Monday, 17 February 2020
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.


The production and export of sparkling wine is continuously increasing, so in the first nine months of this year, the export of sparkling wine exceeded the dana of entire last year in total. From January to September this year, 476 hectoliters were exported, and a total of 441 hectoliters was exported last year, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce announced on Friday.

-The production of local sparkling wines is constantly growing, as is the export. More and more sparkling wines are made from indigenous Croatian varieties, and their quality is recognized in the most demanding markets. Therefore, with relatively small quantities, we achieve good prices and hope that this trend will continue in the future – it's said in the press release, by the Assistant Director of Agriculture, Food Industry and Forestry of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Zaklina Jurisic.

According to the Chamber data, 476 hectoliters of sparkling wine worth 683 million euros were exported in the first nine months of this year, while imports slowed down slightly and 12,800 hectoliters worth 7.9 million euros were imported.
Data for the first nine months show that the most exported were sparkling wines (211 hectoliters worth 546,000 euros), then sparkling fresh grape wines with protected trademark (146 hectares worth 64,000 euros) and other sparkling wines from fresh grapes (92 hectoliters, worth € 55,000).
In 2018, sparkling wine exports increased by 35 percent from 2017, from 748,000 euros to 1.08 million euros. Quantitatively, it is up from 324 hectoliters in 2017 to 441 hectoliters in 2018.

Traditionally, most sparkling wines is exported to the Netherlands (worth 346,500 euros), followed by Italy (178,100 euros) and Germany (140,300 euros). Interestingly, our fourth largest export market is Singapore, to which we exported sparkling wines worth 136,000 euros last year.

Imports, on the other hand, are of much higher quantities and value, so in 2018 sparkling wine imported were worth over 9 million euros, while in 2017 the value of imports was 7.6 million euros. This is an increase from 14,300 hectoliters to 17,900 hectoliters.

Most sparkling wines are imported from France (3.3 million euros), Italy (2.8 million euros) and Germany (1.1 million euros).

The traditional Christmas concert, which has been held continuously since 1991 in the Franciscan Church on the same day, December 27th, will again bring together the orchestra, and Dubrovnik choirs and vocal groups. The concert starts at 8 pm.

The concert, named "Joy to the World," will include the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Libertas Mixed Choir, Dubrovnik Chamber Choir, Blasius Choir, vocal group Kase, vocal group Kolafjaka, sopranos Marija Kristina Tomic and Paulina Djapo, and the concert will be conducted by Maja Marusic, Viktor Lenert and Frano Krasovac.

The program features traditional Christmas songs and tunes. Entrance to the concert is free.

One of the most famous travel magazines, Condé Nast Traveller, has recently published an article listing The best holiday destinations for 2020. Croatia found its place on the list and the representative for 2020 is Rijeka.

-Towards the end of every year we look at the year ahead through a cultural lens, with a focus on major events and trends around the world – in 2020, for example, the Olympics will take place in Japan, and closer to home is an Irish city that’s been named a European Capital of Culture. But, of course, we also canvas the views of all our well-travelled editors for the places they’re most excited about – in this instance not just for the next 12 months, but heading into a new decade - Condé Nast Traveller writes.

Rijeka is on the 19th place of the list, described as the industry-heavy city that is flaunting its cultural prowess.

-Travellers tempted to speed their way through Rijeka – Croatia’s third-largest city – on their way to Dalmatia’s tourist-bloated islands should tarry awhile. The city’s pretty-gritty blend of charming monuments, urban beaches, thrumming street festivals and intoxicating Italianate grandeur is finally starting to find its very own sort of allure. The seaside citadel has been dubbed Red Rijeka because of its locals’ left-leaning views. The shipbuilding port is also known for its pioneering punk-rock heritage (label boss Goran Lisica Fox once described it as a musical Galapagos). In fact, in an unremarkable street, a few blocks down from the 19th-century Governer’s Palace you’ll find a discrete plaque marking the former site of Husar, Croatia’s first ever rock’n’roll club, and arguably the first of its kind in Communist-controlled Europe – it's written in the article.

They add that forward-thinking visitors to Rijeka are reaping the benefits of the imaginatively crammed vaults of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the just-caught fish at the sublimely unfussy Konoba Na Kantunu, while crowds battle for sunbed space further south in Split and Hvar. The city’s appeal will be further bolstered, no doubt, by the fact that Rijeka has been named a European Capital of Culture for 2020 alongside Galway. In preparation, works are underway on Rijeka’s first-ever art quarter, to be built on the former Bencic industrial complex, while sites such as the Sugar Refinery Palace – the future home of the Rijeka City Museum – and T-object,where the Rijeka City Library will throw down its roots, are being completely reconstructed.

-The flagship Kitchen of Diversity will also set up shop in the the Bencic complex, in the new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and will host workshops, discussions and cultural programmes designed to shine a harsh light on the experiences of migrants from other parts of Europe (Rijeka used to be the departure point for emigrants moving to the Americas in the early 20th century). When the cement settles, Rijeka will soon be challenging its beachier counterparts as Croatia’s must-visit destination – the author concludes.

