Modest and quiet, nested above Jelsa is a small stone settlement named Pitve. As if it was in another dimension, the life here is slower, the days seem longer, the rhythm of the steps slower, the hearing and the view sharper. Everything is interwoven with simplicity, void of the unnecessary. This place is a part of the landscape, a cliff rising from the ground, in the middle of the field of maquis shrubland and aromatic herbs. Everything is as natural as it can be, thrilling at every step of the way.
The network of drystone walls, olive gardens, vineyards and dirt roads with rows of pine trees surrounds the village. Across the fields and Jelsa at the coastline the view stretches all the way to the island of Brač and towards the seaside of Makarska and Biokovo. The view is a mixture of green and blue sights.
An old stone tunnel leads towards the south and Zavala.
During the summer, when most of the island faces scorching heat, Pitve offers a refreshing breeze which makes the stay there more comfortable. The nights are cool and soft, the sky abundant with stars.
Pitve makes you a better person. The atmosphere of peace is reflected onto every individual. To put it simply, no one is immune to such a dose of the Mediterranean tameness.
The present town of Jelsa was founded as a port for the residents of Pitve.
A collection of vineyards
St. James is the patron saint of Pitve – the parish church of St. James (9th century).
Pitve is one of the places that participates in the traditional procession “Za križen” (“Following the Cross”) on Maundy Thursday.
One of the oldest customs is the procession that takes place at Easter between the six parishes – Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče, Vrbanj and Vrboska.
The first written records of this circle procession that starts in the night of Maundy Thursday to Good Friday, referred to as the “Za križem” (Following the cross), dates back to 1658. This 400-year-old tradition commences at 11 pm. on Maundy Thursday and lasts for 8 hours, covering the distance of 22 kilometers. The procession starts at all the six parishes at 11 lead by the parish priest. The processions never intersect as they all head out in the direction of the sun, not to come across one another, which brings bad luck according to an old belief. The cross bearers carries a 18 kilogram cross, covered in black veil. He is followed by procession lamp carriers, singers. The cross bearer and the followers are dressed in white brotherhood tunics. The procession wasn’t held in 1943 during WWII, when the island was occupied by the Italians.