Sunday, 16 June 2024
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.


Every journalist knows it – mention Dubrovnik in the title and you’ll get instant clicks. Mention it in the negative context – you’ll get even more. 

The latest Telegraph article named ‘’Why now’s the time to discover Croatia’s uncrowded alternative to Dubrovnik’’ brings, as it says, an alternative to visiting our city – Istria. However, we wouldn’t call it an uncrowded alternative, simply one more lovely choice of destination when visiting Croatia. 

-As Dubrovnik succumbs to more and more visitors, Istria - the peninsula on the Italian border, in the far north of Croatia - is starting to look like a more and more appealing option, especially during the summer months – states the Telegraph, saying that the landscape is very different to the wild, remote and mountainous southern coastline of Dalmatia and that Istria feels neat and cultivated in comparison.

Dubrovnik is only mentioned in the first sentence and when compared to Rovinj, but has somehow made it to the title. Maybe because writing ''Discover Istria'' wouldn't be as interesting to the readers, but who knows. The rest of the article is detailed and informative and if you want to visit Istria, you can read it here.

It seems that mentioning Dubrovnik in negative context is a trend this year, since in January CNN placed it in the 12 destinations travelers might want to avoid in 2018.

-With UNESCO threatening to take away its World Heritage status due to extreme overcrowding, Dubrovnik has decided to take drastic measures in order to cut tourist numbers. The city is capping the number of people who can scale its 15th century ramparts at 4,000 a day -- 10,388 did so in one day alone bay in August 2016, many drawn by the city's starring role in "Game of Thrones'' – wrote CNN then. They also added he plan of the Dubrovnik Mayor to cut the number of cruise ships, with some more advices if you still want to visit Dubrovnik.

There is a saying – 'there's no such thing as bad publicity’ and we guess it’s good that Dubrovnik is talked about, even if it’s not in a positive context. However, we are pretty sure that there are better ways of promoting other destinations than saying – it’s better than crowded Dubrovnik.

Ben Gibson, the director of the German Academy of Film and Television (DFFB) has apologized to the Church and the people of Dubrovnik because of the erotic filming in the church of St. Ignatius, located in the Old City.

-A crew of DFFB students who were assigned the exercise of making a short documentary have been filming a still photography session planned by the subject of the film. We now understand that the shoot included semi-nude photography in the location of a Dubrovnik orthodox church. Sometimes when filmmakers are given considerable freedom to make their early films, basic mistakes are made which can cause hurt and offence to others, however unintentionally. The academy, which values artistic freedom very highly, was in fact not aware of the specificities of the scene or the location chosen. To the degree that our academy’s unit has caused offence with this filming, we wholeheartedly apologise to the congregation of this church and the people of Dubrovnik – it is published on the official DFFB website, getting it a bit wrong – it wasn’t an orthodox but a catholic church, but the point stays the same. 



However, it is safe to say that a simple apology won’t be enough. Everybody was truly shocked by this kind of sexy photoshoot in a sacral building – from locals to foreigners, from believers to non-believers.

The Bishop of Dubrovnik, Mate Uzinic was especially shocked.

-I am deeply disappointed with the fact that today the openness of the Dubrovnik churches has been abused to capture inappropriate photographs under the guise of art, we will have to respond to this matter through legal channels. Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing – he wrote.

The official statement from the Bishop Office confirmed his words – some legal actions will have to be made.

- Due to unauthorized filming, the entrance of the film crew and all the actors in church spaces without the appropriate permission and insulting the feelings of the believers, Dubrovnik Church will use all the legal possibilities against DFFB and all the actors involved in it to prohibit the public disclosure of inappropriate photographs that were made in the Dubrovnik churches – it was stated from the Bishop Office.


Dubrovnik Police also reacted.

- After publishing photographs of a partially nude woman recorded in one of the sacral buildings in Dubrovnik, , which in most Croatian citizens caused a sense of anxiety about disrespect for their religious feelings, the Dubrovnik Police Station carried out a criminal investigation that established misdemeanor liability of the author and the person in the controversial photographs – Dubrovnik Police stated and said that as a result, they filed charges against the alleged violation.

Because of this unusual event, St. Ignatius Church had to be cleansed. Many believers went to the church tonight to show what they think of the erotic photoshoot inside the church walls.

This event will surely lead to many changes in Dubrovnik churches, which are usually unsupervised and open to everyone. Nobody expected a nude photoshoot to be made in church, but with this experience – they will make sure that it doesn’t happen ever again.

Dubrovnik is truly an inspiration and it is no surprise that many fashion campaigns, as well as movies, series, etc. were filmed in our beautiful city. 

Solid&Striped, which fashion lovers adore for their amazing swimsuits, has just published an amazing swimsuit campaign, made in Dubrovnik. ‘’With love from Dubrovnik’’ presents a collection that is retro and modern, all at the same time, with one-piece and two-piece swimsuits. Ruffles, buttons, pastel colours – you name it, this line of swimsuits has it. 


