Hvar – to get lost and/or to be seen

Modern day Hvar turns into little Monaco, Hollywood Boulevard and similar celebrity friendly locations during summer months. Hvar indeed is a celebrity friendly destination and we are lucky that more and more world stars pick us as their summer sanctuary. A-listers, members of royal families and even domestic, Croatian stars and starlets.
One could say that the year long tradition continues: Hvar was the place king Edward VIII visited with (at the time his 'friend') Wallis Simpson way back in the 1936 during their cruise on the Mediterranean.

We know why it was so in the past due to the word of mouth and it says that Hvar was chosen by the rich and famous not only for its beauty but for the fact that on Hvar they would only be tourists. They could enjoy everything that the island offers without being pulled by their sleeve and without anyone shoving a camera in their face.

Since times change there are more and more of those who actually want to be seen, the ones who want to be photographed ''accidentally'' while changing clothes or strolling with their lovers. Following the trail of the almost extinct humble celebrities in times when tabloids were just starting, more and more media came to Hvar every year and with them arrived the ''famous'' and the ones who depend on the media. So Hvar became the summer residence of about ten paparazzi. Most of them arrived invited by (mostly) local celebrities. To make a story about a wild party in one of Hvar night clubs or make out with someone on the beach became a trend and Hvar was marked as a place where you will definitely see a celebrity and probably be able to get a picture with him or her. That's nice, it's nice that they want to come as well and us 'natives' are proud to be visited by guests of such caliber.

Still, today we would like to reveal some details you might not have known. Way back from the thirties and prince Harry's cousin from the beginning of our story and up to a few years ago Hvar was also one of the destinations that current world and domestic celebrities liked to visit. In our earlier texts we mentioned Orson Welles and Sophia Loren as famous visitors of Hvar. They were not the only ones but we don't want to enumerate them all now.

The reason why Hvar was chosen as the location for their vacation is exactly because of the fact that they were able to have their peace on Hvar, they could get lost in the masses and enjoy the beauties and offer of the town and the island. Hvar, you see, is specific for many things and one of them is the mentality. Previous citizens of Hvar recognized the faces from the movie screens but they didn't harrass them, they let them get some rest, aware of the fact they are probably tired of being chased around red carpets, giving press statements and getting photographed. To be honest, part of the reason for the ''ignoring'' came from the fact that the locals had a philosphy which could roughly be summed up as: ''So what, I know who it is, and...!?''. People of Hvar haven't changed much but the media and the celebrities sure have. And while they are chasing eachother around Riva and Pjaca with the public being mesmerized reading how the Hvar wind ruffled the hair of a famous football player's wife the people of Hvar still wave their hand and apparently don't get too excited about the famous faces.

Even today we have cases of visits from celebrities like Eva Longoria and (now her ex) husband Tony Parker who want to experience peace and quiet on Hvar enjoying at the same time the romance which is inherent to the Hvar experience. They enjoyed a peaceful dinner as Hvar Fortica, far away from the view of passerbys and the press asking for nothing more than the view of the Hvar harbour, a starry sky and a few verses from our klapa songs by our very own klapa Galešnik. Kind staff of Forya was impressed by the simplicity and humbleness of the celebrities while they enjoyed courses from the Hvar slow food restaurant Zlatna Školjka. Only a few days later has the news spread in the media about a visit from the famous couple, mostly due to the discretion of people in charge of their good time. Eva's statements and media articles once again portrayed Hvar as a destination where they can get lost and be what they are, regular people with a public job.

On the other hand, we had a few mishaps as well, as for example publishing an inappropriate photo in which a famous actor (The Usual Suspects) is spanking a bare bottom of a young man. He will definitely not be coming back to us or recommending us to his friends. We can say the same of the prince who partied on Hvar last year. Was the mistake made by the person doing the spanking or the one who photographed and published it, you be the judge of that.

Photos you can see in THIS gallery were shot by our local FotoFOR and they are mostly older photos. They were not published in the media yet (even though there was demand for them). What you are looking at are photos of regular people, among regular people, through the prism of of Jakša's lens, a fellow who understands that celebrities are just people who also need rest and distance from the constant exposure to paparazzi attacks.

So our dear local and foreign celebrities visit Hvar again this year. ''Get lost'' among us, get some rest and be yourself.

You are completely safe as far as the Oh portal and FotoFOR is concerned, we can't guarantee for the rest.

For OH: Igor Kolumbić

Photos: FotoFOR

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