Thursday, 21 March 2019
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 annual feast of St. Joseph, known as Oyster Day, that was supposed to be celebrated at the seafront in Mali Ston on Saturday, March 16th, is sadly canceled.

The reason behind canceling is the presence of ''Noro'' virus which was found in the part of bay of Mali Ston – around 30 percent - by regular sampling of seawater and shellfish quality.

- Bearing in mind the possible health problems that could be caused by the consumption of raw shells, a common decision was made by the organizer to cancel this part of the event – it's published by the Ston Tourist Board.

However, Oyster Days will be marked in the restaurants in Ston during the whole week. Don't hesitate to try this delicacy, combined with supreme wines from this region.

In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were 11 traffic accidents, where one person was killed, one person had hard injuries and five persons had light injuries. There were four traffic accidents with material damage.

By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 461 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 249 measures taken due to speeding, 20 measures due to improper stop and parking, 29 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, 15 measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol, 10 measures due to improper overtaking and six measures because of the use of mobile phone while driving.

The City of Dubrovnik will spend around 807 thousand euros to buy the space owned by the Republic of Croatia, for the purpos of opening a public toilet in the historic core – it was confirmed by the Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic for Slobodna Dalmacija

- Many citizens, and also caterers, warned us that they had problems with the lack of public toilets. That is why the City of Dubrovnik contacted the State Property Ministry, which decided to sell us an area of about one hundred square meters. The City of Dubrovnik in cooperation with the company ‘Cistoca’ will turn it into top sanitary facility. Of course, there will be a disabled toilet, as well as changing area for mothers and children– Frankovic explained, adding that the goal is to make a five-star sanitary facility, because the City of Dubrovnik needs to have a representative public toilet. The price that the City will pay to the State Property Ministry is six million kuna and then they will rent it to ‘Cistoca’, which will turn it into top public toilet.

From the city administration they have specified the location of the first public toilette inside the City Walls at the adress: Cvijete Zuzoric 3 – Slobodna Dalmacija reports. After the purchase is over, which is expected in May, the plan is to build the public toilet before the summer season of 2020.

Public toilets are open from 8 am to 10 pm in the winter period, and in the summer they operate up to 2 am. However, the new public toilet, as promised by the Dubrovnik city government, should be available 24 hours a day.

The restaurants Noel (Zagreb) and Draga di Lovrana (Lovran) were awarded a prestigious MICHELIN star, while restaurants Pelegrini (Šibenik), 360º (Dubrovnik) and Monte (Rovinj) successfully kept their stars. Also, the list with label Bib Gourmand now has a total of eight restaurants, which is double number compared to last year, while the label MICHELIN Plate this year carries a total of 51 restaurants. This is the result of a secret tour of Croatian restaurants by professional MICHELIN inspectors. The list for Croatia is published on the MICHELIN website, the world's most significant and top-notch restaurant guide.

- We are extremely pleased that Croatia now has as many as five restaurants with the prestigious MICHELIN star. After Rovinj, Dubrovnik and Sibenik, stars are awarded to Kvarner and Zagreb, much deserved. New stars and recommendations of Croatian restaurants prove that our gastronomy scene meets the very demanding international quality criteria, but also that we are increasingly recognizing the quality of the gastronomic offer in the world. This is also a strong incentive for further development and promotion of this supply segment and I am confident that the destinations and the chosen restaurants will be able to make use of the acknowledgments and recommendations in their further positioning on the market - said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, and congratulated to all emphasized restaurants, and especially the owners and restaurant workers of those restaurants who have won the star.

- This selection shows the potential of the Croatian gastronomic scene enriched by multiple influence; of Mediterranean flavors that are found in Dalmatia, Italian influences in Istria and Slavic flavors from Zagreb to Slavonia, all of which create a unique culinary identity - said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the MICHELIN guide.