Photos from Instagram profile solidanstriped

- Drawn by the... nostalgic glow of Dubrovnik, we traveled to the waters of Croatia to capture our newest collection. Cruise the Adriatic in romantic pastels, playful seersuckers, and feminine silhouettes. Enjoy our New Classics, With Love From Dubrovnik – it's written at their official page, full of amazing Dubrovnik shots.

They even made a hashtag #withlovefromdubrovnik that accompanies all the photos posted on their official Instagram profile, presenting their new line. Amazing promotion for Dubrovnik and swimwear that fits it perfectly – with just a bit of that retro feeling, they are already a hit!


Photos from Instagram profile solidanstriped


Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik organizes professional guidance through the current exhibition ‘Vanishing point’ on Saturday, March 10th, at 10 am with guaranteed refreshment.

After the great reactions to the new program, MOMA Dubrovnik decided to continue with this project in the next couple of months. This is the last chance to see the exhibition 'Vanishing point' since it is opened until Sunday, March 11th. 

‘Saturday coffee at the MOMA Dubrovnik’ is a novelty with which this museum wants to reach to the locals and their guests, by giving them a different experience of a cultural institution. This kind of interaction with visitors is planned once a month.

On Saturday, March 10th, curator of the exhibition Jelena Tamindzija will take all visitors on the journey through the current exhibition by one of the world's most famous photographers, Ahmet Ertuğ.

The importance of this exhibition is also expressed by the fact that it was listed among the 5 most significant and most anticipated world exhibitions in the 2018 edition of Turkish Airlines magazine, along with exhibitions placed in London, Amsterdam, Istanbul and Tokyo.

For the exhibition in Dubrovnik, the Turkish photographer introduced 20 large format images (225 x 180 cm) of interior shot in Italy and Dubrovnik.

After expert guidance, all visitors will be able to refresh themselves with coffee and juices and enjoy the amazing view from the terrace of MOMA Dubrovnik.

National park Plitvice is always wonderful but low temperatures have turned it into real winter wonderland. Everybody that got a chance to visit the park during the cold days had to take a photo and publish their memory on social media, so Instagram was full of mesmerizing photos of frozen waterfalls. 

This was a perfect opportunity for photographers to take some breathtaking photographs and one of them, Goran Safarek, decided to make a video. Words can’t describe how beautiful it is, so take a look and enjoy it.

The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board performs at the most important world tourism fair – ITB in Berlin, held from March 7th to 11th. 

They are located at the stand of Croatian Tourist Board, which presents its new appearance at this fair. New look of the Croatian stand is easy, open and functional and includes designer furniture of Croatian production. 

The last two days of the fair are open to the public, while others are held for the business audience. Approximately 7,500 exhibitors are expected from nearly 200 countries around the world on 160 thousand square feet, and there should be more than 120 thousand business visitors.

ITB Berlin tourist fair is really important when it comes to business meetings and it’s a really great source of information about tourism trends.



The video for Croatia's Eurovision song 'Crazy' by Franka Batelic has been published and the reactions have been, well, crazy.  

Franka Batelic, who wrote the song, will represent Croatia on the Eurovision song contest that will take place in Lisbon, Portugal this year.

Even though the video was just published it has already collected almost 5 thousand views (they are probably growing while we are writing this) and a bunch of comments. Many Eurovision fans said that this could be a winner.

-From the first moment that I've heard the teaser for this song - I could tell just how amazing it could be. And it was worth the wait! Powerful, intense, emotional... Top 5 potential. Good luck Croatia on ESC 2018 – wrote one of the commentators.

It is for sure a special song, pretty different from all the others that presented Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest before. It is combined with powerful video and we are not surprised that it already drawn much attention from all over the world. For example, the teaser published about 10 days ago has almost half a million views.

This year's Eurovision Song Contest will be held from May 8th to May 10th. Franka will perform in the second half of the first semi-final.

Franka follows Jacques Houdek as the Croatian representative. Houdek qualified to the grand finale of the 2017 contest, where he placed 13th with 138 points.



The Maritime Executive, one of the leading sources for breaking maritime and marine news, including shipping news, offshore news, piracy news and many more has just published an article about Dubrovnik. The title of the article says it all – Dubrovnik maintains its status as ''Pearl of the Adriatic''.

- With over one million passenger arrivals and 500 ships per year, the port of Dubrovnik is among the world's busiest cruising destinations, second only to Venice. Its rich history, scenic architecture and its many festivals have attracted travelers for generations – The Maritime Executive writes.

It brings a small fact sheet about the growing popularity of Dubrovnik now when it's a trending filming destination – from Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Robin Hood and (fingers crossed) upcoming James Bond filming.

As expected from the website that is specialized in maritime news, the main part of the article talks about the changes in the cruise tourism in Dubrovnik, after the mayor Mato Frankovic asked Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for help in managing the flow of visitors through the Old City, in order to preserve its historic beauty.

-His administration has launched a three-year plan for the sustainable development of the city's cultural resources, dubbed "Respect the City," and with the assistance of private sector partners he expects "to reach the optimum distribution of visitors by 2020." – writes The Maritime Executive, adding that Frankovic also visited Port of Los Angeles to learn a bit more.

The article states that big-ship cruising isn't the only way to visit Dubrovnik and that are a lot of small ship options. See the full article here.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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