The Novel Hotel Dalmatia, my childhood and late youth on the Adriatic Sea in Omis in Dalmatia, is divided into fifty short stories and three nice upcoming booklets .
Here I describe my lovely childhood and eventful youth with our wonderful grandmother and aunt. They lived in their humble wine farms in Lokva near Omis, where our real residence is located close to the old Venetian city gate. The first hotel, the Jadran, was located here until the Second World War. Authentic stories and amusing anecdotes are combined in a search for lost time. In my youth and during my studies, we travelled to Dalmatia almost every year or flew to our southern Arcadia. It also happened that our company decided on adventurous passages with the M/S Dubrovnik. The train, still fairly slow at the time, was rarely considered because the journey via Zagreb and Bosnia to Split took two never-ending days. Sometimes it happened that I sailed in nice boat cabins to Split via Venice or Triest to reach Omis.
Most cities are of Greco-Roman origin and Omis lies on one of the few rivers in this gorgeous mountainous region. It is reminiscent of the Winnetou films shot here in the 1960s. From Omis’s harbour it is only a short boat ride to the green island of Brac and to the legendary city Hvar, today the Monte Carlo of Dalmatia'. The most important cultural centre besides Dubrovnik is Split, with the fantastic palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. We drove countless times to Spalato to shop there, chat in the always crowded riverside bars, attend nice classical concerts or just slowly stroll in the Italian like Corso .
Later on, I deepened my studies there and met the supervisor, Prof. Fiskovic. He invited me to Dubrovnik to teach art history at the International University. Most people in Dalmatia speak Italian, little German as well as English. My grandmother still mastered Venetian dialects because this country was long part of Venice, which had a lot of cultural influence on this region. My friends and I often spent the summer and Easter in our Paradise. Our parents preferred Italy so that they could spend and coordinate their holidays with business matters. My father also visited his mother and took us to Omis. Occasionally, we went on trips for two with a detour through Italy. That's why I got to know the art of winemaking, my father's business and, of course, art history, my late profession.
My deep affection for Dalmatia led to writing my art history books about this country, and now an autobiographical novel. Both wonderful cultures flowed together in colorful descriptions, awesome aphoristic essays and funny anecdotes. Sometimes, however, critical views can not be avoided. Further on, I tried to answer the question of whether I'm Croatian, German or an EU citizen. Maybe we all should be Europeans in the way Canada successfully achieved it.
My stories can be read here in a shortened version. The longer one will be published maybe soon in a book by the publishing house Vasari, Munich.
© Michael M. Stanic 2021-12-29