Marco Polo's Isle, Sketches from the Dalmatian Island of Korcula, by Michael Donley

Softcover, 172 pages, bw and color photos, Otley 2005, new

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The Croatian Adriatic has again become a popular destination; yet, apart from guides or books of a political or journalistic nature, nothing has appeared in English for 25 years. This is thus a timely publication. In it the author offers an in-depth view of one particular island, whilst at the same time capturing the spirit of Dalmatia as a whole.

In 1298 a naval battle between Venice and Genoa took place off Korcula. Marco Polo was one of those taken captive by the victorious Genoese. It was while imprisoned in Genoa that he dictated what became the world's most famous travel book. Although Marco was fighting on the side of the Venetians, Korcula claims - with a fair amount of evidence - that it, not Venice, was his birth-place. Using this theme as a connecting thread, the author brings to life the people, traditions, language, history, music and festivals of one of the most beautiful of Dalmatian islands.

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