MICHELIN's label Bib Gourmand, with the last year's Konoba Mate (Korčula), Dunav (Ilok), Vuglec Breg (Krapina) and Konoba Fetivi (Split) restaurants, is given to Batelina (Banjole), Konoba Vinko (Konjevrate), Agava (Zagreb) and TAČ (Zagreb ). It's a label that is awarded to restaurants that offer quality menus at affordable prices.
I want to use this opportunity to congratulate all the selected restaurants for their great recognition for the persistent work, the art and the desire for development and the presentation of the best that Croatia offers. As much as 93 percent of tourists experience their "special food and drink experience" during their travel, which indicates that eno-gastronomy is the content in which almost all tourists are interested. I believe this will be an additional motive for everyone to continue to improve and connect with local producers to become the most recognizable eno-gastro icon of Europe – said Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli.

The inclusion of new restaurants in MICHELIN selection is a powerful incentive for further continuous improvement of the local gastronomic scene as well as the great global promotion of Croatia as a top gourmet destination.

The Director-General of CERN, Fabiola Gianotti, and the Minister of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia, Blazenka Divjak, in the presence of Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, signed an Agreement admitting Croatia as an Associate Member of CERN. The status will come into effect on the date the Director-General receives Croatia’s notification that it has completed its internal approval procedures in respect of the Agreement – it’s published on the official CERN website.

-It is a great pleasure to welcome Croatia into the CERN family as an Associate Member. Croatian scientists have made important contributions to a large variety of experiments at CERN for almost four decades and as an Associate Member, new opportunities open up for Croatia in scientific collaboration, technological development, education and training - said Fabiola Gianotti.

-Croatian participation in CERN as an Associate Member is also a way to retain young and capable people in the country because they can participate in important competitive international projects, working and studying in the Croatian educational and scientific institutions that collaborate with CERN - said Blazenka Divjak.

Croatian scientists have been engaged in scientific work at CERN for close to 40 years. Already in the late 1970s, researchers from Croatian institutes worked on the SPS heavy-ion programme. In 1994, research groups from Split officially joined the CMS collaboration and one year later a research group from Zagreb joined the ALICE collaboration, working with Croatian industry partners to contribute to the construction of the experiments’ detectors. Scientists from Croatia have also been involved in other CERN experiments such as CAST, NA61, ISOLDE, nTOF and OPERA.

CERN and Croatia signed a Cooperation Agreement in 2001, setting priorities for scientific and technical cooperation. This resulted in an increased number of scientists and students from Croatia participating in CERN’s programmes, including the CERN Summer Student Programme. In May 2014, Croatia applied for Associate Membership.

As an Associate Member, Croatia will be entitled to participate in the CERN Council, Finance Committee and Scientific Policy Committee. Nationals of Croatia will be eligible for staff positions and Croatia’s industry will be able to bid for CERN contracts, opening up opportunities for industrial collaboration in advanced technologies.

Frommer's, one of the most popular travel websites, has recently published an article titled ''The best European cities with day trips for kids'' and it included Dubrovnik! If you are planning to visit Dubrovnik with the youngest members of your family, this might be useful to you.

-Dubrovnik, a picture-perfect fortress city on the Adriatic Sea, is among Croatia's most popular tourist destinations. If any of your kids are Game of Thrones fans, then make a pilgrimage to some of the 19 city sites used as sets. Old Town provides easy access to several, including the Pile Gate and Fort Bokar, part of the city's medieval walls. Walking atop the walls – a path goes all the way around – rewards you with spectacular sea views and closer looks at the town's distinctive concave red roof tiles, some of which date to the medieval period and were shaped by molding them around worker's thighs – Frommer's writes, advicing the readers to climb early in the morning or in late afternoon to avoid the blazing sun and crowds, since Dubrovnik can be pretty crowded because of the cruise ships, but mostly in the morning.

-Kids also like strolling Old Town in search of street performers, souvenirs, and such local sweets as torta od makarona (a macaroni cake) and arancini (orange grinds with sugar). From mid-July to the third week in August, Dubrovnik hosts a lively Summer Festival of music, dance and theater. Like most Dubrovnik's beaches, Copacabana Beach, at Babin Kuk peninsula, is pebbly but ideal for kayaking or beaching. Lopud Island's Šunj beach has better sand (a rarity here) and also a stretch of shallow water. Reach Lopud by a 50-minute boat ride – Frommer's conclude.

