Sunday, 04 June 2023

I love Rome! I have to admit that I’m not a great lover of large cities. But Rome is special. Every corner you turn you literally bump into a new sight, a historic building or a glorious plaza. It is crammed with cultural monuments, like an overloaded pizza.

Everything is easy to reach, it’s pretty much a walkable city, and the value of these sights is priceless.

Is it dirty, yes! Is it overcrowded, again yes! But at the same time it is magical.

The birth of modern civilisation in a bite-sized city.

So, why was I in the Eternal city last weekend? Well, if there is one thing I love more than Rome that is surprising my “nearest and dearest.” My mother, accompanied by my sister, is currently on a bucket list grand tour of Europe.

Surprising My Mother in Rome

Florence was the main goal on her list, but she managed to visit Switzerland, France and large parts of Italy along the way. And all by train. Not a bad way at all to see Europe. And the little treat at the end is a trip on the famous Orient Express from Paris to London.

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So as she was in my neighbourhood I decided to surprise her. She was going to be in Rome for three days, including her birthday, that seemed like the ideal chance. My sister and I kept it between us. I had booked a hotel near theirs and flights, although the only hitch was that I had to catch them from Split.

“I hope she doesn’t have a heart attack when she sees you,” joked my sister. The plan was to meet her in their hotel, in the rooftop restaurant with spectacular views over the whole city, from the top of St. Peter’s Basilica to the Colosseum.

The scene was set. They were having cocktails and I was in the lift. “Go and have a look at the view,” I heard my sister say as she prepared to video the surprise. I stuck my head around the corner. My mother saw me and the look on her face was worth all the planning. Her mouth was moving but no words were coming out.

Shock, love and joy, all wrapped together like a calzone.

Priceless, and the video will always be a fond memory.

So we had three days together in the city of light, the city of love. We hit all the main sights, all that we could in the limited amount of time, for there is much to see.

I have this complex of always comparing a tourist destination to Dubrovnik. And the first thing to say is that if you think Dubrovnik is overcrowded then don’t go to Rome. The Vatican Museum was so busy that so literally couldn’t stop to look at the exhibition, we were herded like cattle through the halls and rooms, like a drive-through museum.

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Finding a spare table at a restaurant or café was mission impossible, and the public transport was bursting at the seams. And by far the most numerous tourists were Americans, presumably going back to their roots and exploring their forefather’s homeland. Some restaurants felt like being in downtown New Jersey.

Pricewise Rome is pretty much on a par with Dubrovnik. Although the parking is drastically cheaper, with roadside parking 1 euro an hour, and you can even pay for 50 cents for 30 minutes. But even with the negatives Rome is still enchanted.

Style of Rome is well-groomed

One of my passions is watching cities awake. So I get up at 6 and walk the streets or sip an espresso watching the citizens go about their lives. Fascinating. Rome has this strange mix of fashionably dressed businessmen whizzing along the street on electric scooters whilst homeless people awake from a night sleeping rough on the streets. The “haves” and “have nots” on one street.

The style of Italian men (much more than the women) is impressive. No matter that it was 35 degrees these guys look like they have fallen of the pages of Marie Claire or Cosmopolitan in their sharp, tailored suits and trimmed beards. They must spend hours in front of the mirror.

“They speak to each other like people in Dubrovnik,” laughed my mother, referring to the fact that no conversation, however trivial, has hands and arms waving. Not so much temperamental, more expressive.

Rome was a delight. And the look on my mother’s face will stay with me for a long time. La vita è bella!

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to


About the author
Mark Thomas (aka Englez u Dubrovniku) is the editor of The Dubrovnik Times. He was born and educated in the UK and moved to live in Dubrovnik in 1998. He works across a whole range of media, from a daily radio show to TV and in print. Thomas is fluent in Croatian and this column is available in Croatia on the website – Dubrovnik Vjesnik


“Regarding road connectivity, this year is the year in which we have completed a strategic project of connecting the southern part of Croatia to the highway network. The fourth phase, including the access roads to the Pelješac Bridge, was completed a month and a half ago. We have discussed the plan for this decade at the government level, where we will precisely identify the regions in Croatia where we need to improve the transportation infrastructure. One of the road routes that certainly requires attention is from Ston to Dubrovnik, and we will make an effort to secure funding for the realization of that project, commented Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković.

And added “I have already mentioned four options that exist: connecting Metković to the highway, reaching Komarna, linking Pelješac, and, of course, reaching Dubrovnik from Čilipi Airport.”

