by Cynthia English

Film and music with a slightly different flair~ ready for something new? This year venture forth to the Dubrovnik International Film Festival (May) or the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (July/August)! There is another world out there, dear readers, that up until now the rich and famous have been privy to walk around in without worrying about bumping into any of us…but watch out, ‘cause we’ve caught on. So to indulge yourselves equally in a different and dazzling diversion, consider this one very revived and very international venue–Dubrovnik!

Stone walls surrounding you reflect individual notes, and splashes bounce back to leave you inspired and thrilled by the complexities of new and old music. Whether it is piped in ‘top twenties’ or Croatian folk tunes, real honest live Opera or pop music, or just the hum of fans and artists in the outdoor confluence of cafes perched along climbing cobblestone stepped streets, you are engulfed in chic modernity and the inescapable sense of a magically peppered past. Bars cling to the outside of the old city walls barely feet from the waves of the Adriatic~ modern dens of red and blue neon, mirrors and smoke, vibrating to the very beat of the musicians call and the rhythm of the filmmakers muse. Artistic passions mingle with scents of oleander and orange blossoms in pulsing crescendo.

Dubrovnik as a playground for the rich and famous is not new. From the earliest days of sea trade, when the streets were filled with the charms of Africa, India and the Far East, people have been arriving from all over the world, embarking from their ships and yachts onto its’ shores. Many of their noted talents, and indeed personalities, lie woven into the patterns and designs of the local hospitality; an understanding of individuality, occasional need for discretion, and the desire of anonymity for some, is the norm, setting a unique stage for a Film Festival you can still walk around in to enjoy the latest films (like Sundance not so long ago!) and the Summer Festival each filling the city to capacity with theater, music and dance lovers roaming the streets side-by-side many top International performers. This is Dubrovnik, a Medieval Pearl of the Adriatic.

Established in the 7th century, the time of the Byzantine Empire, Dubrovnik was a kingdom in the 10th century, resplendent through the Ottoman Empire, survived the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire, as well as the First World War, the rule of a royal family, the Second World War, a dictator, and so on. This survival, this rich history of a wealthy merchant city, has made it a treasure to be explored. Architectural detail still graces the old city, miraculously withstanding the savagery of man and the toll of nature herself. Even walls, seeming to rise from the sea, built between the 13th and 16th centuries, encircle the city to this day looking untouched, as if built yesterday. A standing tribute to the ingenuity and abilities of people long ago. Signs like these are evident throughout the old city, and are indeed reasons why it is a noted World Heritage Monument City. And thanks to international funding, the old city has been restored to its’ original beauty.

Standing in the absolute center of the old city, lies another true treasure…the place to stay on your sojourn…The Pucic Palace. Former 17th century home of a wealthy nobleman, this old palace has been converted into a piece de resistance. Have you ever slept with art treasures on loan form the local museum? Had puddling drapery in your hotel room? Bright green marble baths? Dined al fresco discreetly overlooking the town square from the second floor? Well, then stay at the Pucic Palace for a new experience. This is not downtown New York City, nor Dallas, nor San Francisco, it is a unique 19 room boutique hotel that offers a small glimpse into what living in Croatia in a beautiful home in the center of a walled city was like. Only now, you have the added luxury of a professional concierge, gourmet Croatian cuisine, a wine bar, Bulgari bath products, along with all of the modern technological conveniences of the 21st century.

Crystal clear waters. White sand beaches. Blues of the Adriatic. Gentle breezes. Sun warmed, sea worn, stone strewn shorelines. Sunny days. Warm nights. Unspoiled. Croatia is the perfect launching site on the way to some serious island hopping– off this coast lies yachting at its best. Uninhabited islands. Laughter. Colorful people. Fresh fish grilling on the open fire. Olive oil, wine, mistletoe brandy, beer, wild asparagus, and truffles delighting the taste buds. Beautiful sea vistas from challenging hiking trails. Staggering rocky cliffs. Cypress tress. Waterfalls. And History. Benedictine monastery. Roman Amphitheater. Renaissance Cathedrals. Castles and Palaces. All of this and more is Croatia. First stop; The Pucic Palace, Dubrovnik.

1) Book early.
2) Yacht charter with chef and captain or private classic car with gourmet picnic basket may be arranged through the hotel.
3) Visit the Dalmatian Islands for a taste of paradise. The Pucic Palace, Ulica Od Puca 1, Dubrovnik 20000, Croatia

t. +385.20.326.222  f. +385.20.326.223