LITTLE VENICE – THE HEART OF HVAR ISLAND
Vrboska, also known as “Little Venice”, the picturesque town on the island of Hvar found its place in a long and narrow bay surrounded by pine forest. The place is famous for its recognizable architecture – a winding bay, and beautiful Renaissance bridges that connect the north and south coast of the central part of this fishing village. In the middle of the bay there is a small island ‘Škojić’ with the popular palm tree. It is from these characteristics that this place got the nickname “Little Venice”.
Apart from being the safest port on the island of Hvar, Vrboska is a place where boaters can find refuge all year round. Although in the past the main occupation was fishing, Vrboska became a tourist destination, with the ACI Marina as the economic foundation of the place. ACI Marina is located at the entrance to the place, and has been awarded the Blue Flag for years.
HISTORY, FLAVORS AND TRADITIONS
The settlement of Vrboska was established in the 15th century as a port of the nearby village of Vrbanj. The place has been devastated several times throughout history, it was badly damaged in an attack by Venetian troops during the uprising of the people in 1512, and the Turkish navy burned Vrboska in 1571, when the whole island was looted.
An invaluable cultural treasure
The historical heritage of the place is reflected in the very center of the place where most of the cultural monuments are located, of which the most prominent are the church-fortress, the church of Sv. Lawrence, the church of St. Peter and St. Rock. Church-fortress is the most impressive architectural gem of the place, unique in the Adriatic region. West of the fortified church is the parish church of St. Lawrence with five altars. The mystical beauty of the churches of Vrboska and the invaluable treasure of their works of art, the monumentality of centuries-old dry stone walls and mounds, the secrets of stone streets, are all just a part of the rich treasury that this place hides. Here you can find the works by famous Renaissance masters Tiziano Veceli, Paolo Cagliari called Veronese, Jacopo de Ponte Bassano, Giuseppe Alabardi, Antonio Scuria, Titian Aspetti, filigree artist Benvenuto Cellini, as well as Croatian artists Celestin Medović, Marko Rašica and others.
Procession “Following the Cross” – every year on the night from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday, the procession passes along the edge of the UNESCO protected field, uniting 6 island parishes into one whole through prayer. The 500-year-old procession is inscribed on the list of intangible heritage.
“Ager” – Stari Grad field on the island of Hvar is a protected cultural landscape between Vrboska and Stari Grad in which the ancient Greek division of land has been preserved to this day as a system of roads and terraced plots. It is the best preserved ancient Greek cadastre in the Mediterranean, which is why it has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2008. It is possible to explore the Stari Grad field on foot or by bike, but it is still advisable to visit this landscape with an organized trip with a local expert.
Klapa singing – klapa singing is on the list of UNESCO’s intangible heritage, and it is in Vrboska that this tradition has been preserved for centuries. The event, which delights all fans of traditional music, especially klapa singing, is held every week during the summer’s events program in Vrboska. Klapa Kaštilac, founded in Vrboska, proudly presents its place and tradition and with its ‘Klapa gyro’ contributes to the true Dalmatian atmosphere in the summer evenings by walking along the waterfront and singing a capella. The Klapa Festival of the island of Hvar has been held in Vrboska for 8 years in a row. The klapa festival is an event that brings together all the island klapas, and the performers’ repertoire includes both old traditional klapa songs and some modern compositions.
Since the 1960s, Vrboska is a well-known naturist destination with a long tradition of naturism in the nearby hidden coves. Car camp Nudist is located in a quiet and wooded bay of the sunniest island in the Adriatic and about 1 km away from the small fishing village of Vrboska. In addition to the camp located near the nudist beach, it is possible to visit the island of Zečevo, which is located 1 km air distance from the center of Vrboska. It has been a famous nudist destination for several decades. On the island there is a beach bar and countless natural beaches. You can find a place away from the sun in the shade of a pine forest that adorns the entire island. It is possible to reach the island by taxi or private boat.