From Zooming clients and family to neighbourhood WhatsApp groups, digital platforms have become the only way for many people to work, get fit or educated and entertained.
All the things that were taken for granted, got out of our reach in an instant – simple going to work or school, travelling, meeting friends for coffee, having your hair done or simply shaking hands when meeting someone – all disappeared!
A silver lining
But there was a bit of a silver lining to the lockdown as well, since many of us could finally spend more time pursuing hobbies. At first, for me that meant mastering quite a few new recipes, but when I started taking a course in Roman architecture from the University of Yale, that’s when the real and long-term gratification kicked in.
The course is offered by the Coursera website, and among many other great courses, I chose the one that really helped me understand the very subject matter of many of my tours.
Thus, it helped me experience the full sweep of Rome’s birth as an Iron Age village and how it became a world-class city and a vast empire encircling the Mediterranean Sea.
And it really did give me insight into the stunning accomplishments of the Roman architecture – the development of the Roman house, baths, forums, temples, bridges, aqueducts, the tomb architecture and so much more that the Romans had left us for safekeeping.
The Diocletian’s Palace in Split, built in 305 AD, is one of the best preserved late antiquity Roman buildings in the world and the reason why so many of our visitors come here to Split. As a guide here in Split, I do have a great understanding of the Palace and a nearby Roman archaeological site of Salona which was a huge Roman city back in a day, but the course, so meticulously done with one of the best experts in the field – the Yale university professor Diana E.E. Kleiner, increased my appreciation of the architecture of ancient Rome.
And once the borders open, my first trip will definitely be to Rome and Pompeii so as to see in person what I have learnt, not the least help my Italian colleagues and the shattered Italian economy. This is the time of solidarity and thinking of each other.
As for my tours, I am not going to have many booked since most of my guests come from the USA.
However, the summer of 2020 does not look completely bleak. Counting my blessings while enjoying beach time with my friends sounds like a lot of fun!
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In his latest blog, Ziggy – NY based tour guide – writes about Split and gives 10 tips when you visit my town. Moreover, he listed my services as a tip #1 for Split.
Since Diocletian was a persecutor of Christians, soon in the 7th century when Christians refugees fled from the nearby Salona, his mausoleum was turned into the cathedral. And what does a cathedral need? A belfry, for sure!
Here I am at Vidilica, the first viewpoint of Marjan Park Hill enjoying my coffee and admiring an amazing view of Split and its harbour. The steep walk that I took from the city centre in this heat is definitely paying off.