Thursday, 18 June 2020

Trogir Hotel Awarded 11.1 Million Kuna in EU Funds for Energy Efficiency

As Novac writes on the 17th of June, 2020, energy efficiency is high on the priority list of Hotel Medena d.d., a Trogir hotel, which has been readily confirmed by the project entitled ''Hotel Medena - New Energy'' with a total value of 34,912,938.26 kuna, which is co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund in the amount of HRK 11,170,747.45 million in grants.

This enormous sum of money was awarded to this particular Trogir hotel within a tender called ''Increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in the service sector''.

''Constant care for the environment, increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources is one of the fundamental components of sustainable development and an important factor in the hotel industry. For this reason, we're extremely pleased to have implemented the project ''Hotel Medena - New Energy'', which will contribute to the realisation of energy savings by increasing the efficiency of energy use and will achieve significant savings in our business. All this together goes in favour of the promotion of the sustainable development of tourism in its wider environment, but also the promotion of the hotel itself,'' they said from this Trogir hotel.

The project was co-financed by the European Union (EU) under the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme, from the European Regional Development Fund, and the implementation of the project began way back in January 2014 and will last until the end of June 2021.

This project directly solves the problem of energy inefficiency by creating conditions for eliminating energy losses through the renewal of the envelope of the energy cost unit, the replacement of indoor and outdoor lighting with more energy efficient types, the installation of solar collectors and the reconstruction of the boiler room to switch to an air-to-water heat pump.

According to their calculations, this move will reduce CO2 by as much as 62 percent.

For more, follow our lifestyle page. If you're interested in both official and unofficial ways in which Croatia works to protect its environment, follow Total Eco Croatia.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Hope for Croatian Tourism? Trogir Hotel Full Over Long Weekend

As Novac/Privredni/Jozo Vrdoljak writes on the 15th of June, 2020, Trogir's Brown Beach House Hotel & Spa, which was created on the back of the reconstruction of the former Duhanka building, had one hundred percent occupancy for the recent extended weekend (with Tijelovo).

According to the forecast of Stanka Karadzija, the director of the Brown Beach Hotel, it will also be full next weekend, when many guests will combine that particular weekend with the celebration of the Day of Anti-Fascist Struggle/Dan antifašističke borbe.

;;We reopened the hotel on June the 1st and since then we've recorded excellent occupancy given the situation, more than 50 percent of our capacities were filled during those first few days of June while at this time, during the extended weekend, we didn't have a single room available.

We may have a slight advantage over the competition because Brown Beach is very popular due to its unique concept, great design and offer. In the first three years of our operations, we hosted the corporate events of some of the world's most prestigious brands, including Mercedes, Porsche, Google… Therefore, our offer of June packages at lower prices than usual was greeted with great enthusiasm by our guests, and especially by Trogir locals. The most numerous guests in June have been locals from here in Trogir, followed by Germans and Austrian nationals. Almost everyone arrived here by car,'' explained Stanko Karadzija.

She also noted that this particular Trogir hotel is currently well filled, so it is likely that next weekend it will manage to reach a previously unimaginable 100 percent occupancy level with respect to many last minute bookings and an increased number of walk-in guests, which, as she herself says, wasn't really a common situation in previous years. As for further forecasts, the hotel director pointed out that the situation has changed significantly this year because of these surreal circumstances in which we find ourselves.

''In previous years, July would have been almost sold out by this time of year, but this year it is different, because the behaviour of our guests has changed. Five days before the extended weekend, we didn't imagine that we would be completely full," she admitted.

As for prices, Karadzija admits that corrections have already been made to suit the coronavirus-dominated situation.

For more on Croatian tourism and hotels in the coronavirus era, follow our travel section.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Trogir

May 11, 2020 - Tourism is on hold, but most of us have plenty of time. So let's look at the virtual resources available to explore Croatia virtually. We continue our new Virtual Croatia series with the tools to discover Trogir.

A few weeks ago I wrote that being a tourism blogger in the corona era was about as useful as being a cocktail barman in Saudi Arabia. I feel less useless now, a few weeks later, and I am encouraged by the number of Croatian tourism businesses who are contacting us wanting to start thinking of promoting post-corona tourism. 

One of the challenges of writing about tourism at the moment is that there is nothing positive to write about. With people confined to their homes and tourism in Croatia currently not possible, many have decided to go into hibernation until it is all over. 