The far south of Croatia may well now have a new bridge and access roads, but it still doesn’t have connection to the main highway system in Croatia. To drive from Dubrovnik to the first junction of the main A1 highway takes over an hour. And the road from the Dubrovnik Airport to the city is in desperate need of improving.

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Understanding the intricacies of the market is crucial for long-term success, whether you are a seasoned investor or just dipping your toes into the realm of property ownership. You can effectively handle the ever-changing real estate market and create a thriving portfolio with the right information, approaches, and mindset.

One of the most effective and profitable wealth-building techniques is real estate investing, which has long been recognized as a good investment choice. It provides the possibility of high profits, passive income, and the chance to leave a lasting legacy for future generations. But you need more than luck or chance to succeed in this cutthroat field.

Though each real estate market presents its own unique challenges and opportunities, there are fundamental principles that transcend geographical boundaries. You may successfully negotiate the complexity of real estate investing by taking a calculated and strategic approach.

So join us as we unearth the essential tips and tactics to help you thrive in the constantly changing real estate market if you're prepared to set out on a revolutionary adventure that promises to unveil the secrets of real estate investing and pave the road for your financial prosperity. Get ready to take advantage of opportunities, overcome obstacles, and start down a path to long-term success.

Why Investing In Real Estate Is A Good Option

Real estate investing presents an attractive option for long-term wealth creation, income generation, and portfolio diversification. It is a good option for several reasons:

● Potential for Appreciation: Real estate tends to appreciate in value over time, providing the opportunity for substantial returns on investment.

● Cash Flow and Passive Income: Rental properties can generate consistent cash flow and passive income, contributing to financial stability.

● Tangible Asset: Real estate is a tangible asset with intrinsic value, offering a sense of security compared to volatile investments like stocks.

● Diversification and Risk Mitigation: Including real estate in an investment portfolio can help diversify risk and provide a buffer during market downturns.

● Leverage and Financing Opportunities: Real estate investments can be leveraged through mortgages, allowing investors to control valuable assets with a fraction of their own funds.

● Tax Benefits: Real estate offers various tax advantages, including deductions for expenses and depreciation, which can optimize returns.

● Inflation Hedge: Real estate investments can protect against inflation by providing rental income and potential appreciation.

● Control and Influence: Investors have control over property management, improvements, and rental rates, allowing them to enhance value and optimize returns.

10 Real Estate Investing Tips To Thrive In The Market

Real estate investing has great prospects for wealth generation, however, if not done properly, can lead to huge losses. To do well in the field, you must consider certain factors and make moves accordingly.

Here are 10 tips to consider when investing in real estate:

Conduct Proper Research

Before diving into real estate investing, take the time to educate yourself. Understand the market dynamics, local regulations, financing options, and different investment strategies. Attend seminars, read books, and follow reputable sources to build a solid knowledge base.

Set Clear Goals

Define your investment goals and objectives. Are you looking for long-term appreciation, immediate cash flow, or a mix of both? Having clear goals will guide your investment decisions and help you stay focused.

Look Into Local Markets

Thoroughly research the local real estate market where you plan to invest. Look for areas with strong economic growth, low vacancy rates, and potential for future development. Understand the supply and demand dynamics, rental market trends, and neighborhood characteristics.

Build a Reliable Network

Cultivate relationships with real estate agents, property managers, lenders, contractors, and other professionals in the industry. A reliable network can provide valuable insights, access to deals, and support throughout your investing journey.

Analyze Deals Thoroughly

Conduct meticulous due diligence on potential investment properties. Evaluate factors such as location, property condition, rental income potential, expenses, and potential for value appreciation. Consider both short-term profitability and long-term growth potential.

Consider Cash Flow

Cash flow is a crucial aspect of real estate investing. Analyze the rental income potential and compare it with expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and vacancies. Ensure that the property generates positive cash flow to cover expenses and provide a profit.

Mitigate Risks

Real estate investing carries risks, so it's important to mitigate them. Conduct property inspections, review legal documents, and purchase adequate insurance. Diversify your portfolio across different types of properties and locations to reduce exposure to any single risk.

Create Financing Strategies

Explore different financing options and choose the one that aligns with your investment goals. Compare interest rates, loan terms, and down payment requirements. Consider leveraging other people's money through partnerships or real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Property Management

If you choose to be a landlord, develop effective property management skills or hire a professional property management company. Proper management ensures tenant satisfaction, minimizes vacancies, and preserves the value of your investment.

Stay Updated and Adapt

Real estate markets evolve, so it's essential to stay updated with industry trends, regulations, and market conditions. Adapt to changes and adjust your strategies accordingly. Continuously evaluate your portfolio, identify opportunities, and make informed decisions based on current market dynamics.

