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Town Mouse

Regulars | By Tom Hodgkinson

If only our cities were a bit more medieval

Over the summer, I was pleased to visit a shining example of a medieval town on the Dalmatian coast. Town mice have a great fondness for the medieval era and, in particular, for the gorgeous, self-governing cities that sprang up across Europe during the Middle Ages. Ignorant people use ‘medieval’ as an insult but, for me, medieval means beautiful, elegant and fair, and the cities and towns were miracles of good planning. The Italian name given to the medieval towns was comune. The town I stayed in, Korčula, is the capital of an island of the same name. It sits opposite Venice, 300 miles across the Adriatic Sea, and can be reached by a two-hour car journey, plus short ferry ride, from Dubrovnik. Though it’s in Croatia, you would think you were in Tuscany, in the land of Piero della Francesca: there is a Gothic cathedral; the streets, paved with...

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