I think that this is a mistake, and I have greatly enjoyed the TCN series by Zoran Pejovic of Paradox Hospitality on thinking ahead to tourism in a post-corona world.  You can find Zoran's articles here.

Way back on March 14 - several lifetimes ago - I published an article called Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Zagreb. The way I saw things, now was an OUTSTANDING opportunity for tourism promotion. People have time, they yearn for their freedom and former lives, so give them the tools to thoroughly research and enjoy your destinations, and you will have then longing to be there. And when they do come, they will have a deeper understanding of the destination due to their research. 

South Africa and Portugal were the first to do their post-corona tourism promotion videos several weeks ago (Post-Corona Tourism Planning: Lessons from South Africa and Portugal), a trick which has been followed by other tourism countries, the latest being Croatia with the national tourist board campaign, #CroatiaLongDistanceLove, going live yesterday.

But while these campaigns create longing and market presence, they don't really educate. People now have time to really get into destinations. And dreams of escape to somewhere more exotic are high on the list of priorities of many. 

So TCN has decided to help with that education with a new series called Virtual Croatia, where we will be helping you discover many of Croatia's destinations with all the best virtual tools available on your self-isolating sofa at home. 

We started last week with Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Tools to Discover Hvar.

After this, we put our a press release (which you can read here in English and Croatian) offering a free article to any local tourist board in Croatia who would like the free promotion in our Virtual Croatia series

The Sinj Tourist Board was the first to respond, and now you can see just how rich the tourism offer is in this proud Alka town - your virtual tools to Discover Sinj. This was followed by DIscover OpatijaDiscover Brela, Discover Rogoznica, Discover Klis and Discover Omis.

Next up, Nina Misic from the Trogir Tourist Board, who sent me some virtual tools to help us discover Trogir. 

Let's begin! 

#TakeMeBack to Trogir, Marked by Masters, Inspired by Stone

Travel has the power to bring us all together. It allows us to explore it in compelling ways so that we can better understand each other, destinations, and their history and culture.

Collect Your memories and relive them.

We are waiting for You

#TAKEMEBACKTOTROGIR

Trogir, Marked by Masters, the new official video launched in November 2019 to coincide with Trogir's new branding.

Trogir, Inspired by Stone promo video.

Timelapse Trogir

Trogir by drone.

Discover Trogir magic by night. 

Remember when the whole world was HAPPY, inspired by the Pharrell Williams hit song? The Trogir version.

Discover Trogir, among National Geographic's Top 10 Island Cities, and UNESCO World Heritage Site

The old town of Trogir became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and the official UNESCO video above is introduced as follows. 

"Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity. The orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was embellished by successive rulers with many fine public and domestic buildings and fortifications. Its beautiful Romanesque churches are complemented by the outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period."

Take a tour of the rich cultural heritage of this remarkable Adriatic coastal town, which was named by National Geographic in its top 10 island cities in the world.

Trogir as It Once Was: A Journey Back to 1985

How was holidaying in Trogir in years gone by? Some wonderful snapshots of a family holiday in Trogir in this home video from 1985. 

Activities and Things to Do in Trogir

Trogir is a delightful and compact little town, with thousands of years of history around every corner. Get to know it in detail through the eyes of its visitors. 10 things to do.

A walking tour of the streets of Trogir. 

And another...

There are plenty of beaches nearby and across the bridge on Ciovo.

Nautical tourism is popular - meet the ACI marina in Trogir.

So how is the sailing experience to Trogir? 

Or parasailing, perhaps? 

UNESCO kayaking heaven. 

A scuba diving paradise. 

Mountain biking.

Climbing.

And there are of course plenty of day trips to enjoy - Krka National Park, Split, Ciovo all come to mind. But don't miss the fabulous Blue Lagoon.  

Wine heaven, home of the original Zinfandel

Did you know that the original Zinfandel comes from Dalmatia? A DNA study by the University of Davis in 2001 concluded that California's iconic red was a 100% match for Kastelanski Crljlenak, which - as the name suggests - hails from Kastela, just the other side of Split Airport. 

As well as the vineyards of Trogir. 

One of the finest views from a vineyard in Europe (and with excellent quality wines to match) can be enjoyed at the Kairos vineyard in Trogir. 

