May 25 • 31M

The Italians of Mahovljani

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

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

David Pejčinović-Bailey
A podcast hosted by David and Tamara Pejčinović-Bailey, about Living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, telling stories from the perspective of an immigrant and also interviewing interesting people from this often misunderstood country. We would love to answer any questions you might have. If you would like to support what we do, you can buy us a coffee at: We really hope that you'll subscribe and enjoy :)
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

If you would like to support our podcast you can, by maybe buying us a coffee or a sandwich?

Oh, and you can also share the newsletter with friends, relatives and colleagues using the button below.

Share An Englishman in the Balkans

Ask us any questions or give a suggestion for a Podcast.

E-Mail us at