Monday, 21 June 2021

Lastovo - Island of Stars Project Begins Once Again

June the 21st, 2021 - The Lastovo - Island of Stars/Otok Zvijezda project is being revived once again, with the first activities beginning last week.

As Dorian Bozicevic/Morski writes, back at the beginning of this year, an initiative was launched to revive the "Lastovo - Island of Stars" project, and at the invitation of the Lastovo Tourist Board, cooperation with the Croatian Astronomical Union began.

Astronomical workshops for elementary school students

The Secretary General of the Croatian Astronomical Association held a full-day astronomy programme for elementary school students in Lastovo through two workshops and observations, one on the sun and the other workshop called Stars, Constellations and Light Pollution.

Public observations of the Moon and measurements of the quality of the Lastovo night sky

As part of last week's astronomical programme held on Lastovo, two public observations of the moon were held with telescopes where citizens and tourists alike could view and photograph the moon with their own smartphones, and night sky quality measurements were started with SQM-L and TES TASS devices will be needed so that the Municipality of Lastovo and the Lastovo Islands Nature Park can apply for the status of the International Dark Sky Park with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).

A meeting on the Dark Sky Park was held within the Municipality of Lastovo

Last week, the Municipality of Lastovo held the first concrete meeting with representatives of local institutions that must be involved in order for the "Lastovo - Island of Stars" project to fully come to life and to continue work on declaring the International Dark Sky Park on Lastovo.

The meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of the Croatian Astronomical Association, Dorian Bozicevic, and the meeting was attended by the Mayor of Lastovo, Anita Jancic Lesic, the director of the Elementary School "Braca Glumac" Vedrana Ortika-Medini, a representative of the Lastovo Islands Nature Park, Gojko Antica, the director of the Tourist Board of Lastovo, Bruno Rina, and Diana Magdic, an employee of the same tourist board.

The meeting presented the conditions that need to be met in order for Lastovo to successfully apply for the status of an International Dark Sky Park and agreed on the first steps that need to be taken to start the same process (minor changes in outdoor lighting, night sky quality measurements, activities for children, adults and tourists, determining and arranging places for astronomical observations etc).

Among other things, the meeting discussed the installation of cameras in Croatia and the Global Meteor Network, as well as the possibility of the Visnjan Observatory on Lastovo to install a robotic telescope for tracking and detecting asteroids and launching extracurricular activities in astronomy at the aforementioned Lastovo school.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Monday, 24 May 2021

Lastovo-Korčula-Dubrovnik Daily Catamaran Service Introduced by TP line

May 24, 2021 - The TP line company for transport by sea introduced the Anastazija ferry service: Lastovo-Korčula-Dubrovnik daily catamaran around the year.

The vessel can cater to 300 passengers and develop a speed of 27 knots.

The ticket fare is 95 kuna during the peak of the summer season for this 75-mile route and 75 kunas outside that period, whereas local islanders are entitled to a lower fare, 60 kunas.

Presenting the new transport service, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić said on Monday in the Port of Gruž that this was a great thing for locals from Lastovo. He noted that the government had ensured HRK 12 million as the subsidy for this line.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

High-Speed Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik Line to Operate from Mid-May!

May 5, 2021 - Good news today as the high-speed Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik line will operate from May 15, 2021! 

The state high-speed line 9808 Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik (and return) will be established this May, and the first trip will take place on Saturday, May 15, 2021. The line will be maintained by the shipping company TP line d.o.o. by the "Anastasia" ship, announced the Agency for Coastal Shipping.

TP line d.o.o. was selected as the most favorable bidder in the negotiated public procurement procedure without prior publication of a call for tenders, and during the next week a contract will be signed with the shipowner to perform temporary transport on the line 9808 Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik.

After signing the contract, the Agency will publish the sailing schedule with the price list on its official website.

TP line d.o.o. will maintain the line until it is taken over by the shipowner who will be selected in the open public procurement procedure for transport on line 9808 Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik, and which proceedings are currently suspended for appeal.