A dream wedding destination

Or perhaps you would like to tie the knot there...

Or perhaps you would prefer to celebrate your magical day in a fortress in a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Weddings in Trogir are on the rise. Find out why in this wonderful Trogir destination wedding video. 

Truly Marked by Masters, in the past and the present day

One of the key concepts behind the new branding of Trogir, Marked by Masters is the outstanding artisan traditions of the town's population over the centuries, a tradition which is very much alive today. As destinations such as Dubrovnik have traded traditional craft shops within its UNESCO walls for the sale of cheap souvenirs, Trogir's old town has a number of family businesses which are carrying on the artisan tradition of several generations, such as coral jeweler, Misel.  

Klapa Trogir

Nothing encapsulates the romance of a Dalmatian holiday than the wonderful local klapa music. Meet Klapa Trogir.

Advent and New Year in Trogir

Summer may be the main tourist season in Trogir, but Advent is also a lovely time to visit. 

And there can be few more spectacular settings to welcome the New Year. 

Official Trogir Tourist Board Website & 25 Things to Know about Trogir

Discover Trogir via the official tourist board website.

Learn more about Trogir with the TCN feature article, Trogir: 25 Things to Know about UNESCO Old Town Heaven.

THIS. IS. TROGIR. When can we expect your visit? 

To discover more of virtual Croatia, you can follow this series in our dedicated section, Virtual Croatia

If you are a local tourist board in Croatia and would like your destination featured in this series for free, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Virtual Croatia (and destination name)

Monday, 16 March 2020

City of Trogir Announces Guidelines and Recommendations for Coronavirus Crisis

March 16, 2020 - Given the development of the COVID-19 virus spreading, following the instruction of the Civil Protection Staff of Split-Dalmatia County and the conclusions of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Trogir on March 12, 2020, the Mayor of Trogir Ante Bilić passed a decision, which we are transmitting in its entirety.

1.) It is recommended that all citizens of the City of Trogir make the least possible use of the services of the Health Center - Trogir Branch to preserve the integrity of the medical system and to unnecessarily expose themselves and other risks of transmission of the infection. In case of symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, sneezing, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath), consult a doctor of your choice. In case of emergency, call 112 or epidemiologist for the City of Trogir on 0911512021.

2.) Institutions owned by the City of Trogir, the Tourist Board of the City of Trogir will not organize direct work until further notice.

Temporary closure of the permanent exhibition area of the Museum of the City of Trogir for visitors, libraries and reading rooms of the City Library of Trogir is ordered, followed by the space of civil society organizations, associations and communities of associations, as well as spaces used by these associations for regular activities.

3.) The work of the Trogir kindergarten is interrupted, except the kindergarten "Maslačak" at Kneza Trpimira 41, which will be on duty for the duration of the ordered measures.

4.) All sports facilities, gymnasiums, sports fields and playgrounds of the City of Trogir will be closed.

5.) The City Administration of the City of Trogir will cancel receptions, and contact will be possible only by phone, mail or e-mail. Receptions of foreign delegations as well as travel of employees from outside the Republic of Croatia are postponed. 

6.) Officers and employees of the city government, institutions and city companies are obliged to adhere to the recommended hygiene and precautionary measures, to avoid close contact with persons with respiratory symptoms, to maintain the hygiene of the environment and the workplace in terms of cleaning and disinfecting work surfaces and objects, ventilating the workspace and recommend the same to citizens/parties with whom they are in communication.

This decision can also be read on the web pages and bulletin board of the City of Trogir, as well as city institutions and companies.

Source: Trogirski Portal

Follow the latest coronavirus updates on the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Trogir, Marked by Masters: Traditional A Cappella Singing by Klapa Trogir

March 3, 2020 - TCN meets the modern masters of Trogir in our latest series. Next up, traditional a cappella singing by Klapa Trogir.

In November 2019, Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, visual identity, and promotional video, becoming the first coastal destination in Croatia to use branding at such a serious and professional level.

The result of the creative process is the slogan “Marked by Masters”, influenced by the continuity of life in Trogir for over 3600 years, the great masters who have operated in Trogir since the Middle Ages, and the indelible traces that these masters leave. 

