Blog

blog
  • 02. Jul, 2021.

Klapa - traditional Dalmatian singing

Customs of Dalmatia 

Try to imagine hot summer day, with the fresh breeze and group of friends located inside the small alley or square of the ancient island town, in the shade where you have great acoustics. Friends spending time together and singing about life, sea, love, wine, Dalmatia…. 

 

Topics of the songs usually are simple but if we translate literally from Croatia – they do have power, meaning most of the people who respect and who know the Dalmatian and Mediterranean tradition can relate to them. 

 

Klapa, or acapella singing is mostly performed without any instruments, but there is always first and second tenor as well as baritone and bass (voice). Sometimes mandolin can accompany the song. It is inscribed in Unesco Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  

 

Now we will stop writing so you can enjoy video  

Klapa Tragos – Dalmatino, poviscu pritrujena

 

{{codewidget=Klapa}}

 

Dalmatino, povišću pritrujena
(Ljubo Stipišić Delmata)

 

Pute, laze pizon dubli tovari
Gustirne žedne, mijun sići i lati
Konkulana škina težakov od motik
Po žurnatin, žurnatin pritrujena

Prage kalet žnjutin dubli puntari
Naboj dalmatine rebati na drači
Kroz kadene dicu čičan pasli
A judi driti ka kolone
Dalmatino, povišću pritrujena

Intradu pravice s tilin štrukali
Rod puntarski resa na drači
Ditinstvon gladnin povist štukali
Dalmatino, povišću pritrujena

Read more
blog
  • 10. May, 2021.

Legends and tales of Island Lokrum

Lokrum is a small island just across the old town of Dubrovnik. There are records that Lokrum was settled by the Benedictine monks around 915 A.D. where they built the monastery in 1023.

 

Out of many interesting stories and legends that surround this small island, one tale is the most famous. King of England, Richard I. also known as Richard Lionheart, was a brave soldier and crusader. Richard joined the Third Crusade to free Jerusalem and the holy land in the year 1190. Crusade lasted for three years, and after Richard the Lionheart made peace with Saladin, he began his journey back home with the Venetian fleet of ships.

When the fleet was sailing along the coast near Dubrovnik it was November, a very cold and stormy month to be on the sea. A huge storm caught Richard's ship and the reason why they didn’t shipwreck was that they found safe shelter on the island of Lokrum. King Richard the Lionheart pledged that he would build two churches to the Blessed Virgin Mary because his prayers were answered. One church had to be built in England and one on the island of Lokrum.

 

   

 

Another interesting tale is about the Lokrum curse.

The Benedictine monastery on the island of Lokrum is mentioned for the first time in 1023 as the first in a row of Benedictine monasteries in the Dubrovnik Republic. The founders are said to have been members of the Monastery of St. Maria in Puglia and a priest from Dubrovnik.

The story of the curse begins when the French army general decided that the Benedictine order would be exiled from the island of Lokrum. Noblemen from Dubrovnik were ordered to remove the monks from the island because Benedictines refused to abandon their home in a peaceful manner. After the monks ’efforts had finally failed, they went to the church of St. Mary and served the last mass. After the service, they lined up one after another to form a funeral procession with torches turned upside down. They circled the island three times that long, dark night while chanting the words “Let be thy cursed, one that acquires Lokrum for his own personal pleasure”. When dawn came, they boarded ships and took off into the open seas. They never looked back or returned to the island after that.

Read more
blog
  • 16. Mar, 2021.

Meeting the challenges and delivering opportunities

 

The best way to start this blog is to quote Norie Quintos, editorial consultant and editor at National Geographic Travel: “Old travel was to escape the world; new travel will be to engage the world”.

 

It is about 1 year since the pandemic was declared and overnight our everyday routine changed, almost completely. In the beginning, here at our office, we were thinking the crisis will last for a couple of months, maybe till the summer, and then it will be over. Oh, how wrong we were. Restrictions, changes of restrictions, numbers, numbers, more numbers, percentages, countries closing their borders, flights being canceled, lockdowns, and many more new regulations which simply said take away one’s freedom. Not normal for the modern times we are living in. Most of us in the company are old enough to remember (or have experienced) the last war that happened here in the 90ies, unfortunately. These 2 situations are very similar. But let’s not talk about the past…

 

It is about 7 months since we in the company started to adapt to the new situation in the travel business. Thinking and discussing new products; what can we make better, safety, can we implement new products which are in line with new travel standards, how can we use our local know-how… We took the challenge, reviewed the past, and started to think in new ways. It felt really good to be productive again.

 

 
The birth of an idea...
 
 The execution of an idea...

