The Pedagogy of the Impossible
“It’s a gorgeous baroque town. A little piece of Venice with very baroque stone walls and terracotta roofs.” Our tour guide is Liset Kuhar. “It was built by mostly seafaring and noble families. There are just 70 families live here.” Perast is below the peak of Sveti Ilija, facing across the Verige Strait to Verige 65 restaurant.
The loggia and balconies of Bujović Palace practically spill onto the serpentine coastal road. Built in 1694 by the Commander of the Town Fleet Vicko Bujović to the designs of Giovanni Battista Fontana, the palace is a pure Renaissance fantasy of architecture and setting and poetry. It faces Our Lady of the Rocks, a 1400s artificial islet in the Bay of Kotor.
“The coast of Montenegro is for the people. The first three metre span of water, sand or rock has to be accessible to the public unless businesses pay for up to 70 percent of its use. The other 30 percent has to be available for people to come with a towel to sunbathe on. This doesn’t apply to resorts.”
“Mussel farms in the sea are very popular because the limestone mountains filter the water. Mussels grow on the nets, the ropes, they grow anywhere! It takes one year to grow a full harvest. Steamed mussels with white wine are popular, the more wine the better! Add garlic, parsley and olive oil. Very easy and delicious!”
“Kotor coastal people have their own culture; it’s an independent area. A lot of words specific to the Bay of Kotor are very similar to the old Italian. They say ‘Adio’ for goodbye. The tradition of working at sea has been going for centuries. Real estate prices here are high.”
Portonovi – a chauffeur driven Italian and Libyan PR aided Forbes accompanied blacked out windowed Mercedes people carrier drive away from Perast – is more than a development. It’s a lifestyle. So now we’re listening to Portonovi Presents A Touch of Montenegro majestically ¬mixed by local maestros Darko Nićević and Srdan Bulatović. A mesmerising medley of waltzes and jigs, this classical goes trad album will have us dancing till dawn:
• Daybreak Yet to Come
• In the Field it Rais’d
• Slender Fir
• White Water Wavelets
• A Beautiful Shepherdess
• Ye Lassie
• Under the Hillside