While the medieval master builders, sculptors, and stone-cutters who lived and created in Trogir left their mark through the traces of graffiti around the town, centuries later, we can find Trogir’s modern masters thriving as artists, chefs, jewelers, tailors, and klapa singers, to name a few. 

Today, we meet Klapa Trogir, whose traditional a capella folk songs have decorated the squares of Trogir for over half a century. 

The narrow arched streets, beneath the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance windows and balconies of ancient Trogir, have always echoed the songs of heavyweights, fishers, and sailors. The catchy or rustic tunes marveled wonderfully at the city's turbulent past. These Dalmatian folk tunes originate from the everyday life of a coastal man whose traces are rooted in the centuries-old singing of folk fraternities of medieval churches. Thus, 56 years ago, Klapa Trogir klapa was borne out of the same environment.

Klapa Trogir was founded in 1964, at the premises of the Kolo Cultural and Art Society, which has cultivated the rich tradition of the Trogir choir since its foundation in 1919. Formed by friends and folk singers who first called themselves 'Grupa Dalmatinaca', they were one of the first formally formed vocal bodies of Klapa founded in Dalmatia.

Hoping to prove themselves at the first-ever Omiš Klapa Festival in 1967, Grupa Dalmatinaca needed to change their name in order to perform. After contemplating many stage names, "Oktet Trogir" was accepted.

Oktet Trogir performed folk tunes “Cviće moje”, “Ako si pošla spat” and “Blago, blago” and was awarded the second-largest cash prize by the jury.

A long-time member of the jury, distinguished historian and cultural worker Željko Rapanić reviewed their performance in Slobodna Dalmacija:

"... in the great flood of fabricated pseudo folklore and folk music, nurturing the original Dalmatian song as a musical expression of a particular and independent ethnic medium and ambiance has its deep meaning ... in this sense, we would emphasize Oktet Trogir..."

For the next 20 years, Klapa Trogir confirmed its quality by winning twenty awards from the Omiš jury or audience - and in 1986, Klapa Trogir was voted the most successful klapa for the first two decades of the Festival.

Klapa Trogir was conducted by leading music experts of the time, like Josip Veršić, Silvije Bombardelli, Nikolaj Žličar, Nikola Buble, Ljubo Stipišić, Joško Ćaleta, Duško Tambača, and Vladan Vuletin to name a few.

The size and merit of Klapa Trogir is that by its quality of singing, and especially by its relation to the singing tradition of its region, it has been able to prove its worth at an almost academic level, while preserving traditional songs, which they then recorded and released. Today, the songs are essential literature for any aspiring klapa singer.

The sound of Klapa Trogir, special and inimitable, is the soundtrack to scenes of ancient Trogir, the cathedral and busy squares, parks and terrace gardens, and dawn or dusk reflected on the calm sea.

Some say that Klapa Trogir can thank its harmony from the singer's brotherly bond, which often corresponds to the truth. Namely, from the beginning, the group once boasted brothers Geić, Frana, and Coce.

At the zenith of its Klapa voyage, Klapa Trogir ceased to operate in the first half of the 1990s. After a ten-year hiatus, in 2003, they reunited briefly to celebrate 40 years with performances at Poljud, Lisinski and other concert venues across Croatia. 

Behind Klapa Trogir is a magnificent opus of Dalmatian folk songs, new klapa compositions, modern popular festival songs and world, classical and sacred compositions of international provenance.

Last summer, Klapa Trogir reunited to take part in the Trogir Cultural Summer program.

"I am delighted to have revived the Klapa song after 30 years in Trogir. We proved that the songs did not die in the city, and that many of our vocals will be performed forever. A lot is going on in Klapa songs nowadays, and you can find yourself singing in odd places, from funerals to weddings, or theaters to stadiums, and the least are sung in streets or alleyways. We think that this should be indigenous singing, it is simply that charm that cannot be extinguished and what made the Trogir Klapa famous," said Klapa Trogir member Igor Brešan.

Their last concerts were very well received and were designed in three parts. While they most sang a capella, and songs belonging to the locality of Trogir, in the second part, they presented the fun songs of Zdenko Runjić in klapa versions, and in the third, dedicated songs to people who were gone, primarily Nikola Buble and Vinko Coce.

