Arvida Kullolli

We are all good people!

Violinist, Arvida Kullolli, moved from her hometown of Skadar, Albania to Sarajevo in 2008. She took up a post with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, started a family and now calls Sarajevo her new home.

At first, she associated our city with the Siege of the 1990s, but this did not stop her from applying for the job advertised by the Philharmonic after she had completed her studies at the Music Academy in Tirana.

- My move to Sarajevo was a big shock for my family. They told me it was dangerous here, too cold, but I decided to try. I came with three friends and, after the audition, I got the job.

A lot of friends in Sarajevo

She met some old friends here and, with time, has made new ones who have helped her learn Bosnian, which is totally different from Albanian. She also completed her master’s at the Sarajevo Music Academy.

The mentality and culture of Sarajevans have never been foreign to her because, as she says, all peoples from the Balkans are similar.

- We’re all good people, we have good hearts and souls. Sarajevans are full of respect, they’re professional and respect rules. I love Sarajevo, but I do not like the fact that smoking is allowed in public places. I also find it strange that people here drink large amounts of coffee.

She misses the sea, which is close to Skadar, but loves the snow that whitens Sarajevo and the nearby mountains. Still, she thinks our city is loveliest in spring, which is when she tells dear ones to come for a visit.

- Many friends have already come. Some like Baščaršija, or the old part of town, while others prefer the modern part. I tell them to stroll around town and to visit Sunnyland and Skakavac Waterfall.

Arvida loves traditional Bosnian food, which has some familiar flavors, since it is part of the shared cultural heritage of countries in the region.

- My favorite restaurant is 4 Sobe Gospođe Safije, which is where I got married, and I love Park Prinčeva. I recommend ćevapi at Hodžić, Sarajevski sahan and other dishes at Hadžibajrić Aščinica, maslenica at Boccone Trattoria and fish in Vrelo Bosne.

Favourite activities

Arvida likes walking along Wilson’s Promenade, having mulled wine in front of a fireplace on Bjelašnica and Jahorina…. She usually has coffee at Vatra, Metropolis or SCC and BBI, both of which offer parking and a chance to shop.

She chooses Hacienda, Monument, City Pub, Cheers and Celtic for evenings out but, since she has recently had a baby, she prefers quiet gatherings at home.

She likes to take in a good concert with friends or her husband, Admir, who plays first trumpet in the Philharmonic.

- I love Jazz Fest and we often go to Big Band concerts and hear different soloists at the Bosniak Institute, Army Hall, BKC….

She adds that since she started living here, the city has seen a lot of growth and expansion, as shown by the many shopping centers and new apartment complexes.

She usually gives copper coffee sets from Kazandžiluk St. as gifts and she urges visitors to see the National Museum during their stay.

Arvida invites others to our city with the following:

- Be sure to visit Sarajevo, a city full of cultural-historical treasures!