In Boboshtica, a village entirely without tourist infrastructure, the promised Rakia Museum and any other projects from 2019 are missing, which were supposed to benefit tourists. Five years after the electoral promise by Mayor Sotiraq Filo and the government, Faktoje reveals that the grand plan for Boboshtica is a mirage. Korça Municipality attributes the implementation of the Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) to FSHZH, but no one talks the value of the funding and how this project ‘slipped’ away from AZHBR. Regardless of the broken promise, Boboshtica remains loyal to the tradition of Rakia production in nearly every family.

Xhensil Shkëmbi

On June 7, 2019, Korça Mayor Sotiraq Filo, who was running for the next term, promised: ‘The village that pioneered tourism in Korça, with its restaurants and the famous ‘Rakia e manit’, will receive increased attention in the next 4 years. Improved infrastructure and the Rakia Museum will boost the number of visitors, thereby increasing the income of every household in Boboshtica.

Rakia Museum was indeed the epicenter of the comprehensive development of Boboshtica, the village with a long tradition of Rakia production, just 7 kilometers away from Korça. Minister of Culture Elva Margariti provided a detailed explanation to Prime Minister Rama, to the Former Head of AZHBR, Frida Krifca, and to the re-elected Mayor of Korça, Filo, on how Boboshtica would be transformed, as they inspected together the future Rakia Museum located in an old two-story building.

The goal is to introduce functions that revitalize the entire village, ensuring all residents contribute to the success of this new structure. In July 2019, Margariti stated by explaining how the entire surrounding area would be requalified, setting a good example of how all these houses, some abandoned, some in family use, could be utilized – transformed into hostels and continuously serving the museum. She emphasized the utilization of public spaces around, envisioning a culinary school, tourist info-points, and other amenities.

This plan was part of the ‘100 Villages‘ project, yet to this day, no one has witnessed its implementation.

5 years later

At the end of January 2024, we traveled to Boboshtica, where almost 5 years ago, a significant promise was made. Our verification started directly from the building that was supposed to have been transformed into a museum by now.

The building planned for Rakia Museum, Boboshtica, January 2024

‘The museum’ is still that same miserable building, where for more than 4 years now, two families from Floq have been housed since their homes were destroyed in the 2019 earthquake.

When we tried to ask if they had any information about relocating to new homes, neither of the families was willing to speak. The only certainty is that they are continually awaiting Korça Municipality to provide them with new housing.

The reality you face while walking through the village, whether or not there are a total of 300 residents, out of the over 2000 reported before the 1990s, is the lack of people due to massive emigration.

What we found were streets emptied and occasionally walked by only a few elderly individuals. More than a tourist destination, Boboshtica now serves as a brief stop for tourists to enjoy a meal before continuing on their journey to or from Dardhë. What’s not missing is Rakia produced there.

Boboshticë, January 2024

Today in Boboshtica, around 9 restaurants operate, and aside from two churches, it’s difficult to find tourist-friendly infrastructure in the village, not to mention the promised projects in 2019.

‘Faktoje’ met with the HeadMan of Boboshtica village, Mr. Kostandin Xhoxhi, who reveals that everything promised has remained unfulfilled. No representative from Korça Municipality or FSHZH has visited Boboshtica to inspect the area regarding this idea.

‘Here, every family is involved in ‘Rakia e Manit’ production. There are about 120 families, each having their own distillery at home, where we produce Raki. For us, it would be very beneficial if this museum were to be built. It would give us great publicity, and I believe tourists would buy Boboshtica’s Raki, and we would gain a great reputation in Albania. So far, our advertising and promotion have been very minimal from the authorities’ side,’ – says the Headman of the village, Kostandin Xhixho.

Koli Guna, one of the residents of Boboshtica, is skeptical about the construction of this museum due to the village’s depopulation caused by emigration.

‘Why do we need this Rakia Museum in Boboshtica? Each household here produces about 30-40 liters of Raki, which we sell directly and keep for our own consumption. Mulberries are the same as they were. Are there any young people here to invest in ‘Raki Mani’? Only the elderly is left here.   Let’s suppose we did the museum. Where are the tourists here? There are some people who come to eat calf meat and then they leave. What will they see in Boboshtica, us elders? – Koli Guna concludes.

From the conversation with the elder, we learn that each household has about 3-7 mulberry trees, a small, sweet, and aromatic fruit that they harvest during the summer season. This tradition is also dedicated to the Rakia Festival in Boboshtica, although in recent years there have been fewer and fewer participants, as the remaining villagers attest.

What do the authorities say?

We submitted a request for information to Korça Municipality asking about the reasons for not fulfilling the promise of Rakia Museum.

In the official response, Korça Municipality specifies that Rakia Museum is still an idea that has not been implemented, and that the implementation of the concept-idea will be financed by the Albanian Development Fund.

It is noteworthy that during the verification conducted by Faktoje in 2020,  Korça Municipality attributed the implementation of this project to the Agency for Agricultural and Rural Development as part of ‘100 Villages’ major project.

However, when we asked theThe Agency for Agricultural and Rural Development(AZHBR) through an official request in February of this year, they delegated the request to the Ministry of Agriculture, which refused to respond.

Meanwhile, the Albanian Development Fund confirmed to Faktoje that the project in question is still in the conceptualization and formation phase, and the funding amount is yet to be determined.

Sources close to the Korça Municipal Council confirmed that the approved budget for 2024 does not include any allocation for the construction of Rakia Museum in Boboshtica, a promise that is not surprising to be recycled for propaganda about tourism or future electoral campaigns.


We will categorize the promise made by Mayor of Korça, Sotiraq Filo, and also promoted by the government in 2019 for construction of Rakia Museum and the development of rural tourism in Boboshtica as unfulfilled.

*This writing is part of the call for the national fact-checking writing competition

The first prize will be awarded the ‘Fatos Baxhaku’ prize.



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