Posted by: viewfromtheriva | November 13, 2014

Hands Festival showcases traditional Dalmatian crafts


HANDS - FESTIVAL

Through November 16th this month, the cellars beneath Diocletian’s palace in Split are filled with crafts and food booths celebrating traditional Dalmatian culture.  These kind of fairs are usually held in the summer, so it’s nice to see an event like this in the “post-season” where locals and and tourists can meet and talk to the people who continue the traditions that are so much a part of life here.

A national ethnic food, soparnik is like a giant pizza filled with garlicky finely chopped spinach and a ton of olive oil

A national ethnic food, soparnik is like a giant pizza filled with garlicky finely chopped blitvah  (a kind of native spinach-like veggie) and a ton of olive oil

It’s quite wonderful how the city uses the cellars beneath the palace as a showcase for fairs, theatre, art, music and more. The ancient marble stone corridors and smaller rooms make perfect backdrops for an event like Hands.  The yummy sopoarnik with a gorgeous 1,700 year-old Roman frieze behind it is something you just can’t see anywhere else in the world!

In addition to homemade cheese (we bought some made on the island of Krk that came smoked, with pieces of rosemary and even with local walnuts), marinated seafood (always amazing!) there were demonstrations of stone masonry and woodworking.

Along with handmade jewelry, soaps and perfumes made from Dalmatian herbs, olive oils and more there were also unusual crafts, like traditional village clothing painted on glass and framed in wood that were terrific to look at and would like fabulous on the wall.

Traditional hats and embroidered clothing from Sibenik to Split, hand painted on glass!

Traditional hats and embroidered clothing from Sibenik to Split, hand painted on glass!I

We had a great time checking out the different booths and chatting up the people who make what they sell–in the cellars of an Emperor in Split!

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