"The concerts were very well received by the audience. There is no makeup artist here, it is sung simply without a microphone, as in the aforementioned streets, very dignified. In the 55th year of existence, we were given a stable team of 10 people who received their first recognition from the President, then we toured in Ljubljana and Čakovec, and now we are going to Norway. The voice of Klapa Trogir really spreads nicely."

At the end of last year, they released a forgotten recording found somewhere in Split, including nine songs that have never been released in over 30 years.

Over the past decades, the Klapa has been enriched by top tenors such as Nikša Bilić Panto in the first line-up, with his seconder, Špire Piteša, and in the second it was Vinko Coce and Zoran Demirović - Čuči. Today, there is Ivo Ostric and Ivo Coce, who will carry on the work of the klapa. The album of lost songs is event nominated for a Porin award - in three categories!

Many young singers grow up listening to these Trogir tenors and baritones, trying to copy the unique performances of Klapa Trogir. The wonderful voices and interpretations of Vinko Coce, Zoran Demirović - Čuč, Duje Coce, Mario Franić, and Frane Frana, Marinko Rožić and Vlado Rilja, the most famous singers of Trogir, will remain an unattainable model and lasting value of Dalmatian musical tradition.

To read more about the modern masters leaving their mark on Trogir today, as well as the latest from this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, follow the dedicated TCN Trogir page.

Source: FDK.hr, Trogirski Portal

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Trogir, a Tourist Destination Transformed Thanks to the Ciovo Bridge

February 29, 2020 - As tourist destinations grapple with more and more tourist traffic, how the new Ciovo bridge returned Trogir to its former glory without the Ciovo traffic. 

The Dalmatian coast is blessed with seemingly endless picturesque stone, walled towns and cities, each one a must-see - Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Primosten, Sibenik and Zadar, to name but a few. But come back in the peak season, and the experience will be somewhat different. As much as I love Omis and all its fascinating history, I have better things to do with my summer than sitting in traffic trying to get there, and Dubrovnik is not an option for me after late May. And until two summers ago, there was another name that I would have included in that list of gorgeous destinations to be avoided in peak season.

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The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir. 

But that all changed in the summer of 2018. 

Just a few minutes from Split Airport, and the ideal welcome and departure overnight stay for a Dalmatian holiday with no airport transfer stress, the old town of Trogir is one of Croatia's cutest and most compact heritage destinations. Itself a small island, its tourism fate has been inextricably linked to the larger island of Ciovo in recent decades. Tourism in Ciovo has exploded in recent years, and there has been considerable construction of new apartments, with the only access by land across the small Venetian bridge next to Trogir old town.   

The result was tourism chaos, huge queues, and much frustration for those heading to Ciovo and Trogir alike.

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This 1962 photo above is a nice comparison to the more recent one below. The lovely old town of Trogir has not changed that much at all in almost 60 years, while across the water on Ciovo, the tourism expansion has been significant. 

The one thing that certainly did not change, despite decades of talk and promises, was the infrastructure. The only Ciovo bridge access was the small original crossing. If another solution could be found to rid Trogir of the considerable Ciovo through traffic, could we see a return to the Trogir as It Once Was? 

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A new Ciovo bridge was finally announced and, after several false starts, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic opened the new 207 million kuna bridge in July 2018, 85% of which was financed by the EU.  

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You can get an idea of the before and after from these two photos, above and below. 

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The new bridge, which is between Trogir and both Split and its airport, means that all that traffic which used to clog up Trogir in season, does not even come close to the town, heading straight across the new Ciovo bridge, leaving locals and Trogir tourists who want to pop over to Ciovo along the old bridge with a much more pleasant experience. 

Trogir as it once was. 

Trogir Mayor Ante Bilic told TCN not only about the difference the new bridge has made, but what other traffic improvements are in the works: 

The new bridge has completely changed how Trogir functions, especially during the tourist season. It's going to be 2 years in July since the grand opening, and we've almost forgotten how our lives were complicated on a daily basis before the bridge was built. Still, we are very thankful for this important traffic solution which made our lives easier and with more quality, not to mention how much more convenient it is for thousands of tourists visiting Trogir.

