Francis Ford Coppola, one of today's greatest living directors, stayed in the luxurious Villa Agave in Dubrovnik last week. The famous director flew to Dubrovnik from Paris on his private plane, and arrived at Villa Agave where he was welcomed by the director of the hotel, Jasna Đurković, and the hotel’s hostess, Marija Zečević. He brought an old wooden desk and a computer and said he was going to spend all five days that he was in Dubrovnik in the quietness of Villa Agave in order to write materials for his next film project. While talking with his hosts, the hotel group Adriatic Luxury Hotels, and sipping Turkish coffee, he revealed his reasons for revisiting Dubrovnik where he first stayed back in 1962, and at the same place – the Excelsior Hotel.
“In the very beginning of my career I was invited to Dubrovnik in order to participate in the shooting of the film 'Operation: Titian'. I spent three months in Dubrovnik, namely in the Excelsior Hotel, in a room which was then the only one with a balcony and a view of the Island of Lokrum and Dubrovnik. I also devoted the time that I spent there to writing the scenario for the film 'The Rain People'.” Since his first visit to Dubrovnik, Coppola's career has been full of great successes, and today, 50 years later, he wanted to return to the same place for the same reasons. “I wanted to return to Dubrovnik, to the same hotel, in order to find inspiration for writing again. This time, however, in an even more luxurious environment. Here, at the Villa Agave, I have found an ideal place for writing. I have the peace that I need and an inspiring atmosphere. From the terrace of the Villa Agave is the most beautiful view of Dubrovnik and the Island of Lokrum.”
In an exclusive interview, he told us numerous anecdotes from the times he remembers, as well as his impressions of the Old Town, which he visited again. The three months he spent in Dubrovnik many years ago have remained beautiful memories, and ever since he has followed the events in this area with particular attention. “I followed the events here with huge sadness and disbelief. I couldn't believe that the war broke out here, because I remember Yugoslavia as a country of hospitable and peaceful people and was generally impressed with the harmony of life among the people,” Coppola said. “I am glad that those times are behind you. I am amazed with the beauties of Dubrovnik, which is now much more beautiful than I remember. I will come here again next year, but I will not be working. I want to show my family this wonderful place which holds such beautiful memories for me; specifically because the first time I was here I was with my girlfriend who, two years later, became my wife.”
After a four-day stay at Villa Agave, Francis Ford Coppola said farewell to his hosts and wrote in the guestbook: I’m sitting in almost the same spot, looking at the same view (Island of Lokrum) as I did fifty years ago, when I was trying to write 'The Rain People'. It is more beautiful here than ever – 50 years passed and there's a wonderful sense of well-being and prosperity. Congratulations! Francis Ford Coppola.