See the full list here.

The world renowned and acclaimed Croatian young musicians, cello player Luka Sulic (from 2CELLOS) and pianist Aljosa Jurinic will perform as part of the music program of the jubilee 70th Dubrovnik Summer Festival on August 22nd in the atrium of the Rector's Palace, with the works of Schuman, Brahms, Barber and Piazzolla.

Cellist Luka Sulic has been performing around the world during the recent years, combining solo performances and appearances as a member of the world famous duo 2CELLOS with which he is currently on the US tour by the end of March. As a classical musician, Luka Sulic performed for the first time in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in 2009, and for the last time appeared in 2011 in the crowded atrium of the Rector's Palace with Stjepan Hauser and the Zagreb Soloists. During the same year he performed in front of the church of St. Blaise as part of the 2CELLOS ensemble on their first concert in Croatia.

Luka was fifteen years old when he became one of the youngest students in the history of the Academy of Music in Zagreb where he studied in Valter Despalja's class and graduated when eighteen years old. Education continued in Vienna with Reinhard Latzko, and he got his master's degree with excellent grades at the Royal Academy of Music in London. As a soloist and chamber musician he performed throughout Europe, in South America and Japan, in concerts such as London Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Viennese Musikverein and Konzerthaus.

In 2016, Aljosa Jurinic presented himself to the Festival's audience, as part of the "Meet the future" program, which featured young laureates of prestigious international music competitions. The young pianist on this occasion delighted the audience and critics – they wrote about "the magic created by Aljosa Jurinic", stating that "behind the performance he stands entirely with his musical personality."

His greatest international success was achieved in 2012, winning a prominent piano competition Robert Schumann in composer's birthplace Zwickau. In 2015 he was the finalist of the 17th International Pianist Competition Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw and Queen Elizabeth's Competition in 2016. He is also the winner of all the leading awards for young musicians in Croatia, including the Young Musician of the Year of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (2012) and the Ivo Vuljevic Award (2010). He is also winner of the International Competition of Young Musicians Ferdo Livadic in Samobor (2013) and Tribunes Darko Lukic (2015). The annual award "Vladimir Nazor" was presented to him in 2015 and the award "Milka Trnina" in 2017.

According to the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) for 2018, when it comes to healthcare in Croatia – there is room for improvement. Out of 35 countries that have been analysed, Croatia is placed 24th, having 644 points (1000 is max), which is better than 2017 when it was placed 26th. 

-In spite of a GDP/capita, which is still modest by Western European standards, Croatian healthcare does excel also at advanced and costly procedures such a kidney transplants: the Croatian number of 45 transplants per million population is among the top countries of Europe – it’s explained in the study.

The EHCI analyses national healthcare on 46 indicators grouped in areas such as Patient Rights and Information, Accessibility, Treatment Outcomes, Range and Reach of Services, Prevention and use of Pharmaceuticals.

In Croatia, there is still a problem with direct access to specialized doctors, since the patients have to wait for a long time, as well as the availability of CT scan and waiting for operational procedures. Croatia continues to have high mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases and strokse, infant mortality, and does not achieve enough good results in the prevention of high blood pressure, smoking and alcohol.


According to the research, on European healthcare is steadily improving: infant mortality and survival rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer are all moving in the right direction. Patient choice and involvement are developing. Small countries with limited funding, such as the Baltic states, do well on child access to psychiatric care and reducing the suicide rate. But still too many countries stick to inefficient ways to fund and deliver care services.

-Learning from not only established success such as the Netherlands and Switzerland but also small countries doing the right thing can be a general improvement strategy: Finland, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Large countries often argue that running a minor healthcare system is much simpler. The Montenegrin success on Infant Mortality – today the lowest in Europe (the world?) – by having every risk pregnancy referred to the Clinical Centre of Podgorica could be repeated regionally in larger countries! - it’s said in the research. 

If you want to know all the details, click here.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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