I believe the new bridge was also a symbolic beginning of a new era for our town. Trogir, of course, needs more traffic investments and solutions to make it even more seamless. Our partners such as Hrvatske Ceste and Županijske Ceste have some great new plans for us in the foreseeable future. Firstly, the reconstruction of the town's western entrance, via Seget, which is a priority and then the main Čiovo road, from the old Bridge to Slatine. Maybe the most interesting project is making the old stone bridge a pedestrian area and building a new, small bridge starting from the bus station, that will connect the mainland with the old town peninsula. For sure, we have solved our critical traffic problem with the new Čiovo bridge but we are looking forward to new traffic projects.

Excellent stuff, and exciting times for Trogir, which recently launched its new branding, Trogir, Marked by Masters. 

TCN, in association with the Trogir Tourist Board, will be covering this exciting destination in greater detail throughout 2020, and you can follow the latest on our dedicated TCN Trogir page

Friday, 21 February 2020

PHOTO: 6th-Century Sarcophagus in Trogir Contains Message for 21st-Century Citizens

February 21, 2020  - A recently discovered 6th-century sarcophagus in Trogir has a message for citizens of the 21st-century. 

Dalmacija Danas reports that a stone sarcophagus arrived at the Trogir City Museum this week, which was discovered by archaeologists from the company Temenos d.o.o when exploring several late antique graves and tombs on Put Ribola.

The ancient attraction, however, was mistaken for a garbage bin my many passersby on Wednesday, prompting clever signage that honors the antiquity of the stone coffin. 

Namely, popular satirical Facebook page ‘Daily dose of the average Dalmatian' posted a photo of the sarcophagus with a message to citizens.

“I am not a bin for garbage but a sarcophagus from the 6th century!”

The comments, as expected, are entertaining as ever.

“And not just any 6th-century sarcophagus. I am a sarcophagus who knows how to write, print and paste this message to you, an evil man of the 21st century!”

“Typical Dalmatian, we have been using the same bin for millennia and a half!

“Great to see how we treat our historical heritage! What is that sarcophagus doing in a street where everyone can throw garbage in it!? Isn't this intended for a museum or other institution? What a shame."

This sarcophagus is a representative of the geometric style characteristic of the 6th-century sarcophagi that were produced in Brac-Salona workshops, which were popular not only in central Dalmatia but were exported throughout the eastern Adriatic coast as well as Italy. It is a tomb of the better-known late antique Trogir, in which two deceased were buried, which we will know more about after the anthropological analysis of the remains.

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Trogir City Museum

The cemetery's findings indicate the existence of a larger economic-country complex (villa rustica) in the area of Ribola in the late antique period (4th - 7th centuries), where a church was erected in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the map of Trogir from 1828, whose name so far, has not been revealed. 

It is worth noting that P. Andreis mentions as many as four churches in the Red Land (Ribola) area, with the ruins still visible today.

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

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Trogir, Marked by Masters: Traditional Dalmatian Suits by Gena

February 18, 2020 - TCN meets the modern masters of Trogir in our latest series. Next up, distinguished Dalmatian-inspired suits by Boris Burić - Gena.

In November 2019, Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, visual identity, and promotional video, becoming the first coastal destination in Croatia to use branding at such a serious and professional level.

The result of the creative process is the slogan “Marked by Masters”, influenced by the continuity of life in Trogir for over 3600 years, the great masters who have operated in Trogir since the Middle Ages, and the indelible traces that these masters leave. 

While the medieval master builders, sculptors, and stone-cutters who lived and created in Trogir left their mark through the traces of graffiti around the town, centuries later, we can find Trogir’s modern masters thriving as artists, chefs, jewelers, tailors, and klapa singers, to name a few. 

Today, we meet Boris Burić, aka ‘Gena’, a master tailor that specializes in men’s fashion and traditional Dalmatian suits. 

"I make suits for the soul of a man,” Gena was quoted saying in a 2019 interview for Jutarnji List, and it’s not hard to see why. 

In an attic inside the UNESCO walls of Trogir, Boris Burić founded the fashion atelier Gena in 1973. Inspired by the beauty of traditional civic attire, the Gena - Fashion Croatica collection was created, which is a blend of tradition and high-end fashion, unique and recognizable in the world.

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Considered a genius at the age of 5, hence the nickname ‘Gena’, it wasn’t until the age of 15 that the Trogir tailor sewed his first suit. While it was not Dalmatian, but classic, that is when Gena began to hone his skill. Two years later, he married, and soon after had his first child. As a young man, and already a father, he needed to find a way to feed his family. Thus, the idea of creating traditional Dalmatian suits was borne.