By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to thrive in the competitive world of real estate investing. Keep in mind that patience, perseverance, and a strategic approach are key to long-term success in this dynamic industry.

Bottom Line

There are underlying principles that cut across all real estate markets, even if each one has its own special possibilities and challenges. You may successfully negotiate the complexity of real estate investing by keeping these tips in mind and taking a calculated and strategic approach.

Frequently Ask Questions

What type of real estate is the greatest for beginners to invest in?

Because they can produce consistent, passive income streams, REITs are ideal for beginners who are unable to pursue real estate full-time. The Motley Fool notes that while investing in REITs might be compared to stock investment, REITs frequently provide dividends that are above average.

What kind of real estate is the most lucrative?

Residential real estate is typically known to produce lower returns than commercial real estate. Depending on your area, managing a business property can eventually pay off if you can afford it.

Gambling, as a concept, has been part of human culture since prehistoric times. The earliest dice found by modern archaeologists are believed to be over 5,000 years old.

Most historians agree that Europe is the birthplace of the casino, more specifically, Venice in 1638. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I commissioned a lottery in 1569, while betting on horse races has been common for three centuries.

Today, this thirst for gambling in all its forms has grown into a multi-billion dollar global industry. In Europe alone, the gaming and betting industry was estimated to be worth €108 billion in 2022.

This figure is growing rapidly and is expected to exceed €126 billion by 2026. A big driver for this increase is the online sector, which had an estimated value of €38 billion in 2022.

While modern Europe has a generally tolerant attitude towards gambling, this is not universal. Casino gambling is fully permitted in several nations including Switzerland, Spain, the UK, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Malta, and the Netherlands.

Other countries are much stricter when it comes to gambling laws, for instance, Norway, Cyprus, and - to a point - Germany. Each nation is responsible for deciding how it will manage gambling offered to its citizens both online and off.

For those living in permissive nations, there can be a huge amount of choice from both domestic and international providers. is a great source for finding the best games, slots, and promotions for online and land-based casinos.

Croatia is a great example of a young nation which has adopted a pragmatic approach towards gambling. Since becoming an independent country during the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatia has quickly taken control of its regulations.

While tourism is the number one industry for Croatia, it has also found a strong revenue stream in gambling. Since 2014, casino games, sports betting, lotteries, and slot machines - online and off - have all been formally regulated.

Licences are granted for 15 years allowing companies with a domestic interest to operate casino or betting services freely. Online operating licences are only granted to companies that also have a land-based product, international companies without this are denied.

The government taxes both the revenue of the provider and any winnings earned by private citizens. The specific amount of taxation varies depending on the type of product and the amount of personal winnings.

As a result of these regulations, the industry has grown steadily to a value of approximately €500 million in 2022. Online gaming represents a huge part of this, estimated at around €440 million with almost €200 million from online casinos.

Casino, including table games and poker, is enjoyed across Croatia, as are slots, lotteries, and sports betting. In-person casinos are largely driven by visiting tourists, while lotteries and sports betting are dominated by Croats.

Online, however, is a huge market for Croatian citizens looking to enjoy casino games and gambling of all kinds. This is a quickly expanding market expected to be achieving annual revenues of over €530 million by 2027.

What are the innovations driving online gambling in Croatia?

● Mobile play

Investment in high-quality online platforms has been a huge priority for Croatian providers in all sectors. Smartphones are ubiquitous while the ability to play or bet anywhere at any time creates inclusivity for vast markets.

● Better iGaming

Generating the most engaging interactions for gamers of all kinds is a focus for Croatian platforms. Providers strive to provide the best experience on PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and even VR or wearable tech like smartwatches.

● Live dealers

One of the few parts of the casino experience that is missing online is the human interaction with dealers. Croatia is a leading light in the integration of live dealers with its online casinos to help replicate this element.

● Artificial intelligence

In addition to its importance for cybersecurity, AI has become a fantastic tool for assisting players on gambling platforms. Working like a virtual PA and customer service agent, AI assistants are now integrated into many of Croatia’s online services.

● Cryptocurrency

When completing any transaction online, from casinos to sports betting to retail, financial security is of the highest priority. The ongoing integration of ultra-secure and trackable cryptocurrencies is generating a huge boost in confidence for online gambling.

In addition to constant enhancements in all gameplay and services, these factors create a promising future for gambling in Croatia. As across the rest of the world, all signs point to continual and sharp increases in revenue and player numbers.