For more information and travel tips to Dubrovnik, be sure to visit our newly launched Total Croatia portal.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 19 March 2021

International Poetry Day Croatia: Non-Croatian Poets about Croatia

March 21, 2021 - In honour of International Poetry Day Croatia, TCN's Ivor Kruljac met with non-Croatia poets to share their views on Croatia through their art.

Since 1999 and the 30th General conference of UNESCO, March 21 is recognized as International Poetry Day. As said by the United Nations official website, the date was dedicated to poetry to celebrate „one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity“, which history remembers practiced in every culture on every continent. 

„Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings“, states the UN.

Supporting linguistic diversity and an opportunity of endangered languages to be heard within their communities along with encouragement to bring back the oral tradition of recitals, the promotion of poetry teachings and poetry in the media, as well as connecting this ancient art form with other art forms such as music, painting, and theatre, are all goals of the International Poetry Day. And here at TCN, we want to do our part and connect poetry with what we always struggle to report on: Showing all aspects of Croatia.

To the fans of contemporary poetry, it's no secret that poets today are very much alive, productive, and regularly present their work. If not in books then at poetry events, open-mics, and on social networks – either from their private accounts, blogs, or in groups dedicated to this wordy-art.

We asked non-Croatian poets through social networks and private group chats dedicated to poetry who either visited Croatia or know about Croatia to send us poems about Croatia with a promise that the top 5 will be published and authors presented. Now, to be fair, while the author of this article is a poet, that is far from being a legitimate poetry critic and the rest of the TCN's editorial team (at least to public knowledge) aren't even poets. The idea was to pick the poems based on how it resonates with us as individuals who gave the art a chance. The academic acknowledgment is nice, but resonating with the audience, the everyday people, should be the goal of any art publically displayed, right?

To be honest, there wasn't really any competition as, by the end of the deadline, we received only four poems. Nonetheless, the beauty of these poems and great resonation with TCN was there and we are happy to publish these poems and ranked them, from fourth place to the very best. You can decide for yourselves which poem you like best (and the messages you see in their work), but here the four poems that „knocked on the doors of our mailbox“ (metaphorically, quite poetically, speaking).

#4: „Croatia“ by Jesus McFridge 

Poets such as Charles Bukowski and Walt Whitman are very well known by their name, but just as in many other arts, poets are no exception in sometimes preferring to use pseudonyms to present their work while keeping their identity unknown and privacy secured. Such is the author that goes by the name of Jesus Mcfridge. Quite active in a Facebook group Poetry Criticism For Cool Cats, he revealed in his application that he is from California and described himself as a „24-year-old American that watches too much television“. He added that his knowledge of Croatia is limited to the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but he has fallen in love with the Croatia national football team's checkered uniforms. Despite never visiting Croatia, after „Croatia's tragic loss in the 2018 World Cup final“, he found himself also crying just as many Croatians did.

„In this poem, I have attempted to capture the feeling of this tragic loss that we have shared together, despite the vast seas that separate us“ concluded Mcfridge in his application.

His bittersweet poem simply titled „Croatia“ indeed brings some painful memories but presented in a short and funny way allows us to look at the past in a brighter way, bring back smiles, and give us the strength to cheer for our Croatia national team as they prepare for the next trophy hunt.

 

Croatia

They

Almost won

The world cup

But

Mandzukic scored

An own goal.

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Jesus Mcfridge © Jesus Mcfridge

#3 „Daniela's song“ by Christian Sinicco (English translation by Daniela Sartogo)

Christian Sinicco was born in Trieste, Italy, and his poetry is published in various anthologies and magazines and an editor of the magazine Argo with which he has dealt with the widest overview of poetry in the Italian dialect from 2000 to the present day. He published three books of poetry: „Passando per New York“ (Lietocolle, 2005), „Ballate di Lagosta“ (CFR, 2014) and „Città esplosa“ (Galerie Bordas, 2017). He won the first Italian Slam Poetry Championship and served as the president of the slam poetry association LIPS - Lega Italiana Poetry Slam (2013-2014) and is the current vice president of Poiéin. He is also active in a global initiative of slam poets organizing the world slam championship which early results can be followed on Twitch.   

He participated in numerous book festivals including four festivals in Croatia: Zagreb Contemporary Poetry Festival, Forum Tomizza (in Umag), Pula Book Fair, and Rijeka Book Fair.

