1. Istrian Truffles – There’s only three places in the world where you can find the white truffle- France, Italy, and the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia. The season is from mid-September to January and while black truffles can be found year round, the white is the real prize, earning up to 2,000 Euros per kilo. The Guinness Book of World Record holder GianCarlo Zigante found a truffle weighing 1.310 kilos near the town of Buje. Istria’s forests full of oak trees are home to the unique mushroom, and if you visit you can go on a hunt with the dogs and test your luck.
10 Things that will “WOW” you about Croatia
2. Nikola Tesla – Without electricity our day-to-day lives would be so different, but who should we thank for it? Nikola Tesla is Croatian born from the town of Gospić. Today you can visit his birthplace where an interactive museum shows his life story and thought process behind the genius’s inventions.
3. Islands – Croatia is home to 1248 islands in the Adriatic Sea. Voted one of the cleanest seas in the world, some of the highlights are Korčula- Marco Polo’s birthplace, Vis- blue cave and green cave, Dugi Otok- Sakarun beach, Brač- Zlatni Rat Beach, Hvar- Hvar Town and so many more. Rent a sailboat or yacht to island hop, as this is one of the best ways to see Croatia’s unspoiled beauty. Watch my most recent experience with Sailing.Hr.
4. The Cravat (Tie) – They are worn by men each and every day, but do you know the story behind it? During World War 1, a women would give her boyfriend a red scarf and tied it around his neck as a way of showing her love and that he would return home to her. Originally called the cravat, in Croatia’s capital Zagreb you can watch a ceremony of the regiment at noon in the main square who are all wearing the original cravat. This also makes for the perfect souvenir to bring home. croata.hr
5. Zinfandel Originated in Croatia – The robust wine, Zinfandel has been claimed to have originated in Italy, however DNA fingerprinting revealed the equivalent grape variety known as Crljenak Kaštelanski in Croatia. While all the wines are made with love and care, what is most important in Croatia is the company which who you are drinking with.
6. Old World Charm – Game of Throne’s lovers would recognize the walled city of Dubrovnik as Kings Landing, and this UNESCO world heritage site is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The old world charm can be found throughout Croatia and HBO has found many of these gems such as Klis Fortress, the Diocletian Palace in Split, just to name a few. Some of the best charm of Croatia can be found in villages where babas (grannies) are selling their homemade goods on the side of the road or the green markets in almost every town.
7. Torpedo – The first launch of the Torpedo was from the first launching station in Rijeka, the third largest city in Croatia.
8. Hilltop Towns – Built on a hill for defense purposes, cities such as Motovun, Oprtalj, and Grožnjan are some of the most picturesque fairytale villages. Some buildings are abandoned which make it more interesting to stroll around and see the vineyards and olive trees surrounding you. Enjoy a truffle pasta overlooking the Motovun forest and walking through the cobblestone streets.
9. Coffee Culture – Having a kava sa mlijekom (coffee with milk) is a regular thing to have more than once a day. In fact, many people will ask if you want to get a coffee, but that doesn’t mean you have to order a coffee. It’s a cultural thing to spend several hours drinking in the same spot, especially on Saturday mornings when everyone fills main squares and promenades along the coast.
10. Fingerprint – solving crimes and determining someone’s identity has changed the police system thanks to Juan (Ivan) Vucetich, a Croatian born anthropologist who pioneered fingerprinting. Police adopted Vucetich’s methods of fingerprinting and it spread worldwide.
Now that you learned even MORE about Croatia than you probably imagined….let me show you!