May 25, 2022 • 31M

The Italians of Mahovljani

The legacy of 55 families that arrived in the late 1800's

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Appears in this episode

David Pejčinović-Bailey MBE
Welcome to "An Englishman in the Balkans" podcast, hosted by David Pejčinović-Bailey. In this podcast, you'll get a unique look at life in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the eyes of an immigrant. Each episode, David shares his experiences living in this often misunderstood country, and introduces you to some of the interesting people he's met along the way. From exploring the rich culture and history, to discussing the challenges and joys of immigrating to a new country, this podcast offers a thoughtful and engaging look at life in the Balkans.
Episode details
Me, Beppe and Guilia

Hello and welcome to the podcast, where in this episode we look at the legacy of a group of some 55 Italian families that came to the village of Mahovljani back in the late eighteen hundreds.

The early Italian children of Mahovljani
The Church of St Francis of Assisi. It still sadly carries the marks of rocket propelled grenades from the conflict of the 1990’s.

Today all that remains of that Italian influence is its church, high on the hill, vineyards that those settlers founded (and by the way are still harvested and turned into wine), and families with both Italian first and second names.

Many years ago I heard about this small former colony near where I have lived for nearly 20 years.

I have been intrigued ever since.

So, to my surprise and by pure chance, I bumped into one of the descents of one of the Italian families, Guilia, and asked her if she could tell me more about her community.

Looking down over the Vrbas Valley

She agreed, and so we met her, and her family, at the Italian church on the hill, looking down on the Vrbas valley, just like her ancestors must have done on their arrival over 140 years ago.

It’s quite the story.

Guilia with her wonderful Italian Food
Wine from the Vineyard in Mahovljani

Location of St Francis of Assisi

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