From Princess Mononoke to Howl’s Moving Castle, the fascinating world of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki showed us that imagination has no limits, and that anime doesn’t have to be cheesy and naive. However, many are unaware that one of his less known films is stationed in Croatia. To be more precise, it occurs in Adriatic Sea during early 20s of the last century, when portions of Croatian soil belonged to Italy.
The movie in question is called Porco Rosso, and tells the story of Italian military pilot living in the vicinity of Rijeka. He is the veteran of World War I who, thanks to unforeseen line of events, receives a head of the pig. Because of such unique feature, he is nicknamed Porco Rosso, or translated “Crimson Pig”.
Porco becomes a vigilante bounty hunter, fighting air pirates over Adriatic with his warplane. But with the rise of Italian fascism, arrival of American ace to pirate’s rooster and newly found emotions for long-known friend Gina, his life becomes slightly more complicated.
Porco’s secret hideout is located in Stiniva, a beautiful cove on the island of Vis. The location is authentic, as you can see in the pictures below. This is how the site is portrayed in Miyazaki’s movie:
And this is what it looks like today:
Miyazaki has visited Stiniva prior to directing the movie, and it largely inspired him to envision the story and the characters. Twenty years later, its beauty in unchanged, as it continues to encourage people to dream and explore their imagination. It is always available for a visit, and who knows, maybe you will find a piece of old airplane on its peaceful shore.