His second book of poetry „Ballate di Lagosta“, translates as Lastovo Ballads and it's actually a preview while Sinicco plans to soon publish the full book dedicated to this beautiful Croatian island on the southern coast.

„I was on Lastovo several times. I know a poet from there, Marijana Šutić and I spent a vacation there with other poets such as Ivan Šamija and Silvestar Vrljić“, said Sinicco in his application where he offered a poem from „Lastovo ballads“ which already seen its presentation on a prestigious literary site Versopolis.

„Daniela's Song“ may not bring out the most visual and most explicit Croatian motives, but the discrete and specific localization of Croatia is there all wrapped in a love poem to touch the heart and help us remember the summer sweethearts and romance in Croatia.

Daniela's song

I.

She talks about how beautiful it is without knowing where to go

perhaps into the water of the sun like her cheek

simply necessary as the wet dream

in a wider galaxy if it can be understood,

she seduces you through valleys and dusty vineyards

with eyes towards the bay with the waterfall:

Za Barje the sign said, and so also barked the dog tied

under the cypress – his teethed mouth was the buried reason

the fishermen had left him there – near a house

covered with ivy and blackberries, in which had grown

an apple tree with sour fruits and roses

that only you will taste:

avoiding the asphalt and dirt road holes you followed Daniela

targeting yourself and the asphyxia of your life

that follows the path to erect the intelligence of the species

that on the concept of work has built its republic of theft,

then you saw her dancing on the beach between the warm rocks

and the boat pulled out of the lobster pot, the fishermen are back:

good and evil are triangles of waves that spread

on the sea towards the two islands where we swam

– the fish are not aware of it,

and so the man under the pine and his child

with the mask, another fisherman with the fishing line,

only you maybe on the petals you bite as the words

 

II.

after quite a while we are outdoors and eat figs

at dusk time on this meadow

sliced on the wooden bowl,

we take the bread and tear it many times

because paradise is close to the fire

and the village to our left rises white in pink

made with scales like the barracuda

Korčula has no intention to leave our sight

I shouted as my usual self

you lit the candle and made me notice

we are not alone, but you can stay calm

slowly also the hut

and its fire have become attractive

calming the natural tension

of a darkening sky, not preventing us

from tasting the happiness

of a grilled fish, of tomato and capers

you are attractive when you smile

with a glass of water on the lips

too quietly they get up,

wanting to be born in the response they seek outside

the people at the tables next to us, and from the cottage

where they grill they come to clear up

a woman and the cook, as in a ceremonial

we ask for the check with the hands

they will be intertwined when we emerge from the field

toward the parking lot where we’ll get in the car

and head out to the highest point

of a series of bends, before descending to the valley

the vault of stars surprises us

we stop everything, propped on pillows of a land

that is still hot, we’re sure

that the star will fall, and it comes true

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Christian Sinicco © Daniele Ferroni

#2 „The Lakes of Plitvice“ by Vanni Schiavoni (English translation by Graziella Sidoli)

Born in Manduria, Italy, but living in Bologna, Vanni Schiavoni published five poem collections: "Nocte" (1996), "The Suspended Balcony" (1998), "Of Humid and Days" (2004), "Salentitude" (2006), and  "Walnut Shell" (2012). He also published two novels "Like Elephants in Indonesia" (2001) and "Mavi" (2019) and edited the poetic anthology "Red - between eroticism and holiness" (2010). Most recently, he also published poetical plaquette „Croatian Notebook“ which features twelve poems dedicated to six Croatian sites: Plitvice Lakes, Kornati, Šibenik, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik. Schiavoni wrote the "Croatian Notebook" after a week-long journey in the summer of 2017. His birthplace Manduria is located in the region of Puglia which is 30 miles away from the Pelagosa (Palagruža), the most distant Croatian island, and his surname originates from the name of the Slavonia region in Eastern Croatia.

„For me, it was not just a holiday trip but a journey in and out of everything that I am, a travel diary through which to bring out the game of mirrors between me and that place, between what I am and where I come from and what I have encountered“, said Schiavoni. This journey impacted him with images of the signs of Italy engraved in stone, mournings of the war, communist history („most heretical Communist party in the east in front of the largest Communist Party in the west“, as Schiavoni puts it) and as he added, „the same Adriatic Sea which gives both of us fishes and earthquakes“.

