Villa Levanta is located in ideal positon to visit following point of interests:
Salona was an ancient city on the Dalmatian coast. In the first millennium BCE, the Greeks had set up an emporion (marketplace) there. After the conquest by the Romans, Salona became the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia.
The city quickly acquired Roman characteristics: walls, a forum, a theater an amphitheater (the most conspicuous above-ground remains today) public baths and an aqueduct. Many inscriptions in both Latin and Greek have been found both inside the walls and in the cemeteries outside, since Romans forbad burial inside city boundaries. All archaeological evidence attests to the city’s prosperity and integration into the Roman Empire. When the Roman Emperor Diocletian retired, he erected a monumental palace nearby; this massive structure, known as Diocletian’s Palace, became the core of the modern city of Split. Salona’s continuing prosperity resulted in extensive church building in the fourth and fifth centuries, including an Episcopal basilica and a neighboring church and baptistery inside the walls, and several shrines honoring martyrs outside. Salona was largely destroyed in the invasions of the Avars and Slavs in the sixth and seventh centuries CE. Refugees from Salona settled inside the remains of Diocletian’s Palace.
The Roman Emperor Diocletian (ruled AD 284 to 305), decided to retire from politics in AD 305 and ordered work to begin on a retirement palace near his hometown; since he was from the town of Dioclea he chose the harbour near Salona for the location. The palace was built as a massive structure, much like a Roman military fortress. It faces the sea on its south side, with its walls 170 to 200 metres (570 to 700 feet) long, and 15 to 20 metres (50 to 70 feet) high, enclosing an area of 38,000 m2 (91 acres). The palace was finished in AD 305, right on time to receive its owner, who retired exactly according to schedule, becoming the first Roman Emperor to voluntarily remove himself from office. Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476, Spalatum became a part of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as Byzantium. It grew very slowly as a satellite town of the much larger Salona. However, around AD 639 Salona fell to the invasion of Avars and Slavs, with the majority of the displaced citizens fleeing to the nearby Adriatic islands. Following the return of Byzantine rule to the area, the Romanic citizens returned to the mainland and the palace was converted into a city by the Salona refugees, making Spalatum much larger as the successor to the capital city of the province. Today the palace constitutes the inner core of the city, still inhabited, full of shops, markets, squares, with an ancient Cathedral of St. Duje (formerly Diocletian’s mausoleum) inserted in the corridors and floors of the former palace.
Vranjic, “Little Venice”
Vranjic is a peninsula north of Split, near the mouth of Jadro river. In the past it was called “Little Venice” for it’s beauty and direct contact with the sea. There is a small rustic villa there, leading people to believe that Vranjic was a vacation destination for rich Salonitan citizens (Salona Colonia Martia of Iulius Caesar, the present-day town of Solin). It also hosts the biggest aquarium in Croatia.
The Klis Fortress is a medieval fortress situated above a village bearing the same name. From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times throughout its more than two thousand year-long history. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.
Klis is also being used as a location for filming the series A Game of Thrones.
Kaštela (7 Castels)
Kaštela is a series of seven towns located west of Solin but they are treated as a single city. The Kaštela Riviera is a fertile area featuring the first Roman floating docks and 50 places on the long, verdant area, northwest of Split. It is divided into Gornja (upper) and Donja Kaštela (lower), and it consists of seven old and two relatively new settlements. The Kastela region with its Mediterranean tone, picturesque landscape and unique composition of natural environment always attracted people: from ancient Greek sailors, Roman patricians, Croatian kings, rulers, Venetian royals to the present sun and sea lovers.
Since 1997, the historic centre of Trogir has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. In the 3rd century BC, Tragurion was founded by Greek colonists and it developed into a major port until the Roman period. The name comes from the Greek “tragos” (male goat). The sudden prosperity of Salona deprived Trogir of its importance. Trogir has a 2300 years of continuous urban tradition from ancient Greeks, Romans and Venetians. Its beautiful Romanesque churches are complemented by the outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. Trogir is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic, but in all of Central Europe. Trogir’s medival core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Trogir’s grandest building is the church of St. Lawrence, whose main west portal is a masterpiece by Radovan, and the most significant work of the Romanesque-Gothic style in Croatia. The city lies six kilometers from Split airport.