On the nearby island of Korcula (pronounced "kor-chew-la"), exploration is more than a pastime -- it's heritage. Marco Polo was born here in 1254. In his late teens, he joined his father and uncle on a journey from the Middle East to China, and eventually across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.
For tourists wanting to follow Polo's footsteps closer to home, the explorer's birthplace is near the almost 700-year-old Saint Peter's Church, another popular sightseeing destination.
Shipbuilding and stonecutting played vital roles in Korcula's economy for centuries. Pine forests provided the raw materials for ships, and ships provided transportation for Korcula stone, which was once well-known throughout Europe and used in many palaces.
Korcula's heritage comes alive in a traditional dance that has been performed for more than four centuries. The Moreska sword dance depicts the battle of two kings and their armies for the love of a beautiful girl.