See the full list here.

Pharmacies from Dubrovnik have sent the duty schedules of their pharmacies for the next three months, from January to March 2020. The daily on-call duty is from 7am to 8pm and nightly from 8am to 7am the following day. 

If you are spending New Year’s in Dubrovnik, it’s good to know that for New Year holidays the pharmacy 'Kod Zvonika', placed inside the City walls. You can see the schedule on the photo below.



The Libertas riders Motoclub reported that a traditional humanitarian event, Santa Bikers, organized by the Libertas Riders Moto Club, will be held at Stradun today, on Thursday, December 26th at noon. 

-We invite all little children, moms, dads, grandparents to join us, be happy with us and receive their sweet gifts. Santa Bikers have a humanitarian purpose this year as well, and the funds raised will be used to help treat our critically ill fellow citizen. See you on Stradun - Libertas Riders wrote and wished everyone a Merry Christmas filled with peace and prosperity.

Little girl that united Croatia and made all Croatians work as one, Mila Roncevic, went on the medical treatment in United States back in April, where she was fighting leukemia. 

She might be little, but she is a strong fighter! Mila, who was previously predicted to have a one percent chance of getting better, has successfully had a bone marrow transplant. Mila is fine and the disease has receded – 24 sata writes.

For those who don’t know, Mila Roncevic went to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia at the beginning of this month, after a massive fundraising action for her treatment that included numerous people from Croatia and all over the world.

According to the dana from that period, 5,758,499.25 dollars were collected, or 38,114,540 kuna by huge amount of donors. Her father continued to raise money in the Foundation he made for Mila, helping other children along the way.

Christmas Eve is special everywhere, but it’s a really amazing experience in Dubrovnik! Everybody gets dressed up, even in the early morning, and many people decide to go to the Old City, where they mingle, sing and enjoy the holiday atmosphere.

If you go to the Old City, you won’t be sorry, but you might be surprised by the crowd: made this time by locals and not tourists, all wearing their best dresses and suits, so called ‚monture‘ in Dubrovnik. You’ll probably hear ‚‘Nazdravlje vam Badnji dan‘‘ a lot, which is a way that in Dubrovnik people congratulate Christmas Eve.

The main event is at noon at Stradun! You’ll get a perfect chance to hear traditional Christmas carols performed by Lindo Folklore Ensemble, Libertas Choir and Dubrovnik Brass Band.

You can enjoy the afternoon cruising around the City, eating prikle and drinking mulled wine or gin, or you can rest, because the Christmas Eve is long!

At mindnight, there are masses in almost every church. Even if you are not religious, you’ll enjoy it because of Christmas songs and glorious atmosphere. After the mass, many young people decides to party their way into Christmas – or you can grab a drink on one of the festive sounds and wrap yourself into a blanket at home, even if it’s rented for just a couple of days.

It’s good to know that when it comes to public transport, there will be additional lines from 8 pm on the Christmas Eve. Also, the last departure on lines 1A, 1B, 4, 6, 8 will be at 02:30 am. Don’t forget that during the festive season the buses are free from 6 pm!

German national television ZDF, on prime time on Christmas Day, will broadcast a one-hour travel show "Horst Lichter Seeks Happiness - Motor Through Croatia". The show follows well-known German chef and TV presenter Horst Lichter, who, along with well-known German actor Henning Baum, travels with motorcycles along the Croatian coast in search of happiness. The adventures of this popular German duo are estimated to attract around 3 million viewers on December 25th. 

-Travel shows where famous individuals discover tourist destinations are effective tools in promotion because viewers witness the true experiences of the main characters they trust. I am sure that the broadcasting of this show will result in great reactions in the extremely important German market, from which we have generated almost 3 million arrivals so far, which represents a 4 percent growth compared to the same period last year - said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic.

While filming the show, Lichter and Baum visited the entire Croatian coast, from Istria through Zadar and Split to Dubrovnik, and in addition to the beautiful scenery and nature they discovered along the way, they met various interesting people, such as the truffle seeker in Istria or the musician on the island of Pag. Their entire journey is motivated by the pursuit of personal happiness, more specifically, the search for answers to questions about how happiness can be found, but also lost.

-Due to the great popularity of the main character Horst Lichter himself and the prime time, the viewership is expected to be multimillion and thus give an additional wind in the back to the positive image of Croatia in the German market - said Director of the Croatian Tourist Board German Representative Office in Germany Romeo Draghicchio.

After the premiere, the show will be re-aired, and will also be available on media library and other online channels. Throughout the show, viewers will have the opportunity to get to know Henning in a significantly different release from the one they know from his action films, and Horst will contribute to his stories by creating an exciting and emotional atmosphere. In case ypu didn’t know, Horst Lichter is a very popular former chef who, after suffering two heart attacks in his late twenties, decided to change his life from the ground up and became a TV presenter. He captivates the viewers with extreme sympathy and with its trademark, striking mustache. In addition to the show he filmed in Croatia in June, he is especially tied to our country by his wife, who is Croatian.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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