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The best chocolate-related event in Slovenia

The Festival of Chocolate in Radovljica

In the middle of the Gorenjska region, in Radovljica, you can immediately feel the intoxicating nectar of bees and Gorenjka, the oldest and most famous Slovenian chocolate. Therefore the Radol`ca, as it is called by locals, is really "Honestly sweet" as its tourist slogan says. The 12th and 13th of April will again be marked by the Festival of Chocolate, the first and only one of its kind in Slovenia. All Slovenian chocolate factories and many masters of chocolate desserts from Austria, Italy, Croatia and the Czech Republic will be represented. Instead of lying in shop windows and on the shelves the chocolate reigns in the Old Town Centre, in Linhart Square and in Radovljica Mansion. The organisers recommend arriving at Radovljica by train, since today the town is a real open-air boutique museum.

At the 3rd Festival of Chocolate, which is a real feast for the local and foreign lovers of sweet indulgence, chocolate of all kinds and shapes can be tasted in return for coupons, which visitors can buy simultaneously at a price of € 0.50 for one purchase at a cash register. Chocolate gurus can really enjoy themselves during the Festival. One of the most observed products in the last two years was the chocolate filled with Carniolan sausage and honey. The event is diversified each year with chocolate workshops, sweet hours for children, cooking shows and drink mixing. Last year`s special attraction was the chocolate fashion show.

The famous Slovenian chocolate Gorenjka has already been produced for more than 90 years, since 1922, when a Slovenian from Trieste decided to set up a family company in Lesce to produce chocolates from the finest ingredients. Besides Gorenjka, in the honestly sweet town of Radovljica, which hides a bee with spread wings in its logo, they are also proud of the indigenous species of Carniolan bee or Carniolan grey. Because of it, a several-hundred-year-old, world famous tradition of beekeeping is still alive in this place.

Together with beekeeping the gingerbread trade has bloomed, with the creation of products from sweet gingerbread. The gingerbread trade is one of the oldest Slovenian crafts, and the decorated gingerbread hearts are still made by the locals as they used to be made in the past, when given as gifts they showed a special affection. The heart was a symbol of love, the red colour for passion, the yellow ribbon for infinity, and the green flower for growth. The heart was not without a mirror, which allowed the girls to admire themselves. The gingerbread makers bought honey in honeycombs from beekeepers. During the first pressing the honey for pastry was obtained, during the second the honey for štruklji, and during the last pressing the honey for mead and honey schnapps. Gingerbread hearts are still a traditional gift in Slovenian culture.

Radovljica with its old town centre is a real open-air museum. In addition to the picturesque medieval buildings from the 17th and 18th century, the honestly sweet Slovenian beekeeping heritage can be felt in the Beekeeping Museum. Visitors admire the largest collection of painted beehive fronts, the oldest of which is from the year 1758. On the first floor of Radovljica Mansion, right on top of the area of the Festival of Chocolate, there are bees buzzing in a separate observation hive, from spring to autumn, and inspiring the sweet adventures of Radovljica.



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