We first read about picigin, Hrvatska’s national sport, while planning our trip to Split. At first exposure, the beach ball game seemed kind of silly. Once we saw it played on a shore at Bavice, however, we quickly became fans.
A handball game often compared to volleyball, some claim that Ba?vice is the only spot where the game can be properly played. Žbirac Caffe‘s Duško Cismic Marovic (a Split guide) picigin was born in Central America 6000 years ago using goat skin filled with sand. Today, a peeled and ground-down tennis ball is the preferred implement. Ideally, a match takes place in shallow water as five players, standing in a circle, use the palms of their hands to keep the ball airborne for as long as possible without allowing it to hit the sand below.
Live picigin play translates into tanned, toned, mostly tall guys spinning, body flipping and skidding over, under and along clear water for a beach warmers’ viewing pleasure. Said eye candy goes especially well with a side dish of trešnja gelato from a nearand future vacation hot spot—in the Bermuda Triangle. Book ahead.