Stroll the medieval stone alleys of Zadar's car-free Old Town to discover six charming Romanesque churches, combining Ancient Roman and Byzantine features, decorative arcading and arches shaped like semi circles.
On the Forum Square, you'll find St Donat church, which was built in the 9th century. It's a rotunda (based on a circular plan) with exceptional acoustic qualities. For that reason, it hosts a classical music festival each summer.
Nearby, the impressive 12th century Cathedral of St Anastasia has a free standing bell tower. Climb 180 steps for magnificent panoramic views over the terracotta roofs of the Old Town, out to the sea and islands, and inland to the rugged Velebit mountains.
Zadar's Old Town sits compact on a small peninsula, which was fortified under Venetian rule in the 1400 to 1700s, to protect against the Ottoman Turks. The defensive walls, complete with towers, bastions and monumental arched gates, are UNESCO listed.
Other buildings from the same era include the loggia (the former courthouse, now hosting art exhibitions), the arsenal (where the Venetians used to repair their ships, today used for conferences), and the Rector's Palace, now used for exhibitions, concerts and lectures.
Townhouses from this period are painted in muted pastel shades, reminiscent of Venice itself.