Salona is a haven for anyone with a keen eye for archaeology, writes Piers Letcher.

Written by Piers Letcher



Salona, Croatia by Croatian National Tourist Board© Croatian National Tourist Board

If you know your archaeology, a trip out to Salona (now called Solin) might interest you – though be warned that anything which could be carried off has been carried off (some of the best pieces are in the Split Archaeological Museum), meaning you’ll need to rely heavily on your imagination if you’re going to people the dusty fields here with temples, houses, markets and an amphitheatre capable of seating nearly 20,000 people.

Salona is 5km north from the centre of Split, and is best reached on the #1 bus, which drops you off at the Caffe Bar Salona, at the entrance to the site. There’s a small archaeological museum here (an offshoot of the one in town), called Tusculum, where you can pick up a local map – after which you’re on your own to wander across the worn grass and traces of the extensive ruins of the city, home to around 60,000 people in the 1st century AD.

The amphitheatre is the most impressive ruin, though there’s very little left beyond the foundations. The Venetians carted off most of the stone in the 17th century, and used it for local building works and fortifications, claiming the dismantlement was only to prevent the Turks from using the amphitheatre as a hideout.

If you’ve come this far, the quickest way back to Split is on the #37 city bus. Cross the new highway using the underpass, and walk towards Solin centre until you get to the bus stop.

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