There are few events in Dalmatia I get as excited about as the Martinis Marchi annual summer bash on Šolta, and perhaps watching Hajduk and Dinamo play the ‘Eternal Derby’ at Poljud is the only other event even to come close.
But there is a reason that tickets for the soiree of the summer sell out nearly 4 months in advance – even in these still somewhat uncertain corona times. There is a reason Sunseeker yacht owners sail from all parts of Europe to experience this magic Martinis evening. There is a reason no rooms are available at this esteemed heritage hotel over this August weekend, one that is undoubtedly saved in your memory bank as a highlight of the year.
Marko Toric of Sunseeker
And this year, Martinis Marchi exceeded all expectations once again.
After last year’s Simply White theme put all of our COVID-19 worries at ease, even if just for one dazzling night, this year’s Under the Moonlight affair made up for any lost time, transporting attendees back into more glamourous times as eyes twinkled at the decor fashioned of glimmering lights.
The day began with tradition, as visitors could enjoy adrenaline water gadgets from MYYACHTTOYS, like LAMPUGA surfboards, BELASSI jet skis, and IAQUA Seadarts.
Guests could even enjoy electric bicycle tours to explore the secrets of Šolta or partake in a 2-hour art & wine date with academic painter Nina Šestanović and Šolta native Vice Buktenica, who guided guests through the basics of painting over a glass of wine in the shaded Mediterranean garden.
As the evening approached, a DJ heightened the island mood, and pink Beefeater Gin huts decorated the Martinis marina to showcase cocktails enhanced by rosemary and elderflower, topped with perfectly pink flower petals to complete the swanky ambiance.
As the sizzling summer sun stepped back to let the moonlight shine, tables topped with bottles of Skaramuča lined the marina. For those of you that don’t know, Skaramuča is one of the largest private Croatian winemakers and the owner of the largest vineyard in the Dingač area.
Branimir Andelic of Skaramuča
Split-based dance group Crowd Control used twists, turns, and thrilling jumps to entice the already giddy crowd while a smartly dressed brass band traversed the marina, singing a cappella tunes that had everyone’s toes tapping.
One of the many highlights of the event, as always, is the fashion show, which this year featured celebrity designer Matija Vuica, whose beautiful garments have been worn by Hollywood stars!
Stunning silhouettes paraded down the illuminated waterfront promenade, applauded by many as the most beautiful runway in the world, wearing eye-catching headpieces styled by Viktor Drago.
Forty dresses were presented, each handmade unique, of the finest silk and details of lace, crystal, glitter, and reflective mirrors, represented forty years of Matija’s artistic work, which skillfully connects the world of fairy tales, fashion, and magical stories inspired by Croatia’s authentic cultural and ethno heritage and Slavic mythology.
The installations on the model heads, which defied gravity, were made from local island vegetation and each was made to complement the dress.
“Vines, the roots of dried trees shaped into structures, pirate ships and wooden ships, and silk sails bravely sailed this unusual seaside runway accompanied by modern exclusive yachts in the audience. The indispensable agave, a synonym for storing drops of water, which means life on the island, also served as a detail in the part of the collection which serves the ancient Atlantis them,” said Viktor Drago.
Unfortunately, not even photos can do these masterpieces justice.
Once the fashion show came to a close, the party moved into the Martinis Marchi garden, but not before a chilled glass of Mumm champagne was poured to prepare the palate for the feast ahead.
The already picturesque Mediterranean garden sparkled, with radiant lights overhead to imitate the essence of moonlight. Guests enjoyed the finest Croatian fare, coupled with crisp Skaramuča wines.
The evening entertainment did not disappoint, either, as Croatia’s own Frank Sinatra Marko Tolja took the garden stage, singing the classics of yesteryear and Dalmatian hits to delight a crowd scattered on picnic-style blankets and cush pillows.
Under the starry island sky, guests danced, sang, and imbibed until the early morning hours, in an ambient only Martinis Marchi could provide. It was yet another one for the record books, an event that epitomizes all elements that make up Dalmatia’s charm. An event you’d be silly to miss next year if you’re given a chance.
Stay in touch with Martinis Marchi by following their Facebook page, and don’t miss out on another Šolta Island experience like this one!
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