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Our adventure in Cavtat, the hometown of painter Vlaho Bukovac

Our adventure in Cavtat started early because we drove towards the city from the house of our friends around 7 am. If you are wondering why we left so early even though we were on vacation, the answer is of course – we were trying to avoid the unbearable heat. Traveling at +30 degrees was not particularly attractive to us, and in Dalmatia temperatures often rise to that level in summer.

adventure in Cavtat

 Our hosts concluded that walking and swimming in Cavtat will be a good idea because it is the city where the famous Croatian painter Vlaho Bukovac was born and we will be able to visit his birthplace and some other sights, but also swim in the crystal clear sea.

A walk through Cavtat

When we showed up in Cavtat after a short drive, we first had to find a parking space. Luckily we traveled with the locals so we didn’t worry too much about it. Our friends knew exactly where to park, so we soon found ourselves in a parking lot where an hour of parking costs 5 kn, which we considered quite a reasonable price. There were a few cars in the parking lot but we can’t say it was crowded or that we circled for a long time looking for a place. Before we set out on a short walk around town, we took our bags with water, towels and swimsuits with us so we didn’t have to head back to the car before heading to the beach.

Parking lot in Cavtat
Parking lot in Cavtat

The curiosity that caught our attention was the cat house we noticed near the parking lot. Several cats were walking around it, some were eating and some were resting. All in all, we couldn’t resist petting them. We were sorry we couldn’t take at least one with us…

Then we went for an easy walk by the sea. The sea air truly pleased us, and the eyes were enchanted by the scenes they saw. On our left we could enjoy the view of the clear sea with some parked boats. When we came to the more luxurious part we could only see jachts that were parked there. On our right we could see interesting facades of houses, numerous shops and restaurants. Still, there was no shortage of greenery or flowers. As we passed by the mentioned yachts we talked about which one we like and which one we will have in 10 years. Of course, we are aware that this will probably never happen, but we think we should always dream!

Cavtat clear sea

After a long walk and buying souvenirs (you can’t go somewhere for the first time and not buy a magnet for yourself and your family!) we got a little tired, so we decided to sit on the benches set by the sea. Given that there were 4 of us, we had to squeeze in a little, but still no one was uncomfortable. We took a short break and talked about what we could visit next. Then we got hungry, so one of my friends said that she knew of a great restaurant of very significant name – Ludo More. It is a restaurant that offers seafood, Mediterranean, European and Croatian cuisine. We decided to treat ourselves to a fish. We have to admit that we really liked the food, the ambience and the decency of the staff, so if we find ourselves in Cavtat again, we will definitely come here.

Visit to the birth house of painter Vlaho Bukovac

So that our adventure in Cavtat would not consist only of walking, swimming and visiting shops and restaurants, we decided to go to the birth house of our famous painter Vlaho Bukovac. The Bukovac House is the place where the founder of Croatian modern painting made his first steps in 1855. Today it is a museum that attracts more and more visitors every year. His birth house is a typical civic house from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, so it is a two-storey stone house with a small garden on the south front and a spacious back garden on the north. The house was bought by the painter’s grandfather, the Italian sailor Giuseppe Fagioni, who married and settled in Cavtat in the early 19th century; it was upgraded first by Bukovac’s father and then by the painter himself.

Bukovac House
Bukovac House
Source: Dubrovnik Card

The museum keeps about 200 paintings, drawings, sketches, the painter’s correspondence, the archive, the relevant bibliography, the collection of photographs and the manuscripts of the autobiography “My Life” from 1918. The permanent exhibition of the museum that we had the opportunity to see consists of Bukovac’s works that present all phases of the painter’s opus. In the “tinel” on the 1st floor, portraits and paintings of a family character are exhibited, from the Self-Portrait from 1877 to the one from 1921 – through which one can follow the artist’s development and changes in style. The studio evokes the appearance of the painting space from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, and presents all the important phases of the painter: Paris, Zagreb, Cavtat and Prague. In other rooms of the house there is a selection from the collection of furniture and personal items and part of the archive. Also, walking through the museum, we had the opportunity to see paintings created on its walls.

This visit to the birthplace of the great artist particularly impressed us. We could even say that it was one of the most beautiful parts of Cavtat. As great lovers of art and learning about artists, we will definitely advise anyone who finds themselves in this city to visit this place as they will surely be thrilled as we are. We were especially impressed by the family paintings we were looking at because we could imagine how much the people on them meant to the painter.

Our adventure in Cavtat ended on a nearby beach

After cultural uplift and enjoying the artistic paintings of Vlaho Bukovac, we concluded that it is time to relax by the sea. Our adventure in Cavtat would not have been complete if we had not bathed at least twice on one of the nearby beaches. Since we are not attracted to big crowds and crowds at all, we decided to find a place on one of the rocky wild beaches. It didn’t take us long to find the perfect spot to place our deck chairs and towels.

adventure in Cavtat 3

Before entering the sea, we took photos to keep the photos as a memory of a wonderful day. Not far from our deckchairs there were pines and other trees that provided us with a pleasant shelter from the strong sun so we could talk to each other without embarrassing squinting even when we didn’t have sunglasses on our eyes. It didn’t take us long to decide to get into the water. We made the first entry slowly because, as is usually the case, we were cold in the water even though the sun was scorching. However, as soon as we swam we realized how much the sea temperature actually suits us. When we realized that there is a lot to see at the bottom of the sea in this part, we were overjoyed with the fact that we brought diving masks with us. The dive resulted in spotting small crabs, fish and bright yellow sponges unknown to us. We stayed for 2 hours because we spent a lot of time on sightseeing in Cavtat, eating in the restaurant and a visit to Bukovec’s house, so darkness soon began to fall.

At the end of the day, both we and our hosts were tired, but also happy and full of impressions. Our adventure in Cavtat was a dream come true. If you decide to spend your summer in Cavtat or just visit it the way we did, we believe you will enjoy every minute spent in the city.

Your CTC Team, A. M. 

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