The Island of Brac (pro. Br-arch)
In early September, my thoughts turned to visiting Pucisca, located in a well hidden cove on the Island of Brac.
Many times I had sailed past this deep navy-blue water inlet, but had never ventured inside.Today was the day! The ferry from Split to the seaside port of Supetar sails many times daily, back and forth, carrying cars and passengers, goods, bikes and all kinds of supplies. The ferry was packed with foreign tourists, making their way to one of the many popular summer resorts, particularly the famous town of Bol and the even more famous beach called ‘Zlatni Rat” (Golden Horn) but my destination was the well-hidden and magical secret place called Pucisca.
The ferry moored in Supetar, and soon I was on my way to Pucisca, a further 22 kms, driving south along the coastline. The views looking back across to the mainland were spectacular, with the Biokovo mountain range on the horizon, a truely majestic sight!
Arriving in Pucisca was something I’ll never forget. The little harbour is surrounded by many stone houses, all made of the local white marble-like stone, called ‘Bracni Kamen’ (Stone of Brac) This stone has been used for many centuries in the Mediterranean region, attracting many famous sculptors and builders of the late gothic and renaissance periods; including Niccolo Fiorentino, Juraj Dalmatinac and his disciple Andrea Al
The cathedrals, palaces, villas along the Dalmatian Coast were built from the stone quarried from here, near Pucisca. Perhaps the most well-known of all is the White House in Washington DC. Today the stone is still being quarried, sculpted and used in the building of more expensive homes.
On offer to all, tame and wild, shameless and poetic,the beauty of Brac is a beauty of colours; the white of the stone, the blue of the sea, the green of the vieyards, pine trees and holly, the silver of the sage, rosemary and olives.
Throughout the centuries, the winds and the sun have not faded those colours. Quite the contrary, a number of artists, poets, sculptors and painters from Brac have captivated this beauty, verbally and visually; the intoxicating fragrances, and delicious tastes, the island’s vibes and fibres, and the people of Brac themselves. On Saturday afternoon a wedding was in full swing! Church bells ringing, music, dancing, singing, food and wine all night. as I went for my early morning walk, I found them still singing, a bit bleary eyed and a bit worse for wear after all the festivities, but still in harmony and full of wedding cheer, Dalmatian style!
The Hotel Palaca Deskovic is adjoined to the local church St. Jere. The renaissance palace has been lovingly restored by Ruzica Deskovic and offers the more discerning traveller elegant accommodation and excellent cuisine. Please visit www.palaca-deskovic.com
Less expensive yet excellent accommodation can be found at Tonka Mladinic’s apartments. Visit www.apartmani-mladinic.com a stone’s throw from the picturesque harbour, yet offering a peaceful night’s sleep during the busier summer season.
Tonka’s son, Marko, took me for a drive to their family olive grove a little way out of Pucisca. The olive trees are well taken care of, the ground is kept free of weeds and well fertilised with organic manure. Olive oil is produced here in huge quantities and the quality is absolutely superb!
A 10 km drive across the island to the southern side brings one to the tourist mecca of Bol. Once a village of wine-growers, fishermen, and sailors, Bol has been transformed into a haven for those seeking pristine pebbled beaches, a sapphire coloured sea, summer nights of entertainment, restaurants, bars under the pine trees along the beach, romance, and well known for a great place to wind-surf. An ideal place for parasailing, scuba-diving and sailing.
There are many little villages and coves around the island, many I have visited, but I can say in all honesty, the hidden village of Pucisca is definitely one of my favourites. The people are hard working, taking care of their olive groves, and gardens, and also taking great pride in their surroundings and environment. Tourism is not the first priority here, no modern buildings, no touristy stalls, no neon signs, simply a little place to enjoy and revive the body, spirit and soul. Love it all! If you happen to be visiting Island Brac during Summer, be sure not to miss some of the wonderful evening recitals at the International Summer Music School in Pucisca. This is a beautiful happening where youth, culture, music making and enjoyment all combine, in such a magnificent setting. See all details: http://www.music-school-pucisca.com