”The Middle Island” (Insula Media, or Mezzo)

Lopud is the most developed island of the small archipelago Elaphites in southern Croatia that stretches northwest of Dubrovnik, city of unique cultural and political history that was placed on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sights in 1979. Lopud itself has a long and interesting history, with its culture and architecture still recalling long gone ancient times. Through the history Lopud is well known as island of captains and a favourite place for the summer residence of the local aristocracy.Numerous remnants of Greek, Roman, and Slavic buildings, more than 30 remains of pre-Romanesque chapels and churches, a vast number of former summer manorsand several monasteries can be found. One of the main architectural attractions on island Lopud is the 15th-century Franciscan Monastery, which following nearly 20 years of adaptive restoration work, reopened its doors to the public in 2018, thus contributing again to the cultural life of the island.

The island itself is only 4,6 square kilometers (1.79 square miles) large surrounded by blue water of the Adriatic Sea. It has only one settlement also named Lopud. Inhabited Elaphites islands, Koločep, Lopud and Šipan, are connected with the mainland via daily ferry lines operated by Jadrolinija out of Dubrovnik. In the high season ferry runs 4 or 5 times per day, and in the low season it runs 3 to 5 times per day. Journey time is between 50 minutes and 1 hour depending on the route. Also private transfers from the mainland to Lopud can be easily arranged.

What is now Villa Mandofia it used to be an old ruin where my grandma’s family Mandofia used to live. Villa Mandofia was recently restored by the same architect who designed the island’s only hotel Lafodia. In 1936 my grandparents built restaurant Obala, which is still run by our family.