His poem „The Lakes of Plitvice“ is a lovely description of the mixture, the game, and visual eye-candy of the waters in Croatia's oldest National Park, and it linked with a search for bravery and the encouraging point that good and beauty can defeat evil and change it to something better.  

THE LAKES OF PLITVICE

The first day they always plunge down into the same spot

the river rapids that come to the encountering

of the white river with the black river

and the more we think ourselves ready with our shrewd eyes

the fewer the adjectives made available to us before that wonder:

the green rush pushes our pupils towards a wild frenzy

it pushes them inside the tearful torrents by our feet

in the shrouded darkness of the sequential caves

and in the vertical caverns sculpted

as if by a hand capable of it all.

Yet Judas must have passed by this place

and though perhaps not the one with burning lips

a simple Judas must have become lost

in this mysterious grid of remorse.

These lakes fall into lakes as lashings on yielding branches

they flow into other waters and so they rain

endlessly

and perfectly untouched.

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Vanni Schiavoni © Dino Igmani

 

#1  „Dubrovnik Rock“ by William Vastarella

After Schiavoni and Sinicco, our first-ranked poet is the conclusive evidence there is something so incredible about Croatia it really inspires poetically-inclined neighbors across the Adriatic. Born in Napoli in 1974, William Vastarella is a teacher of Italian Literature, geography, and History. He's has a Ph.D. in semiotics from the University of Bari and writes for several literary and cultural magazines in Italy. He also edited several poetry anthologies as well as semiotic essays. Vastarella visited Croatia several years ago and had a cultural and relaxing holiday on the seaside. „I found her so full of the Mediterranean spirit that I wrote a poem in Italian. I tried to translate it in other words, trying to leave intact the sounds of that memory“, said Vastarella about his poem on Dubrovnik.

The poem „Dubrovnik Rock“ is fantastic in the way, Vastarella visually invokes the images from the history of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) Republic and the relationship it had with Italians at that age with the waves of the Adriatic Sea as the link between Italy and Dubrovnik but also between past and present.

 

Dubrovnik Rock

Other singers claim to feel

singular vibes in the waves

Nearby this shore,

and so do I.

Ragusa, Dubrovnik

A name is not enough

To trap a soul.

I ask myself

Who’s the other side

Of the other side

As the seawater shuffles.

I touch with my finger

and now I know it’s real

the steel and the wood of the boat

powerful works of man

that wipe out weapons

and I ask no more.

I realize

we have been both

pirates and emperors

centurions and barbarians

through the centuries

each one to the other

a flurry flow

of slavers and Slavs,

slayers and saviors.

Sometimes when the north wind blows,

melting the white in waves,

painting clouds of amazing blues

mirroring the water in the sky,

space seems to become so narrow,

so easy the neighborhood,

then all

the voices of the ancient age

of an ancient game

of thousands lost

in that spot of time,

that spot of sea,

mutate in a mute roar singing

in which merge the rage of riot

and the call for help of a lot

castled in the rock

waiting for a drop of rain to drink

or friend sails on the horizon.

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William Vastarella © Vito Signorile

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Lastovo Island of Stars Project Being Revived with Astronomical Activities

February 22, 2021 – The Croatian Astronomical Union is reviving the project "Lastovo Island of Stars" by measuring the night sky quality and organizing astronomical activities for citizens and tourists.

After ten years, Dorian Božičević, Secretary-General of the Croatian Astronomical Union, visited Lastovo again. Together with Diana Magdić, Deputy Director of the Lastovo Tourist Board, at whose invitation he arrived, they visited potentially interesting Lastovo locations for astronomical observations and the installation of cameras to monitor Croatian, i.e., the Global Meteor Network's meteors.

Lastovo – Croatia's next dark sky park?

For Lastovo to apply for the International Dark Sky Park status, they agreed on further cooperation to start measuring the night sky quality. Besides, they decided to organize astronomy activities for citizens, tourists, and children.

