The 16th Chocolate Festival, the main and oldest in Croatia, will take place in Opatija from November 11 to 13
by Maurizio Ceccaioni
Abbey (Opatija) is a coastal city ofNortheastern Istria and overlooks the Kvarner Gulf (Kvarner) with its beautiful islands. The chocolate festivalthat involves local or worldwide operators Croatia to soothe the eyes and the palate of visitors, with delicacies created for the occasion.
The one between Abbey and the Chocolate which, like every year, will transform the city into a paradise for lovers of this food that helps us make our lives sweeter. A transformation that finds its apotheosis in this festival which traditionally takes place on the first weekend of December. But this year there have been date changes and this one XVIth edition was planned byNovember 11 to 13.
However, while the dates have changed, the expectations remain the same as always. That is to say, spend three days without worries in the name of tastings of all kinds and joy, thanks to this so-called “happiness hormone”Who is the chocolate; then come home with me delicious products bought for themselves and to give to friends. A well-oiled mechanism that those who come every year from all over Croatia (but not only) to take part in this sweet event, also taking advantage of round trip day tripsorganized by many tourist agencies. They do it for love of themselves, with a certain objective: the opportunity to taste here the many varieties and delicacies made with this raw material introduced in Europe from South America in the 16th century.
Abbey, between history and current events
City with a strong tourist vocation, Abbey in two centuries it has gone from a small fishing village to “Pearl of the Adriatic”, As this thriving seaside town is also called Istrian coastsalso considered among the most important gastronomic destinations Croatian. Also very popular with local vacationers, it is located approx. 70 kilometer(s) from Trieste it’s up to 12 kilometer(s) from Rijeka (Rijeka), the main town of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar region, already European capital of culture in 2020.
They thought about improving it Austro-Hungarian only after Treaty of Campoformio (1797) and the end of the Republic of Venicehave become the new masters of Trieste andEastern Istriaincluded River. Thus, while in the 19th century, I French they chose Nice as a noble resort, the aristocracy Austro-Hungarian of the time he chose Abbey: the “imperial city“. A past that resurfaces at the sight of palaces or Viennese-style buildings such as Villa Angiolina. It was built in the center of Abbey in the 1844 like, how summer residence thanks to the river Iginio Scarpa. It is still a treasured place today, with its own garden cured, the exotic plants and the lush park. Thanks to the birth of Villa Angiolina tourism began in this town and today it has become the seat of the Croatian Tourism Museum.
Important personalities have been welcomed there, such as the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Francesco Giuseppe and his wife Mary Anna. But also the count Buzim’s Josip Jelacicbano of Croatia from March 23, 1848 to May 19, 1859, whose bronze equestrian statue is located in the homonymous central square of Zagreb and from which you enter the picturesque fruit and vegetable market Dolaccharacterized by red and white striped umbrellas.
To Abbey there are also many upscale hotelwith the presence of spas well equipped. The first Croatian hotel on the Adriatic was the Kvarnertoday Hotels in Kvarner. Done at the end of nineteenth centuryhis crystal room hosted in the past Opatija Chocolate Festivalwho will have this year the Center Gervais (Ul. Nikole Tesle 5), the modern Tourist and cultural center from Opatija. It will start by Friday November 11 from 2 to 9 pm, then Saturday November 12 from 9 to 9 pm and Sunday November 13 from 9 to 7 pm.
The Event program is expected to be very captivating and attentive to all the tastes of visitors, to offer them not only chocolate delights, but the sweetest pleasure for all the senses, thanks to the chocolate magicthat you will see present in the Center Gervais more than twenty artisanal producers of chocolate candies. But the other novelty this year will also be the presence of a few family farms, with their exclusive range of delicious chocolate products. If the first thing to attract tastingsthere will also be time for attractionsWith the’exhibition and sale of confectionery delicacies, presentations And concerts: all obviously in the name of chocolate.
The smallest they can have funChocolate cornerBetween workshops paint on the classics chocolate bars in a retro style. But with brushes and glasses of chocolate, they can also make drawings and more. Among the curiosities presented, that of being able to attend the packaging of a dress made with chocolate.
From November 11 to 13 announcement Abbey but there will also be one widespread party throughout the city, with side events, tastings, exhibitions and presentations. One of the most interesting initiatives to attract the most sensitive palates will be Gourmet Choco, which they joined Restaurants, bar And Coffeesthanks to renewed menus where dishes and delicacies, cocktails and chocolate-based desserts have been added for the occasion. Everything to be enjoyed, maybe listening to the good live music.
Among the most famous cafés, that of the terrace of theMilenij Hotels (Ul. Maršala Tita 109), an excellent vantage point over the gulf and the nearby rock on the waterfrontwhere the sculptor Zvonko car long ago placed the stone statue of the girl with seagull (or Virgin with the seagull), the gaze turned towards the sea like that of the Mermaid in the bay of Copenhagen.
But not only chocolate to eatbut also for the external well-being of the body and this food delicacy will also be the protagonist of spa & wellness of Opatija and its surroundings, with anti-stress care created especially for the occasion, such as the chocolate massage.
Before leaving Opatijayou have to find time to visit the famous local chocolate factory, the Opatija Milenij Choco svijet (The world of Millennium Choco). Here you can not only buy and taste premium chocolate products directly, but also follow the preparation of the products live.
Opatija has a territory of 68 km² between sea and mountain, with 12 km of coastline and the presence of many natural parks, including that of Ucka. Its varied promenade is longer than Croatia. Nowadays, about 1.4% residents of Abbey is a native speaker of Italian.