From a population of around four million, more than 500,000 Croats are expected to regularly gamble online by 2027. With 82% of citizens online and 106.6 mobile subscriptions for every 100 people, the potential for growth is huge.

As other European states ponder the future of their gambling industries, Croatia is a model they will watch with interest.


Going through a traumatic experience is life-altering and distressing. No matter what kind of stressful situation you went through, knowing how to navigate the road to recovery is essential. There are some essential steps for dealing with a personal injury case that you need to pay attention to. In this article, we are going to talk about this, and we will tell you how firms like the Bojat Law Group can help you out throughout the process.

Your well-being should always be your top priority

The first and most critical step after sustaining a personal injury is to seek immediate medical attention. Your health and well-being should always be the top priority. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it's important to consult a medical professional for a comprehensive evaluation. Not only does this ensure that your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated, but it also establishes a medical record of your condition, which is vital for your personal injury deed. Follow your doctor's advice, attend all recommended appointments, and keep detailed records of your medical treatments and levies.

Do not get rid of anything related to your case

Preserving corroboration is crucial for building a strong personal injury deed. As soon as possible after the incident, gather and keep any evidence related to the accident. Take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage. If there were witnesses present, obtain their contact information. Keep copies of any relevant documents, such as accident reports, medical records, and correspondence with insurance companies. Preserving corroboration ensures that crucial information is not lost or forgotten as time passes and strengthens your position when seeking reimbursement for your injuries.

Do not discard any proof of your spending

To strengthen your personal injury proceed, it's crucial to document all damages resulting from the incident. This includes both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages encompass the tangible losses you have incurred, such as medical charges, property damage, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Keep detailed records of all expenses, including receipts, bills, and invoices. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to intangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Maintain a journal where you can document your physical and emotional experiences, limitations, and the overall impact the injury has had on your life.

Be straightforward and open to collaboration

Effective communication and cooperation are key throughout your personal injury case. Maintain open and honest communication with your Bojat Law Group attorney, providing them with any updates or changes related to your procedure. Respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation. Additionally, cooperate with your healthcare providers, insurance companies, and any other parties involved in the case. By being proactive and responsive, you can help ensure a smoother and more efficient resolution to your personal injury averment.

Dealing with a personal injury deed requires careful navigation and proactive steps to protect your rights and pursue fair reimbursement. Seek immediate medical attention, preserve corroboration, consult with a Bojat Law Group legal advisor, document your damages, and maintain open communication throughout the process. While the journey may have its challenges, following these essential steps will set you on the road to recovery and increase your chances of a successful personal injury averment.

A robot has performed its 415th prostate cancer operation, indicating that robotic surgery will become the standard in healthcare. The National Robotics Centre has conducted over 400 precise prostate cancer removal surgeries in the past four years, according to the University Hospital Centre Zagreb (KBC Zagreb), which is the only facility in Croatia where urological operations are performed using a robotic platform.

The procedure is minimally invasive, resulting in minimal blood loss and no traditional surgical incision. Surgeons operate the robot, which provides great precision in removing the prostate and tumour. The robot allows the urologist to spare important pelvic structures responsible for erections and continence, leading to faster recovery and a return to normal life for the patient.

KBC Zagreb performs up to two robotic radical prostatectomy surgeries per day using the robotic system. Younger doctors, eager to utilize the new technology, are primarily operating the robot. They have documented their experience in numerous scientific publications. The candidates for this surgery are patients with localized prostate cancer. Over time, the boundaries have expanded, allowing for the treatment of larger prostates and more advanced cancers. The benefits of this new technology include excellent visualization, enabling the surgeon to see and spare even the smallest structures, and precise removal of the organ along with the tumour, reports N1.

The National Robotics Center was established at KBC Zagreb four years ago, with the robot costing around 15 million Kuna. Funding for its procurement was secured from EU funds. The director of KBC Zagreb, Ante Ćorušić, credited the establishment of the robotic platform to former Health Minister Milan Kujundžić and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who recognized the need for robotic surgery in the highest-level hospital in Croatia. Ćorušić emphasized that robotic surgery is necessary for the younger generation and predicted it would become the standard in most hospitals in Croatia and Europe.


As announced by Mayor Mato Franković at the recent citizens' assembly of the City District noise metres have been installed around the historic Old City of Dubrovnik.

In order to ensure a better quality of life for the residents, especially those living in the Old City core, which has been affected by excessive loud music in recent years, the City of Dubrovnik began the full implementation of the noise regulations in September 2022. The city will continue to systematically monitor all catering establishments to ensure compliance with the prescribed provisions.