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Winter sky over Prgovo / Dorian Božičević, Lastovo Tourist Board

By official definition, the dark sky park label is awarded to protected nature areas with extremely dark skies full of stars. Two places in Croatia hold this label – Petrova Gora in Banovina and Vrani Kamen on Papuk. Also, Jelsa on Hvar is well on its way to becoming the third dark sky park in Croatia, and it seems like Lastovo could potentially be the fourth.

Božičević and Magdić hope for the cooperation of all institutions on the island so that the project "Lastovo Island of Stars" really comes to life. They also plan to hold a meeting with the Lastovo Islands Nature Park's representatives and the Municipality of Lastovo.

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Dorian Božičević and Diana Magdić with a rotating map of the sky in Lastovo / Croatian Astronomical Union

Their goal is to bring astronomy to life in Lastovo's tourist offer and to ensure continuous extracurricular activities in astronomy for children and youth.

First Croatian municipality with ecological lighting

The Croatian Astronomical Union recalled that from 2008 to 2010, the International Conference on Dark Sky Parks had been held in Lastovo. However, due to a lack of financial resources and some other circumstances, the project stalled with development.

At that time, Lastovo began the reconstruction of public lighting. Little is known that Lastovo was the first local government in Croatia with completely ecological lighting, even before the adoption of regulations on protection against light pollution.

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Lastovo / Romulić and Stojčić

In 2010, a workshop in astronomy for elementary school students was organized on Lastovo. Then, the initiative for the establishment of the astronomical society Lastovo was also launched, as well as the initiation of the International Dark Sky Park proclamation.

Stargazing as a symbol of Lastovo

Lastovo is the most distant inhabited Croatian island, and thanks to the distance from the mainland and pollution, stargazing here leaves you breathless.

The town of Lastovo, also the only settlement on the Lastovo island, is an old medieval settlement rich in history. Hills surround it with amazing views of the surrounding fields and the crystal clear sea. In addition to the dark Lastovo sky, the symbol of Lastovo are the richly decorated chimneys, the so-called "fumari," which adorn Lastovo's family houses from the 15th and 16th centuries.

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Lastovo's chimney - "fumar" / Romulić and Stojčić

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The town of Lastovo / Romulić and Stojčić

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Monday, 16 November 2020

Lastovo is a Hit! Families and Entrepreneurs Want to Live Here

November 16, 2020 – Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, when tourism and business are significantly affected industries, one Croatian island is gaining popularity in both. Lastovo is a hit.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, the island of Lastovo is still a corona-free zone, they had a great tourist season this year, and a baby boom. However, as if those were not compelling enough reasons, in the last two months, Lastovo has recorded the interest of several families with children who would like to settle on the island.

And not only families, but on this Dalmatian island, a few hours away from Split by ferry, several entrepreneurs are interested in starting their own business. This story is confirmed to Slobodna Dalmacija by 26-year-old Don Tonći Ante Prizmić whose arrival on the island, in his first parish, coincides with this interesting and unusual phenomenon.

Why do people want to come to Lastovo? Well, the reason is simple. Besides the favorable conditions, the Church on this island continues to lease agricultural land for ten lipas per square meter. The only condition is that you must stay on the island. In the new normal, some see it as a ticket to a better tomorrow.

Because of that, and also because of the church's million square meters of land, the sum of numerous Lastovo fields, and cheap fertile soil – Lastovo is a hit.

"I agree, Lastovo is a hit. And I am so pleasantly surprised that coming to my first parish accompanies me with such good stories," says Don Tonći, continuing with a story about a family from Imotski who first came on vacation on Lastovo, but then fell in love so much that they expressed a desire to move here and engage in agriculture.

"I asked him if he knows how far we are from the mainland and what our ferry lines are. And he said he knows everything, but that they are serious. The only problem is that it is difficult to buy or rent a house on the island due to unresolved property relations. And there are a lot of houses. But they have a solution for that as well. They say they would put a container on the ground first hand. I told them then to come," says don Tonći.

'We wanted to give people a chance'

Other people also called, mostly young families from the area of Kaštela, Split, Dubrovnik, and even from Zagreb. This was followed by several calls from those who would grow lavender, essential plants, produce oils, and open a healthy pharmacy on church land.

