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Over the long history of Dubrovnik, the living reality has always included a general insecurity and a ceaseless striving to preserve freedom. Whether its ships sailed forth, their sails bellied by a fair wind, or some misfortune compelled the citizens to lick their wounds and start again from stratch, the love of the common good (Gundulic) was still the essence of their vision of Dubrava, in much the same spirit with which the ancient Romans honoured it, that is as delicia mundi. The ideal of the sanctity of life gave rise to a culture of beauty. Poets shaped their tender feelings and dreamy images into collections of love poems ("canzonieri"), seeking the expands of human happiness. Comedy gaily portrayed the richness of life within a prosaic setting, where living characters and recent events could be recognised (Drzic). Besides literature, music was also a source of the wondrous (Sorkocevic). Finally, the colorful festivals, which involved all the townsfok, filled Dubrovniks streets and squares, as can still be seen today during the festival of the citys patron saint, St Blaise (Vlaho). This is a magnificent procession full of mystical fervour, with the Holy Mass, the afternoon performances and feasts, which were attired in a blasius of colour, with bands of thick smoke gushing from the trumpets and bright coloured standards. The Festival of the St. Blaise (Blasius) is a ritual celebration of life itself. The celebrations would resume with carnival processions and festivities. There is always in these ubrovnik festivities something more to be learned about the precious value of life. In a similar vein, there are carnival processions in Orebic, lit by the lamps of sunken sailing ships, the carnival in Cavtat, the Dubrovnik Diocese, Lastovo, and the Moreska on Korcula island: a rich choreography portaying "black" and "white" knights jousting for the affections of a maiden, with an elaborate ethical motif: the abductor is thus vanquished.


This small region has a picturesque quality, with people who have not abandoned their traditional way of life, as if it were a vast stage on which the most subtle of performances was being acted out-life itself. The visitor finds remarkable charm in its exotic rural character but even more so when it erupts dazzlingly with festivals, processions and carnivals - from Cilipi to Lastovo, from Dubrovnik to Korcula and Metkovic. The city of Dubrovnik is a pageant of such open picturesque scenes. Fortifications, bridges, palaces, balconies, chapels, terraces, town squares, streets, monastic cloisters - the city is full of theatre - like atmosphere and rhythm. The events have already long been discovered, for both the performers and audience. There is a difference between the sound of steps on the city stone pavements and those on the floorboards of the theatre. In this architecture of gentility and harmony, directors always discover a new charm or beauty which for decades continue to be bestowed upon the Dubrovnik Festivals devoted audience. Dubrovnik has with ease reached the heights of Helsignor, Taurida, Rome and Verona and it seems to us that these universal works were written expressly for the Dubrovnik stage. Dubrovnik though will remain the one and only Dubrovnik and every classic performance on its stage is an unrepeatable experience. In 1993, a performance of the pastoral "Dubravka" written by Dubrovniks Ivan Gundulic, the great classic writer, and performed to great acclaim on the stage before the rectors Palace, is known as the first Dubrovnik Festival. As early as 1950, Dubrovnik with its summer festival was heralded a world phenomenon in new theatre. Surrounded by the architectural beauty of Dubrovnik, actors from around the world have found the inspiration to bring to life renaissance sensibility, and revel in their closer contact with the audience. The festival has brought a new and wonderful atmosphere to the town, and has become one more of Dubrovniks essential attributes.


The local people lovingly cultivate the traditional way of selecting and preparing food. When traditional dishes, prepared according to traditional recipes, are set before a guest, this expresses the highest esteem and regard. In the Neretva River valley, the most typical dish is eel of frog "Brodet" (stew). game dishes, particularly those made from wild duck, are a real treat and an unforgettable culinary experience. If you set out for Ston, you will reach a region of the highest gastronomic pleasures, a place where you will taste oysters, mussels, clams and other delicacies. You can wash them down with the best wines, grown only a few miles away: dingac, plavac, postup and peljesac. The residents of Korcula, a coastal town opposite Orebic, treasure such traditional dishes as spinning-wheel fettucine or "cukarini". The residents of Blato will proudly offer you a choice of some eighty dishes, drinks and sweetmeats, whose recipes they jealously guard, to dazzle guests at annual festivities. Neither will you be permitted to depart Vela Luka without first tasting what it has to offer in the way of food. The wide choice of delicacies, including fish, crabs, shellfish, sea urchins and cabbage would do honour to a Luculs feast. Those who wish to indulge in the sin of gluttony would do well to sail to Lastovo Island. Lobster risotto or lobster pasta will be an unforgettable experience. A real gourment will enhance the taste of these dishes by sipping some good grk, posip or marastina. Variations of this experience are avaialable in an even more beautiful setting, that being on the islands of Mljet, Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep. The islanders often prepare delicious dishes of dry fish and other seafood. Back on the coast, you are strongly adviced to visit the Slano harbour and try famous Dalmatian smoked ham and cheese. One shouldnt hurry on and miss Zaton Mali and its famous black risotto. A gastronomic tour of the region would not be complete without a visit to Srebreno, Mlini and Cavtat, where you can enjoy the traditional green "menestra" (soup).

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Dubrovnik - Neretva County - City and Region
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