While in some European countries it is legally forbidden to feed the pigeons, in Dubrovnik it is a way of life. Ivo Miletic and Hussein Odobasic serve brunch every day to their guests, no they aren’t waiters, they don’t even carry any trays or plates with them, but they do have a very regular clientele.
At exactly noon every day, when the bell strikes, hundreds of pigeons land on the runway known as the Gundulic Square where they wait for a lunch of corn.
Ivo and Hussein are on hand every day to make sure these Dubrovnik fliers do not have empty stomachs. “In the morning at half past five we set the tables for the market land and clean up if we need to. Then at noon it’s time for the pigeons. At one o’clock we collect the tables and umbrellas and clean up before the restaurants move their tables in, this is our schedule for every day of the year,” explains Ivo.
Whether the sun is shining, the rain is falling or it is a public holiday, the pigeons need their food. Every day you can see the pigeons collect fifteen minutes early, waiting patiently. Ivo and Hussien are a well oiled machine, they pick up the food on Ploce every month, bring it with carriages into the Old City and even damp it down before “serving” it so as not to cause to much dust and disturb the local restaurants.
How much the birds eat – “I counted once and one pigeon ate 90 pieces of corn before flying away,” explained Hussein. The pair have their own storage room where they keep all the market tables, umbrellas and of course the pigeon food. “Summer is here so we have more work, but we don’t mind, we love working with people, and there are plenty more people during the summer months,” joke the pair.
It seems that this typical Dubrovnik tradition will continue for a few more years, Bon Appetite Pigeons!
Dubrovnik's Green Market The Green Market, as its known, is located in the Gundulic Square in the very heart of the Old City. It is a market that transforms throughout the day, from early in the morning when it sells locally produced fruit and vegetables up till midday, then authentic hand-crafted souvenirs in the afternoon. Pick up some great olive oil, lavender and brandy as an original souvenir.