The implementation of the Noise Regulations also includes fines in case of possible violations, amounting to 1,327 euros for legal entities and 265 euros for responsible individuals, as well as the temporary seizure of public space for seven days. Repeat offenses by a catering establishment will result in the seizure of the space for 30 days, and after the third offense, the public space will be permanently taken away. This means that a café bar or restaurant could no longer use the pavement for tables and chairs. And almost all catering faculties in the Old City rely on these outdoor public spaces.

The highest permissible noise level in outdoor areas during the evening period from 7:00 to 11:00 PM is 55 decibels.


The sharp increase in interest rates in several decades is spilling over into the real estate market.

Prices of residential properties in the Eurozone could experience a "chaotic" decline as apartments become unaffordable for citizens and unattractive to investors due to high interest rates, warned the European Central Bank (ECB) on Wednesday, as reported by Poslovni dnevnik.

Croatia is part of the Eurozone, and this applies to our country as well.

This is one of several risks highlighted in the ECB's financial stability analysis, along with higher borrowing costs and slower economic growth, which are detrimental to businesses and households.

Since last July, the ECB has been trying to contain inflation by raising interest rates, and it appears that they will persist with a strict monetary policy in the coming months, as analyzed by Reuters.

The strongest interest rate hikes in several decades are now beginning to be felt in the real estate market, which experienced a boom during the decades of accessible and affordable loans.

"Looking ahead, the decline in property prices could become chaotic as rising interest rates on new mortgages increasingly threaten their affordability and increase the burden of interest on existing mortgage loans," warned the ECB.

The sharp increase in interest rates in several decades is spilling over into the real estate market. Prices of residential properties in the Eurozone could experience a "chaotic" decline as apartments become unaffordable for citizens and unattractive to investors due to high interest rates, warned the European Central Bank (ECB) on Wednesday, as reported by Poslovni dnevnik. Croatia is part of the Eurozone, and this applies to our country as well. This is one of several risks highlighted in the ECB's financial stability analysis, along with higher borrowing costs and slower economic growth, which are detrimental to businesses and households. Since last July, the ECB has been trying to contain inflation by raising interest rates, and it appears that they will persist with a strict monetary policy in the coming months, as analyzed by Reuters. The strongest interest rate hikes in several decades are now beginning to be felt in the real estate market, which experienced a boom during the decades of accessible and affordable loans. "Looking ahead, the decline in property prices could become chaotic as rising interest rates on new mortgages increasingly threaten their affordability and increase the burden of interest on existing mortgage loans," warned the ECB.

The Croatian Minister of Finance Marko Primorac stated on Friday that there is an expected continuation of easing of inflationary pressures and it is very likely that the government will further revise its GDP growth projections. He also mentioned that property tax is a highly sensitive political issue and will not be implemented during this government's term.

"We expect the continuation of easing of inflationary pressures in the upcoming period, and the average inflation rate on an annual basis will be slightly higher than the European average, but not overly concerning," Primorac said after the government session.

The weakening of inflation is in line with expectations, and the government's measures, particularly in the context of limiting electricity prices and the impact on other energy markets, have contributed to this.

Regarding the GDP growth of 2.8% in the first quarter, Primorac stated that it even slightly exceeded expectations. The government currently projects a 2.2% growth for the Croatian economy in 2023. However, considering the first quarter and expectations of a good tourist season, the second and third quarters are also expected to be "good." Therefore, it is highly likely that the government will revise its projections upwards.

When asked if a GDP growth above 3% can be expected this year, Primorac said they are not certain at this moment and that the situation is still uncertain. However, he reiterated that the prospects are good, given the favourable announcements regarding the tourist season, expected investments, including those within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), and the acceleration of the post-earthquake reconstruction process, which will stimulate demand and growth.

No property tax yet

As for property tax, Primorac emphasized that it is a highly sensitive political issue, and definitively, it will not be introduced during this government's term, as it is essential to respect what is stated in the government program, which does not include it. He mentioned that most European Union countries have such a tax but added that there is still no clear consensus on how it should be calculated and what the tax base should be.

Primorac sees property tax as an instrument that would complement the range of options available to local self-government units and increase their autonomy. However, he pointed out that implementing this tax is not easy due to prerequisites such as sorting out documentation and land registers. If a decision is ever made to introduce such a tax, all necessary preparations would need to be carried out, which would require a certain amount of time. Primorac believes that introducing the tax fairly requires proper communication and explanation to citizens, and a wide consensus and public discussion are necessary.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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