Across the island, grape vines, olives and fruit farms are everywhere, infusing a very rural and rustic feel to the already sleepy atmosphere. Modern Korcula continues its traditional arts, crafts, stone masonry, sword dances, poetry and writing not only for visitors but as an authentic way of life, perhaps in honour of the island’s most famous resident, Marco Polo.
Medieval Architecture That Inspires
Arriving at the island’s small but modern marina, you’ll need to be prepared for a friendly jostle with a few dozen hoteliers who will try their hardest to persuade you to spend a night or two. However, it’s just a short walk to the old city’s southern entrance where you are greeted by the most striking landmark - the 13th century Veliki Revelin Tower (Tower of the South Land Gate) which looms menacingly overhead, and its wide stone bridge which you must cross to enter the old town. Don’t be dismayed by the tourists - everyone here is looking for a photo opportunity at this famous Korculan landmark. Dive up the stairs to take a look at the small Moreska (sword dance) museum which houses a collection of traditional dance consumes and photos, before you spend a wonderful afternoon strolling around in the warm Mediterranean sun followed by a glass of the island’s celebrated local Grk wine.
Traditional culture, dance and the arts thrive
Marco Polo’s supposed birthplace is tucked away down the cobbled streets, now turned into an official museum that gives some insights into his life. Besides the island’s most famous inhabitant, Korcula also plays host to the popular Moreska sword dance, which is normally performed during the summer weekends against the backdrop of the old walls. Originating from the 17th century, it’s a colourful battle of two dance groups dressed in red or black who reenact a battle over a young woman, with each crowned dancer carrying two swords and seemingly taking the whole thing very seriously.
The Moreska is an entertaining taste of ancient Korcula and proves that old traditions, culture and the arts can be kept alive and enjoyed by all visitors to this wonderful island.