Dubrovnik has some fantastic festivals and carnivals throughout the year and Villa Antipodes is the perfect base from which to experience them all
New Years Eve
Dubrovnik is a special place at any time but is definitely one of the world's best places to ring in the New Year.
The Stradun and side streets turn the walled town into one big outdoor party. Croatian pop stars, celebrities, musicians and entertainers are enlisted to keep the musical beat while stalls selling fritters, dried figs carob almonds and champagne keep the revelers fed and watered. Not to be missed.
Feast of St Blaise
St Blaise is Dubrovnik's Patron Saint gazing down on the city from several dozen statues.
On February 3, Dubrovnik turns out to celebrate his feast day. There's a morning mass to the saint and then a procession of priests and churchgoers file up the Stradun bearing reliquaries of the Saint before returning to the church. Church bells ring and all the town parishes hoist banners to the Saint. A banner flies from Orlando's Column and a "Laus" (a well-wishing prayer) is said. White pigeons are released in front of the Church of St Blaise and candles are lit.
Naturally there is a large lunch. The traditional dish is macaroni with meat sauce and the special hrostule donuts. Villagers from the region flock to Dubrovnik and display their local culture in colorful costumes and folk dances.
Look for special concerts held around Dubrovnik in the week preceding the Feast and plan to be there on February 2 when many festivities occur.
No sooner has the Feast of St Blaise ended than everyone starts preparing for Carnival. The festivities culminate during the three days preceding Ash Wednesday when masked and costumed groups prowl the old streets singing and dancing.
Masked balls are often organized in private homes but there's always a lot of action on Stradun.
Dubrovnik is not to be outdone by Cannes, another city on the sea. The Dubrovnik International Film Festival is designed to begin when the French festival ends in May and lasts for four days. This relatively recent festival showcases both foreign and domestic films and gives awards at the end.
For more information go to the Dubrovnik International Film Festival site.
July - August
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival keeps the Old Town young every summer.
Concerts of all sorts take place nearly every night in venues around town while every place with a stage hosts a play or two. The most prestigious is the traditional production of Hamlet staged at Fort Lovrijenac. Heartthrob Goran Visnjic of "ER" fame once played the brooding prince there.
See the Dubrovnik Summer Festival website for schedules and tickets.
The old town walls and some of the churches are lit up and the Strudun is humming with people until the wee small hours of the day.