Don Tonći opened the door to everyone, happy that on the island from which the youth must move to the mainland to continue their education, the new youth wants to settle. Lastovo, with its 46 green islands and 46 fields, has many church plots where a lot can be grown.

"We are happy that people are calling us and want to come. The price is not commercial because we wanted to allow people to cultivate the land. It began with the blessing of the bishop, and as we now await the new one, we will acquaint him right away with this noble idea. We have vineyards, pastures, fields, forests, all in different sizes. The problem is that they are not in one plot. Some land plots are 20, 50 meters, and more apart. But it is always possible to arrange a lease with one of the owners so that consolidation can be done. This island is beautiful. The truth is, we are a little further from the mainland. To get to Split, you have to get up at three in the morning to catch the ferry. But it has its charms," Don Tonći considers.

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The island of Lastovo / Sara Alduk

Don Tonći is a native of Dubrovnik, and on all of the island, as he jokingly likes to say, he is the only spiritual authority. When he got his first parish, St. Kuzma and Damjan on Lastovo, at first it was a small shock, but he adjusted very quickly. He says that the local people are very open, noble, atypical islanders. They are so strongly attached to each other that an island of 760 inhabitants seems like one big family caring for its members.

"And that's why the interest of those who would like to come here surprised me so pleasantly. I openly showed them what we have – plots of a few hundred to a few thousand square feet, vineyards just waiting for hardworking hands. There are no problems with irrigation either because the dew and nature here do the work themselves. There is a lot of lands, and the locals from Lastovo also rent it. The soil is fertile, soft, well, and gives excellent fruit. We offer you a welcome, so come," says Don Tonći.

Lastovo Statute

Don Stipe Miloš, a former Lastovo priest, explained to Slobodna Dalmacija where the Church got so much land from.

The church land is connected to the Lastovo Statute from the 14th century, according to which each family was obliged to give one-tenth of its annual income to the parish. A third of it went for the needs of the parish, another third as a salary for the pastor. And the third was used for the education of priests. In the 700 years that the Statute has been respected, a lot of lands have accumulated, but also the Lastovo youth has been ordained. And a good part of the estate came through the foundations of fraternities such as Our Lady of the Rosary, the fraternity of St. Anthony, and the fraternity of St. Peter.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

An Island Without Corona: Lastovo Records Zero COVID-19 Cases

October 27, 2020 - One Dalmatian island with 760 inhabitants, a five-hour ferry ride from Split, has not recorded a single coronavirus case since the first was recorded in Croatia back in February. A closer look at why Lastovo records zero COVID-19 cases to this day.

Slobodna Dalmacija asked the head of the Lastovo Civil Protection Headquarters, Margaret Hropić, how the locals managed to achieve zero patients for nine months.

"We have no concrete explanation as to why no corona cases have been reported on the island all this time. We had a busy summer, quite a few tourists, life is the same as in all other areas. People violate and respect measures; there is no different, more special behavior that we practice in our community. We live like the rest of the world. We are a closed environment. Behind us, from a tourist point of view, it is a successful summer. Maybe we have stronger collective immunity. The area of the island is certainly energetically stronger due to the natural environment.

We are grateful to God and hope that He will keep us going. Maybe the explanation lies in some intangible reason; I have room to believe in such an option," Margaret Hropić said.

One of the largest entrepreneurs in Lastovo, Marčelino Simić, the owner of one of the most famous restaurants in the southern part of the waters, and its marina, is almost of the same opinion. This summer, up to 30 yachts could be anchored on its pontoon simultaneously—and three-hundred people circulated in a small space. But what happened? Nothing. Everyone healthy, everything clean, everything tidy. So what's the secret?

"So many people have passed, and did anyone become infected - no, did anyone have a fever - no, did the corona come - no. We had two, three cases of self-isolation, but from our people who came from outside to the island, so they had to go through that measure as well. And everyone was healthy. Why? It is not in the open, my dear, corona; it cannot survive there. There are few people on the whole island on 50 square kilometers. There are another 50 kilometers of water around us; our whole island is a great self-isolation. Care was taken when going ashore; care was taken on the ferry and catamaran. Each of us really cares about who we will stand with then and how we will behave. The neighbor and every peson on the island are taken care of. Because when I take care of them, I take care of everything and myself. And on Lastovo, there is a special energy that keeps us all together," he says.

