Above: The "beach" next to the Adriatic Sea at Villa Dubrovnik in Dubrovnik, Croatia

“CLOSED” read the sign taped to the door of the Rector’s Palace. The Venetian-Gothic landmark, one of the most famous sights in Dubrovnik, was under renovation. The treasury of the nearby Cathedral of the Assumption was also closed for renovations, as was the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, a short walk from the Old City’s Ploče Gate. Fed up, I returned to Villa Dubrovnik, feeling that the day had been more or less wasted.

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