The Riva started to look the way it does today two centuries ago, when the French, in time of Napoleon ruled these parts through Marshal Marmont. Today this promenade is the cities living room, the most popular and most important public place in Split. In the meantime, it has been widened and reconstructed several times, but it was always blessed with the most spectacular setting, the south facade of the Diocletian Palace, with the entrance into the Substructures, and later on with the buildings that were built west of the Palace, also the Franciscan monastery with the church of St. Francis, and the Bajamonti Dešković Palace and last but not least the Port Authorities building on the east end.
Riva today is pedestrian heaven, thrusting with Cafés and restaurants, an ideal place for having your morning or afternoon coffee, or for an evening out with friends over drinks. Riva is the stage of the city life of Split, a venue for numerous cultural and entertainment events, boisterous Split carnival, as well as the stage for meeting Split sportsmen after countless successes, such as Goran Ivanišević, Hajduk football club players and Jugoplastika basketball players, Olimpic medal winners... Riva is also a political forum, with decades of political opportunities being depicted through mass rallies. Naturally, Riva is always at its best in time of Sudamja, a celebration dedicated to St. Domnius, the patron saint of Split.