Opposite to the promontory of Sabbioncello, and at the entrance to the Bocche di Cattaro, the frontier of Herzegovina comes down to the Adriatic; but these two strips of coast do not contain any good harbour, and extend only for a total distance of 141 m.
It then pierces through the mountains of northern Herzegovina, traverses the Narenta valley, and runs almost parallel with the coast to Trebinje, Ragusa and the Bocche di Cattaro.
The islands, which are long and narrow (the long axis lying parallel with the coast of the mainland), rise rather abruptly to elevations of a few hundred feet, while on the mainland, notably in the magnificent inlet of the Bocche di Cattaro, lofty mountains often fall directly to the sea.
The harbour of Ragusa, once one of the chief ports of southern Europe, is too small for modern needs; but Gravosa (Gruz), a village at the mouth of the river Ombla, on the north, is a steamship station and communicates by rail with Herzegovina and the Bocche di Cattaro.
Tradition identifies Epidaurum, whence the majority came, with the neighbouring village of Ragusavecchia; but some historians, including Gelcich, place it on the shores of the Bocche di Cattaro.
The inhabitants of the district round the Bocche di Cattaro (the Bocchesi, as they are commonly called) refused to obey this order, and when a military force was sent it failed to overcome their resistance; and by an agreement made at Knezlac in December 1869, Rodics, who had taken command, granted the insurgents all they asked and a complete amnesty.
Cattaro occupies a narrow ledge between the Montenegrin Mountains and the Bocche di Cattaro, a winding and beautiful inlet of the Adriatic Sea.
Rhizon, the modern hamlet of Risano, close by, was a thriving "Illyrian" city as early as 22 9 B.C., and gave its name to the Bocche, then known as Rhizonicus Sinus.
Gelcich (Gelcic), Memorie storiche sulle Bocche di Cattaro (Zara, 1880).