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Belgrade, an unexpected discovery

How did I end up here?

Giulia Falovo

Serbia

That time I decided to visit Belgrade, it was not due to a previous interest in the city, nor for recommendations; I had absolutely no knowledge of its culture, heritage, places to visit or whatsoever. My fault, I know.
That time I decided to visit Belgrade was thanks to “an offer I could not refuse” (cit.) …, an extremely cheap return flight ticket from Rome. This is exactly what happened: searching for cheap flights is one of my favorite after-lunch activities, it helps to dream about the next escape, even for just a few moments. That time, the occasion was simply too greedy to let it go: after just some clicks, the boarding pass was on the way to my printer.
I booked the flight ticket, searched for an acceptable accommodation, and the week after I was in Belgrade. It was the one and only time that I had nothing planned, and it resulted to be one of the best travel experiences of my life.
Belgrade is not a mainstream destination for Italians, and I was not surprised to find the plane completely empty of my compatriots; for the first time after years, I felt like an explorer, at least from my country’s point of view.
The greatest discovery of this trip was the incredible beauty of the city: how could it be possible that I never heard about this stunning justaxposition of the old and the new, dramatically enthroned at the confluence of two of the most important European rivers? The Danube and the Sava, indeed, offer an oustanding scenery which embraces (and defines) the whole city: the Kalemegdan Fortress, the most important monument, dominates the city from above, on top of the hill located just at the confluence of the two rivers. The Orthodox Church of San Sava offers a more modern perspective of the local culture, just a few steps away from the traditional Skadarlija, the street of artist. Modernity and tradition continuously interact, creating a unique environment where the best experience is to get lost and let your senses embrace the city. A visit in Belgrade would not be complete without an excursion to Zemun, the oldest municipality, on the other side of the rivers’ confluence; the wooden street signs and the historic pavements will bring you back in the past.
Belgrade offers a continuous discovery to those who are ready to leave with no plans, and to get lost in the labirynth of the city’s streets; an experience able to wonder also the most experienced travellers.


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