Expedition from Hvar in Croatia to Lampedusa to Mark 150 Years
Ancient traditions between Stari Grad and Lampedusa are commemorated by the Faros to Paros crew on a journey to mark the 150th anniversary of the1st voyage.
An expedition to mark the 150th anniversary of an old fishing tradition will leave Stari Grad heading for the Italian island of Lampedusa, off the African coast, according to a report in Croatian daily Slobodna Dalmacija on May 23 2011.
150 Years of Sardine Fishing
The voyage retraces the steps of Tomaz Novak Bonaparte who sailed from the island of Hvar to Lampedusa in 1861 on a fishing expedition. The expedition was so successful that is became a regular feature of the local fishing tradition, with Hvar's fishing fleets making the annual journey until 1905.
The main catch was sardines, which were fished then salted on Lampedusa before being transported and sold in the ports of the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean, before the fleet headed home with a cargo of wheat.
Hvar Descendants on Lampedusa
Several of the sailors decided to remain on Lampedusa and their descendants still live and fish on the Italian island. Prior to departure, scheduled for Spring 2012, a commemorative plaque will be made to celebrate the many brave sailors and the special relationship which exists between the two Mediterranean islands.
The project has been organised by the Museum of Stari Grad and will be financed by sponsors and donations. The Croatian crew will include local dignitaries, including Andro Tomic, one of Hvar's premier wine makers, archaeologist Branko Kirigin and documentary makers Stipe Bozic and Josko Bojic. They will sail on the restored Bente Dorte, which was constructed in 1929.
Retracing the Steps of the Ancient Greeks: From Faros to Paros
The planned trip is not the first which has been undertaken by the crew, who famously retraced the steps of the Ancient Greeks on the Faros to Paros expedition in 2003. The town of Stari Grad, now Hvar's second largest after Hvar Town, is the oldest town in Croatia, having been colonised by Ancient Greeks from the island of Paros in 385 BC.
Naming their new settlement Faros, the Greeks introduced, among other things, an 80 hectare agricultural colony and cultivated grapes and olives. The methods and tradition continue in much the same way today, and the superbly maintained Stari Grad Plain has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status, one of seven in the country.
Three Seas, Two Islands, One Mediterranean
The aim of the voyage was to retrace the 700 mile trip which connected two islands across three seas (Aegean, Ionian and Adriatic) and to foster links between Paros and Hvar more than 24 centuries after the Greeks arrived on Hvar. Another aim of the Faros to Paros expedition was to plant an Oblica olive tree and local Hvar grape varieties mali plavac,bogdanusa and kuc, on the island which first introduced wine and olives to Hvar.