There was a saying in Dalmatia that if a house has a large honeyberry tree in front yard, it means the place is inhabited. If the tree is gone or neglected, the residents have probably left the estate and are seeking luck on some other place. The trees of Kokorici village in mountainous regions of Dalmatia used to know better days, but thanks to local caterer Zvonimir Pervan, they are on their way to return. Because of his efforts and dedication to the settlement in which he was born, Kokorici might literally become the anti-stress village. One of many on Croatian territory.
“My hotel in Vrgorac, called “Prvan”, became quite successful project. So I decided to invest in another location, where my guests could come and enjoy the beauties of Dalmatian hills,” Pervan explained to LC source. “In Kukurici, you have 20 houses located on my grandfather’s land. Since I begun the initiative in 1998, I managed to renovate 14 of them. And that I do good job is proven by none other than United Nations themselves. I won a golden award in their rural development program, thus becoming one of the best ecological and ethnological sites in Croatia.”
The anti-stress village of Kokorici features a traditional vibe of Dalmatian region. Pervan equips the site with numerous old items and artifacts, which he acquires through donations and antiquity fairs. “Everything needs to fit nicely in Kokorici. It is becoming a mosaic through which one can see the old way of living in Dalmatia,” Pervan adds.
Zvonimir’s efforts can be seen in practice. The original houses had straw roofs up to 1640, yet today most of them don’t have to worry about rain or snow. Kokorici is often picked up as a site of onsite theater productions and book readings, while archeologists stage lectures to people interested in local history. The village even has an old fort from 17th century, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Hasanaginica, a local heroine whose story was translated in German by Goethe. The surrounding areas hide numerous caves and grottos, which were associated with tobacco smuggling in past.
“Kokorici is truly the anti-stress village of Dalmatia,” Pervan laughs. “But if you are already impressed, imagine what it will look like when we finish a large pool and amphitheater with live actors, plus a shooting gallery and bicycle tracks!”
What can one add? If feeling tired and exhausted from modern life, book a ticket to Kokorici, and spend a few days as an old Dalmatian.