 

The pause in everyday work gave us time to publish and start to promote some of the new products which were created. Also, we realized our existing product range (one of our company’s mission statements) is mostly heading in the direction which probably will be required for near-future travel; small group tours, spending time in the open areas, the privacy of private home or villa, offering private departures and self-guided tours. We started to see things from a different perspective. Due to still uncertain times for travel, we definitely had to work on flexible terms and conditions as well as cancelation fees. In the year 2020, in the year when traveling and our everyday work routine stopped, we finally had time to spread the word about tours and products we were providing for many years but never had time to promote it. Travel in a bubble, custom tours, tailor-made tours, family travel… there are many names for it.

 

 
 Working on feet...
 
 & seeing things from a different perspective.

 

So, here is for the brighter future and normal life we are all looking for. After almost 1 year without any inquiries for travel to Croatia, we started to chat and email with travelers again. What a nice feeling that is. There is still a lot of uncertainty in regard to traveling but we are here for you and will do our best to support you. We believe the world will meet the reward of more responsible and sustainable travel in the near future and demystify a new normal life paradigm. 

 

Same as you, we can’t wait to get out there; on the sea, whether on Stand up paddle, sailing or on a motor yacht, feel the summer breeze, get on the bike and cycle while experiencing sights, smells, tastes (of that grilled fish and local wine), speaking with locals and learning new phrases.

 

   

 

Dalmatian coast and islands; the area where we are based and are specialized for is largely dependent on tourism. I am sure all of our providers are eager to welcome you so let’s engage the world once it is safe again! Hopefully, it will be soon!

 

Until then,

Pomalo!

 

 

Andro Tartaglia

Read more
blog
  • 10. Feb, 2021.

Moreška

-exciting traditional dance where real swords still spark the night -

 

Moreška is a sword dance-drama that combines pantomime, spoken word, and dance, and takes the form of a dispute over a girl between two groups of dancers, one clad in red and the other in black, each led by a king. It is performed in the town of Korčula and is a symbol of Korčulan identity. Namely, virtually all Korčulans learn the art, while those playing the key characters have a special role in transmitting it to younger generations.

 

  

  

The word 'Moreška' means 'Moorish' and it is derived from the Spanish adjective 'Morisco' or the Italian 'Moresco'. It is still not known for sure if the dance came to the Adriatic directly from Spain through roving Spanish sailors, or from Sicily or Italy when Dalmatia formed part of the Venetian Republic. We are also uncertain if it was originally a Moorish dance or a Spanish one, inspired by the struggle of Spanish Christians against the Moors. However, we do know that it is one of the oldest traditional European dances still performed and that records exist of it being danced in Lerida in 1156 in a form portraying a Christian and National victory over the Moors and their expulsion from Aragon.

 

From the 12th century and particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries, the dance spread to many Mediterranean countries: to Italy, Corsica, Sicily, Malta, France and through Spanish trade, to Flanders, Germany, and even to England. It was subject to frequent local variations, in regard to plot, protagonists, and eventually also to form. In most of the Mediterranean, the Moreška survived until the end of the 18th century and in Italy and Dalmatia till the close of the 19th century.

 

The Moreška arrived in Korcula in the 16th century, at the same time as it did in Dubrovnik. There are, however, no written records of the Korčulan dance until the beginning of the 18th century. Up to the first World War, the Moreška was "fought" only every few years - protagonists were often wounded and replaced by 'seconds' during the dance - between 1918 and 1939 it was performed every year under the aegis of the Gymnastic Society of Korčula. Nowadays, it is an exclusive Society (and 'club') of its own and the Moreška is performed much more frequently for the benefit of the many tourists who visit the Island. Every family in Korčula is proud to have one of its members dance in the Moreška, especially one of the key roles, which demand considerable talent and stamina. When the Black or the White Kings "retire" they are allowed to keep their crowns and these become valued family possessions.

 

 

Today, Korčula is the only island where Moreška is still danced with real swords in its original War-Dance form and where it has enjoyed a proud and almost unbroken tradition for over four centuries, though the text, music, and pattern of the dance have been slightly altered and shortened (the contest used to last for two hours!) over the years.

 

The introduction to the dance is a short drama in blank verse which sets the scene - four characters recite the verses: the enemy or the Black King, his father, Otmanovic, (a kind of Balkan mediator), the Hero or the White King, and the Bula or Moslem maiden, who is a peace-maker as well as a heroine.


If you are on one of our tours you will have a chance to see the show in Korčula town summer cinema in high season (July, August) on Mondays and Thursdays.

 

 

photos by Korkyra Baroque Festival

Read more