Korcula Old Town Walking Tour
- Guided Walk: Old Town's fish-skeleton street plan smartly runs east-west (apropos for Polo's hometown, eh?), allowing cool maestral breezes as you explore.
- Cultural Heritage: Visit the City Museum, Cathedral of St. Mark, Bishop's Palace, and Church of All Saints to glimpse an impressive array of archaeological artifacts and Middle Ages artwork.
- Marco Polo: What's more fitting on a GoBe tour than to see the reputed birthplace of the man who has inspired generations of world travelers?
About this Korcula tour
It's an island four times smaller than Scranton, Pennsylvania. Yet for more than three millennia, Korcula has served as a strategic waypoint for many who sought to dominate the known world: Greeks. Illyrians. Romans. Slavic pirates. Venetians. Genoans. Ottomans. Hungarians. French. Russians. Brits. Austrians. Bill Gates (via his superyacht).
Then there's Marco Polo, the Silk Road rambler who crisscrossed vast frontiers by camelback and high-masted Asian junk and forever linked East and West. Some claim he was born in Korcula. (Don't tell an Italian, though.)
Korculans can point out that the Depolo family has lived on the island for centuries, and that documents show Polo's uncle sought land rights for a shipyard in the 13th century. That the Genoese captured Polo off the coast in 1298 during a naval battle with the Venetians. The approach to his alleged home is lined with cypresses; they shoot up like green monoliths guarding centuries-old secrets.
The journey there is chock full of historical treasures and masterful masonry: delicate Romanesque pillars; Latin inscriptions artfully carved into medieval walls; menacing lions that growl above a door of the Cathedral of St. Mark (which features a Tintoretto altarpiece); artwork by da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael inside the Bishop's Treasury; ancient Greek archaeology in the City Museum; and Byzantine icons within the Church of All Saints.
And whatever the veracity of Polo's birth is, it makes for a fascinating origin story debate as you wind your way through Korcula's herringbone-patterned streets: Did history's greatest globetrotter hail not from rich and powerful Venice, but from what was once considered an Adriatic backwater? Perhaps only the cypresses will ever truly know.
I have not told half of what I saw
Those are the famous last words of Marco Polo. Ironically, no one seems to know which half of what he did say is true. Some historians see his memoirs, The Travels of Marco Polo, as a flight of fancy, embellished by an Italian ghostwriter with whom Polo was imprisoned. Yet explorers who subsequently used his maps found them to be incredibly accurate. It all adds to his legend and stokes our imagination, making for an intriguing yin and yang when juxtaposed with the solidity of Korculan limestone.
Make your way to the Main South Side entrance to Korcula Old Town called Land Gate (Kopnena Vrata) and meet your GoBe representative with logo sign.
Shopping is available in Korcula Old Town after the tour. Favorite souvenirs include lavender products, red wine, and olive oil.
Plan to walk or stand for 1.5 hours, covering about 2 miles of flat paved and cobblestone paths, with some steps to climb. Much of Korcula is wheelchair accessible; many venues are not. Bring a companion to offer any assistance.
Cultural, Walking Tour, Family Friendly
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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