Every Sunday the quiet little village of Cilipi becomes something of a paradox. Traditionally clad men and women stroll around against a backdrop of tour buses, SLR zoom lenses and loud speakers. The Cilipi Folklore extravaganza is in session!
The Science Bit
Getting to Cilipi couldn’t be easier. Both Dubrovnik and Cavtat have a tourist bus service that takes you there and back. From the Cavtat bus station it costs 25Kn each way (€3.30) and it really is the best option. There is no point in lingering in Cilipi afterwards and the buses depart right after the show. The only downside is that you will arrive in Cilipi quite early – around 10am – and the show starts at 11.15am.
What to See
Entry to the village of Cilipi is charged at 45Kn (€6) and for this you get access to the market, entry to the museum, a shot of liquer in the wine cellar and a view of the show.
The museum is interesting but won’t take very long. Unless you are particularly interested in embroidery the market isn’t very exciting. A couple of stalls also sell some traditional sweets, oils, souvenirs, etc but it is 90% embroidered goods. Down in the wine cellar you can enjoy music performed by the folk group while you sip your drink.
I would advise you to take a book in case you find yourself having exhausted all Cilipi has to offer in advance of the show start time. You can buy a coffee in the little cafe (8Kn/€1) to while away some of the time before the show starts. Alternatively, you can attend mass with the locals in the lovely church in the square.
At 11.15am (after mass) the show commences. You will enjoy traditional music and dancing from the Konvale region, explained by the MC in Croatian, English, French and German. The show lasts around 30-40 mins and is highly enjoyable. The MC will explain the purpose of the dance and you will see some elements of a wedding procession. In the final dance some lucky people will be selected to participate – if you fancy a waltz with a traditionally clad partner be sure to sit on one of the front steps for the show.
While this is definitely an incredibly “touristy” activity it is none the less very enjoyable. It only takes a morning and you will have some excellent photo memories to take away.