Itinerari di viaggio dal Medioevo al Novecento


“‘Zara is naturally the place where the traveller will first touch Dalmatian soil, and first be introduced to the people, the scenery and the arts of south-east Europe’. Thus wrote Sir Thomas Jackson in the ‘eighties of last century […]. But times have changed since then; Zara still remains one of the most interesting and beautiful of the cities of the Adriatic sea-board, she is still a port of call for the boats which come down the coast of Dalmatia, but she does not belong to that province of the Yugoslavian kingdom. As a result of the secret treaty of London made during the war, Zara belongs to the Kingdom of Italy. A raiding foray, led by Signor d’Annunzio in 1920, also secured for Italy the port of Fiume, at the head of the gulf of Quarnero (p. 95).

Yugoslavia has the port of Sušak, practically part of Fiume, and from the port the Yugoslavian lines of steamships come down the coast of the Eastern Adriatic, calling at the Croatian and the Dalmatian ports and islands on their way. To Sušak, also, come the trains from far-off Slovenia and from Zagreb, the chief city in Croatia. This much should be known to the traveller, and he should remember that the modern equivalent of the old advice to ‘keep your powder dry’ is ‘keep your passport handy’. It is no use to grumble if you visit Zara, which is in Italy, in your own car, and are kept kicking your heels and fuming because your papers are not in order, just as it is no use to go through the same performance when you leave Zara, because the Yugoslavian authorities examine papers carefully before you enter their territory. […]. Let us suppose that you are a wise, thoughtful and good-tempered traveller, and that you are safely inside Zara. You will find yourself in a city full of interest, of fine buildings and of beautiful views from both its water fronts (pp. 96-97)”.