Furthermore, the island is experiencing a baby boom, with 10 babies this year! 

Bruna Rizvanović is among the pregnant women expecting a baby in late January to early February. She will be a mom for the first time.

"I know about five pregnant women; they say that there are about ten of them. It is difficult to count because we are connected by doctors in Split. I share the same day of birth with one. And to put it bluntly, we got pregnant at the same time, in April, May, during the lockdown. Well, the term clearly shows that we didn't really keep a social distance," Bruna laughs.

Her friend Martina Bašić Ivčević from Zaklopatica said that this is not the first time she has been in the center of a baby boom; one already passed ten years ago, when she was pregnant with her second child in a row. She is now expecting her fifth.

"And listen, there was a baby boom during corona. But I think it has to do with cycles, with decades. Now, why don't we have a corona? Big cities - several cases, smaller areas, less. There is nobody here. We follow the rules; we wear masks, don't have big gatherings, and we live. We protect each other. And so, everything runs as normal," concludes Martina.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Thursday, 20 August 2020

PHOTOS: Lily Allen And Lepa Brena Arrive In Croatia

August 20, 2020 – Croatian coast a hit in August 2020 with international pop stars including Lepa Brena and Lily Allen

Croatia's coast has once again proved an irresistible draw to holidaying celebrities. The latest famous arrivals include regional pop megastar Lepa Brena and hit British singer Lily Allen.

Both Lepa Brena and Lily Allen have taken to their social media accounts over recent hours to announce their arrival in the country. Each has posted pictures of their vacations on the beautiful, sun-soaked coast of Dalmatia.

Lepa Brena, the revered originator of the massively popular regional pop-folk sound posted pictures from Mljet island, but Lily Allen has already travelled between Lastovo and Vis island. And while photos taken by Brena have been all about the beautiful Croatian scenery, Lily's have been smiling selfies as she thoroughly enjoys a break with her family. Here's how they saw Croatia through their social media on the first days of their visits.

Lepa Brena

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Lily Allen

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Monday, 10 August 2020

Discovering Lastovo, Croatia's Southernmost Inhabited Island

August 10, 2020 - The southernmost inhabited Croatian island, Lastovo, together with other 45 islets, cliffs, and reefs, is Croatia's youngest nature park. Due to the richness of the Mediterranean plants and endangered animal species, Lastovo is among the last ten treasures of Mediterranean biodiversity. Along with Mljet, Lastovo is the most heavily forested Croatian island, with about 70% of it covered with forests. The larger settlements on the island are Lastovo, Ubli, Pasadur, Zaklopatica and Skrivena Luka.

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The hilly landscape formed by numerous karst fields and bays is ideal for those who enjoy recreational cycling. The seabed rich in caves and passages is a paradise for diving lovers. Of the diving sites, the most attractive and the most visited are Seka Drašan and Petrovac.

In addition to the above activities, visitors can enjoy hunting, recreational and sport fishing and star gazing. Lastovo is an island with one of the darkest skies in Europe and among tourists, it's also known as „the island of crystal stars“.

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According to the 2011 census, Lastovo has 792 inhabitants, but the real number is much lower. In the last ten years, many have moved away and the number of those who are registered there, but actually live and work elsewhere, is not negligible.

Most islanders are engaged in tourism and related activities such as agriculture, fishing and trade. Since the season on Lastovo is very short, tourism is not the only branch from which most residents live.

„Part of the population is employed in the institutions located on the island, such us JUPP Lastovo islands, Elementary School Braća Glumac, police, army, post office, state administration office… There are those whom agriculture, tourism or fishing is the only source of income, so when the season is over, after a short break, preparations for the next one begin very quickly“, says Bruna Rizvanović, director of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Lastovo.

In terms of tourism, last year was a record for the number of overnight stays.

