Mens' klapa final

Spectacular Omiš – perfect retreat for a weekend away

The very picturesque town of Omiš nestles at the foot of the high coastal mountains, just where the Cetina river breaks through to reach the Adriatic. It’s a spectacular location, a narrow gateway in the sheer mountain wall, with the town clustered on the flat area around the mouth of the river. We visited at the end of July, for the grand finale of the Festival of Dalmatian Klapa.

Tall tree in the fire

St John’s Eve bonfire party in Vrboska

Last night was a fun party in Vrboska, with a spectacular bonfire, klapa singing, food and wine. All day our neighbours were looking for old bits of wood, and we were encouraged to contribute. By the evening, there was quite a pile! This was the annual Žežin Sv Ivana, the celebration of St John’s Eve,…

Da te mogu pismom zvati – If I could call you with a song

Every so often, a song will haunt me, even if I don’t quite understand the lyrics. Recently it’s been the beautiful song composed by Ivan Badurina, Frane Bilić and Andrej Baša, performed by Klapa Maslina: Da te mogu pismom zvati – If I could call you with a song. Sung first at the Šibenik festival…

Happy 2400th Birthday to Stari Grad!

Stari Grad 2400 Celebrations and Days of the Bay Festival This year marks the 2,400th anniversary of the founding of Faros by Greek settlers. It’s Stari Grad’s official entry into recorded history, although there was actually an Illyrian settlement in place already. If only they’d also written things down, we’d probably need 3,000 candles on…

Ruža Crvena – singing to my red rose

Ruža Crvena (or sometimes Ružo Crvena) is one of the most popular songs for klapa groups, with its haunting melody and poignant words. It sounds fantastic in 4-part harmony, and we all love to sing along with the chorus. You’d think it was a traditional Dalmatian song, but no, it was actually composed in the early…

Hvar Artist Retreat 2015 day 6: painting at the beach and a musical evening

It’s been a busy week for the artists, and with the weather heating up again it’s time to head for the beach. It’s a short walk around the coast to Soline, where we can find a shady spot under the trees. Four of us go round in the morning, with another couple joining us for lunch at the nearby cafe. In the evening, we drive up to Pitve for our special dinner at Dvor Duboković, complete with live musicians.

Dalmatian klapa singing – touches of sweet harmony

Klapa singing is fine tradition in Dalmatia, with multi-part harmonies and no instruments necessary. From childhood on, many Dalmatians sing in groups for the sheer enjoyment of it. Informally sitting around a table in bars or restaurants, or as a more formal presentation in public spaces or on a stage. And it’s wonderful to listen…

A Sunday morning walk around Split

One of the great benefits of catching the early morning ferry into Split, is the opportunity to wander around the backstreets when they’re not so busy. On this particular Sunday, we had a plane to catch, but that wasn’t until lunchtime. In the meantime, we could have breakfast on the Riva, and explore the old town.