Gena styles a version of the civic suit, inspired by the beauty of the traditional types from the 19th-century. He begins with a strictly limited traditional outfit, and gradually adds new details to create a flawless, elegant form. 

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This blend of tradition and high-end fashion has made any Gena suit unique and recognizable in the world. Modernizing the lines and perfecting the quality and details of the past creates a distinctive style of high fashion in which the romantic trace of history and the spirit of modernity are discernable. Tiny details are added to enrich the whole and give a personal touch to simple, elegant and beautiful suits, with full freedom to introduce your personality and style.

“My suits have ten faces. Each shows one side of the man, but they all have something in common. It's simplicity, dignity, pride, leisure, and it all harmonizes to create the perfect suit,” says Gena, who is also known to claim himself as the ‘best tailor in the world’.

“The Dalmatian suit is the basic construction of the cut. The tradition of Dalmatian suits has existed for 120 years. In fact, I do nothing more than repeat what has been proven best and add my own details that tell a new story,” says Gena.

Gena’s skills have long been recognized by many celebrities and various media. His passion for the craft is noticed at first glance. 

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Gena suits have been worn by Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone, Spanish opera tenor Placido Domingo, and German racing driver Sebastian Vettel.

The first diplomatic gift US President Barack Obama received from Croatia was a Gena suit, from the hands of Biograd Mayor Ivan Knez in 2009. Gena said he didn't sleep for three days while creating it.

Croatian stars, like Stipe Mesic, Goran Ivanisevic, and Dino Rada barely make a dent in his local clientele. 

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Gena even created a custom suit for multimillionaire Bruce Grossman, who sailed to Croatia in summer on his $40 million 'Forever One' yacht. Grossman tried on the suit in the presence of his family and friends. When Grossman left the room, Gena recalls that it went silent. Grossman’s wife spoke first. 

"I'm fascinated,” she claimed, which Gena considers the highest praise he can receive for his work. 

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Gena’s intense emotion, unparalleled passion, and meticulous detail, fused with an ode to tradition and eye for elegance, give birth to works of art that are timeless, bold, and beautiful. 

“When you see a man in my suit, you have to look at him, whether you like it or not. No matter who you are, poor or rich, you'll stop for a moment, shut up, and look at him.” 

To read more about the modern masters leaving their mark on Trogir today, as well as the latest from this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, follow the dedicated TCN Trogir page.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Trogir, Where UNESCO Meets Game of Thrones and the Original Zinfandel

February 14, 2020 - Where to go to maximise the number of experiences in one place in Dalmatia? The case for Trogir. 

Tourism is changing, and people these days seem to want to get the most out of a holiday. With the Instagram god to feed, the days of sitting on one beach for a fortnight are becoming rarer. 

But sometimes you don't have to keep from place to place to enjoy unbelievable experiences on a daily basis. 

Take Trogir for example - a destination which has SO much to offer, but which is often overlooked in favour of its bigger neighbour, Split.  

I was in Trogir earlier this week, and my very fun day included a long overdue return visit to fabulous Vina Kairos, high in the hills over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old town of Trogir. It was more than four years since my first visit, when we featured Kairos and its enigmatic and innovative winemaker, Ljubo Jelacic, who is busy restoring the traditions of the birthplace of Zinfandel in the region where the iconic California grape variety was born. You can read about that first visit and a presentation of Kairos here

As I surveyed the magnificent view in the February wind, I was struck not only by its beauty, but also about the wealth of fantastic things so close to each other. The birthplace of the original Zinfandel for wine lovers (with plenty more vineyards to visit in nearby Kastela. The view included views of no less than two UNESCO World Heritage Sites worthy of a visit (Trogir and Diocletian's Palace in Split - perhaps three if your vision was good enough to take in the Stari Grad Plain on Hvar), and Game of Thrones film locations in Kastela and Split. 

The Kairos vineyard is GORGEOUS - here it is with a little more life on the vines. The Kairos vineyard is a great place to take in so much of the magic of Dalmatia, while enjoying local specialities and indigenous local grape varieties. 

And then wander around the historic old town, which has an incredible amount of hertiage packed into its stone walled town. 

Here, for example, is arguably the prettiest square in Dalmatia, the main square in Trogir. 

