Trogir is a beautiful little town in Croatia. You could describe it in few words as an unobtrusive, lovely and charming destination. It can be a perfect place to visit during your yacht vacation. Split and Sibenik are some little distance from here. And there's no need to stay in Trogir overnight as this miniature town of only about ten thousand residents will show you all of its secrets in just half a day. It's calm, beautiful and has lots of stories to share.
Exploring Trogir’s old town which is located on a small island can be a little adventure. The maze of its streets, the Venetian style architecture, numerous churches and palaces, many historical and beautiful sites, secluded restaurants hidden behind old walls made Trogir well known among travelers far beyond Croatia. The historic part of this Croatian gem is under UNESCO protection. It was included in its list of World Heritage Sites exactly 20 years ago.
Most of the travel guides highlight several most important showplaces to visit. Number one always falls to the Cathedral of St. Lawrence’s share. In Croatian the name is Trogirska Katedrala Sv. Lovre. The church was built in the mid of the 13th century on a site of basilica which had been destroyed earlier during an invasion. The cathedral is magnificent beyond doubt. Its bell tower, built few centuries later, will open for you a beautiful all-round panoramic view if you decide to reach its top. Once you’re close to the tower bells, take some time to calm your breathing, choose a spot and take a look at the town, its vast canvas woven from tiled roofs, terraces. Glance at the neighboring Ciovo island covered with beautiful unspoilt greenery. Once you’re back to the ground you may want to see a Renaissance masterpiece in the cathedral – the chapel of the blessed John of Trogir, built by Niccolo di Giovanni who was a student of Donatello.
The church is surrounded by not less gorgeous buildings, such as five-centuries old town loggia and Cipiko Palace, a former home of town’s noble families.
Travel guides suggest to visit other places, mentioning churches which are closed for visitors and sites which are not easy to find. We suggest you go on your own date with Trogir allowing it to show you its charm. Just follow one of the narrow medieval streets, and you’ll jolly well find yourself somewhere in a cozy nook with beautiful views, quiet restaurants and art galleries.
You could say that locals are very spiritual. For such a tiny old town Trogir has many churches. Some are closed for tourists. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their gothic and baroque looks from the outside.
Trogir offers one more site to visit and discover with another post card panorama view. It’s Gradina Kamerlengo or Castle of Kamerlengo built in the 15th century during Venetian times. The Kamerlengo also served as a fortress in its time of glory. Its walls and a tower are well preserved. You can explore the top of the castle, but please be careful while doing that. Watching your steps and your head won’t definitely hurt. At the end of the day it’s a very old structure if not to sound too obvious. Even though the castle may look like a lifeless heritage of history whose only purpose today is to welcome curious travelers, sometimes it turns into a beautiful platform for concerts and art performances. Just imagine listening to some light classic music being surrounded by illuminated medieval walls of the fortress.
And just next to the fortress, outside its walls there’s a huge modern football field where children can play. It looks a bit surreal standing on top of a five-century old citadel and watch kids kicking the ball around.
Another detail of Trogir which can be found quite beautiful is window shutters around the town. They are so old and atmospheric, that you can’t help but wonder how long they’ve been covering this windows and protecting homes from sunlight and strangers’ curiosity.
By now you should understand that Trogir is a lovely compliment to your trip along Croatian coast. However, car-free ancient cobblestone streets and monuments is just a part of what Trogir offers to its visitors. Gastronomic pit stops are also included in town’s top entertainment activities, and it’s quite possible to pleasure your stomach here too.
Don’t be fooled by impression that food is very traditional here without any modern touch. It’s not true at all. Restaurants offer to guests some delicious version of contemporary Dalmatian cuisine. There are even gluten free cafes here, which is in great request now especially in cosmopolite cities.
Nonetheless if you’re after something very local, then you may want to visit a place with traditional food called Fortin. It is a family owned and run restaurant where the owner will be happy to take your order. They cook excellent fish soup and Trogir gnocchi with tomato sauce and bacon. But for dessert we have some other suggestion. Just when you’re done, ask for the bill, and follow the “instruction” if you want something sweet to top up your lunch. But before you leave, you’ll get a compliment from the owner. He’ll surely bring you a sour cherry liquor which he made himself from berries growing in his garden. Will you resist?
So, dessert. Of course you can go for an ice-cream or some nice cake. Both options are delicious. However, try something very traditional and delicious, called Trogirskij rafioli. Our advice is to find Dovan café, located just around the corner of town loggia. There this home-made pastry which looks like Russian “varenik” is the most delicious you can find. It’s cooked from fine thin dough and filled with ground almonds with various spices. Trogirskij rafioli can be found in other places in Croatia, but in Trogir and in this café it’s scrumptious. During our visit to Trogir recently, we had to go back twice to Dovan to spoil ourselves.
Croatia is not an exception when it comes to street artists in popular touristic towns and cities. You’ll meet many talented and gifted people on your way here who are all part of local culture and ambient. When in Trogir, you’ll enjoy a street performance by a male choir at the town loggia. İt’s a cinematographic experience. Their devoted signing and strong voices will leave no one indifferent.
No wonder why Trogir was visited and loved by an outstanding playwright and Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw, “runway lovers” Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, and many more. Trogir also often starts in various movies playing a role of a medieval set.
Two years ago National Geographic included Trogir in the list of top ten island cities in the world, referring of course to its old town which is located on the island. World famous geographical society offers to “take an afternoon stroll with gelato in hand through the medieval maze of streets. Blessed with stunning nature and an easygoing pace of life, this immaculately preserved Adriatic fort may just be a perfect microcosm of Croatia.” There’s not more to add to this but just to say: go and explore.