Split

Split curiosities

more than a year ago

Picigin

Among the numerous beaches around the city, there is one, final name that sums up a true beach experience in Split: Bačvice. The city’s main public beach is an integral part of the lives of the people of Split, and understandably so. Just minutes from the city center, Bačvice is a tree-lined beach complete with bars, restaurants and cafés and marked by the blue flag that is so often spotted around Croatia, signifying that the water and environment surrounding the beach meet stringent international quality standards. But more than the natural aspects of the beach, Bačvice is beloved because of the large place it holds in the overall fabric of the city's life. It is easy to imagine the various parts of the drama of a Split resident’s life taking place on this small strip of beach: clumsy baby steps on the sand, learning to swim for the first time, romantic walks along the beach and, most importantly to some, games of the ubiquitous picigin played with groups of rowdy friends. It is perhaps picigin, a sport that was invented right in the waters of Bačvice that is the perfect illustration of the attitude and overall feeling that exists at this special beach. The sport is played by small groups of people who try, by only using single touches from their their hands, to keep a specially-made rubber ball aloft and out of the water for as long as possible. The main characteristic of the sport is that there are no opposing teams, no points, no winners and no losers. It is played for the sheer pleasure of being with one's friends while running and diving through the shallow waters of Split's most beloved beach.

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