 „Due to the tendency to increase in number of overnight stays in the last seven years, we believed that it would continue by at least 5-10% in terms of capacity. We planned our activities accordingly. However, this epidemic surprised us all and showed that the future is unpredictable. I believe that we will be able to push through this year and that this experience will help us to become even better and to develop in line with sustainable tourism“, she explains.

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During July 2020, 74.21% of last year's arrivals and 73.79% of last year's overnight stays were realized in the municipality of Lastovo. All catering facilities are open, but most of them opened later than planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for the music festivals for which Lastovo is famous, one has not been held, and the other will be held from 12th to 16th of August.

„The 'LUZ – Lastovo u zvijezdama' festival was not held this year, but the reason was not the current situation, but technical difficulties with the organization. I believe and hope that next year, the organizers of LUZ will meet again and continue the tradition of a diverse program and offer in the pre-season period, which is extremely important for our island“, Rizvanović adds.

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This year's edition of festival LAstovo.OTOKGLAZBE. adheres to a slighty different concept of organization due to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attitude of organizers about the importance of ensuring the health of visitors. Because of it, it will be held in a much smaller capacity, without the organization of a camp and with fewer visitors than usual.

DJ D-Gree, Stray Dogg and Mary May are responsible for the music program, while the young contemporary circus collective  Madame Gauc will perform the show „Fil“. In addition to the abovementioned program that will take place in MihajLA bay, part will take place in the village of Lastovo.

Rizvanović believes that the results of this tourist season are more than good, considering the situation in the rest of the county. 

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„I believe that the distance of the island from large city centers and the lack of crowds, but also the fact that we didn't record any cases of COVID-19, have affected that the results of tourist traffic are higher than expected. People feel safe knowing that the possibility of infection on the island is small“, Rizvanović concludes.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Beautiful Lastovo Richer for Founding of Tennis Club

As Morski/Andreja Dodig writes on the 21st of July, 2020, a group of recreationists and sports lovers gathered back at the beginning of May this year with the idea of ​​founding a tennis club and a tennis school on Lastovo.

Krešimir Dodig, the individual who first came up with this idea, thanks to his recreational tennis experience and acquaintances, collected a donation from the "Oroslavje" tennis club in the form of basic equipment (rackets, balls, nets).

The existing concrete playground located next to the pitch belonging to the "Omladinac" Lastovo football club was arranged and put to use with the help of a monetary donation from the aforementioned football club and with the great efforts of the local population who organised and arranged everything independently. Assistance and support was also provided by local institutions of the Municipality of Lastovo, the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Lastovo, the Lastovo Islands Nature Park and numerous local hospitality facilities.

Tennis is an extremely fun and social sport that can be played by all generations so this initiative intends to bring together interested individuals of all ages. The idea was met with a great response among the locals and visitors to Lastovo, with the emphasis of the initiative placed on the fact that primary school children (aged 7-14 years) are given the opportunity to attend tennis school for free. The school has been run by two licensed tennis coaches since July the 8th (Robi Jankovič and Gregor Ficko) with the help of two assistants (Jakob Jankovič and Matija Dodig), and other members of the club have been attending it since the beginning of the school on July the 20th.

At the very beginning of the operation of this Lastovo tennis school, 22 children were present, but by the date of this text, the number of children increased to 43, which means that as many as 86 percent of the children living on Lastovo are involved in this commendable sports initiative.

After the first phase, a presentation training for parents was held on July the 16th, where trainers presented learning methods, a programme of work in athletic, mental, technical and tactical education, and the children presented their acquired skills and knowledge to their parents.

Throughout the work of the tennis school for children, the coaches train local potential coaches who prepare for the continuation of the Lastovo tennis school after the end of this three-week summer camp. The wish of the initiators is that all members of the club go through the tennis school, and that playing tennis provides them pleasure.

Considering the position and location of the existing court, the possibilities of its expansion, the indescribably good microclimate for playing tennis and the existing infrastructure, projects for the formation of an entire tennis camp are also planned.

In addition to the development of physical and mental abilities, tennis has a social, fun character and can significantly enrich life on the island as well as the tourist offer of Lastovo. Islanders and local institutions have already recognised the potential and importance of this project, which can mean a lot for the future of their children, the population, as well as visitors.

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