Spearing westwards from the Pile Gate, Ante Starceviča heads towards the suburb of Gruž and Dubrovnik's main port, tucked between the mainland on the eastern side and the Lapad peninsula to the northwest. Dominating the western end of Gruž is the Franjo Tuđman Bridge (Most Franja Tuđmana), a breathtakingly elegant suspension bridge spanning the mouth of a four-kilometre inlet known as the Rijeka Dubrovačka. Opened in 2002, the bridge is the first thing that travellers see when approaching the city from the west: as such, it's a marvellously futuristic counterpoint to the historic old town beyond. The Rijeka Dubrovačka itself was once one of the Ragusan Republic's favourite pleasure resorts.

Noble families built summer villas here, a number of which still stand – though these days the look of the place has been largely spoiled by the modern city's industrial and residential sprawl. It's not an area you're likely to make a special trip to see (buses #1A and #1B run here from Pile Gate), unless you're heading for the large yachting marina near the suburb of Komolac at the end of the inlet, where the slightly unkempt gardens and fishponds of the Sorkočevć Palace (the interior can't be visited) offer a distant echo of the horticultural splendours of the Ragusan Renaissance.

One kilometre beyond Komolac, on the right-hand side of the road, the inlet itself emerges dramatically from a limestone cliff at MLINI, the next settlement along, a slightly scruffy area that seems to have missed out on development as a beauty spot.


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