And all this magic - and more - is just a few minutes from Split Airport, so accessibility is among its many attractions. Indeed, as we wrote recently, the accessibility and range of fantastic attractions in Trogir makes it the ideal start and finish of a holiday in Dalmatia, especially for those holidaying on an island. No last-minute ferry stress to take into consideration. Learn more about why the town is the perfect start and finish to a Dalmatian island holiday

 

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Why Trogir is the Perfect Start and Finish to a Dalmatian Island Holiday

February 9, 2020 - Instead of racing for that last ferry on arrival or worrying about missing the connection for the flight home, there is a simple Dalmatian solution to a relaxed start and finish of an Adriatic island holiday. It is called Trogir. 

After many years of living in Dalmatia, and having experienced countless frustrations (both my own and countless others with a Western mindset), I reduced my decade of life learning here to a single sentence of advice. It was advice that would serve any visitor well if they adopted it immediately on arrival, or they could go through the same years of frustration I did and then come to the same conclusion:

Do not try and change Dalmatia, but expect Dalmatia to change you. 

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Things do not happen quickly in Dalmatia, nor are they supposed to. It is part ot the charm. And yet so many tourists come with the rules of their busy lives back home and apply them here. Nowhere is this more true than those coming to gorgeous Dalmatian islands such as Hvar and Vis.

As an island boy for so many years, I was in constant amazement as the number of visitors who had come to relax in paradise, but whose emotional energy was so invested in the stress of arrival and departure. The early evening arrival - will we make the last ferry, or will we be forced to spend the night in Split? Will we wake up for the 06:00 catamaran to catch that early flight home, and what happens if there is a bura and the catamaran is cancelled? 

There is another way. 

It is called Trogir. 

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Living on Hvar, I had not appreciated the majesty of Trogir as the ideal accessory to a perfect Dalmatian holiday until I saw it through the eyes of several friends from the UK, who were regular visitors to their holiday homes in Jelsa. For them, every holiday - usually 7 to 10 days - began an ended with a night in Trogir. 

Instead of arriving and stressing over the ferry departure in the 40-minute taxi ride from the airport, they instead turned right out of the airport and were in the heart of an historic UNESCO World Heritage site within 5 minutes. A town oozing in 3,000 years of rich history, with the architecture to match, of delightful cobbled alleys, picturesque squares, and a spectacular waterfront. A town with a great gourmet scene filled with authentic Dalmatian restaurants, whose local dishes were washed down with the wines from local vineyards. Vineyards which just happen to be the home to the original world-famous Zinfandel grape variety.  

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The perfect start to a holiday. And then the leisurely transfer to Split and the late morning ferry to Stari Grad, where the main island holiday can begin. And the same experience in reverse at the end of a magical island holiday. 

Rather than a 04:30 start to catch that early ferry or catamaran and transfer to the airport for that morning departure, a chilled afternoon ferry crossing the day before, brining you to your accommodation in time for an early evening walk around Trogir's timeless streets, before one final dinner and a cocktail at sunset to reflect on a holiday in fabulous Dalmatia. And in the morning, a relaxing breakfast and effortless five-minute ride to the check-in desk at Split Airport. 

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I asked one of my friends to sum up why Trogir in an email recently. This is what she replied:

Trogir - Croatia microcosm- Perfect intro to the best of Croatia in terms of what most tourists think of, when they are heading to Croatia.

Lovely compact old town that is easy to walk around as a pedestrian.  Car free centre.   Lots of interesting buildings - fort, campanile, monasteries.  Good range of restaurants by water and in old pjacas. 

Quirky - tortoises in the cloister for example.  Beach. 8 or so minutes to Trogir from the airport to break journey to the islands.  Hopping off point for the yacht flotillas.  

Accommodation options feel more local - get to know the real Croatia? No big hotels. We stayed at the Kampanel (boutique hotel) and my sister books Airbnb.

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The best way to enjoy Dalmatia is to embrace the Dalmatian way of life - 'pomalo.' Rush for that last ferry and rise before the crack of dawn on the final day if you must, or take the 'Trogir option.'

It really is one of the most delightful and complete destinations on the coast, just minutes from your arrival and departure point. 

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To learn more about this UNESCO wonder, check out the Total Croatia Trogir in a Page guide

 

This article was produced in association with the Trogir Tourist Board.

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