Honestly Sweet Radovljica
Honestly Sweet Radovljica
The delights of Radol´ca, as the locals call it, have been sung wide and far by Avseniki, one of the best-known Alpine pop folk groups. The lively melodies sing of green woodlands, lovely locations, happy people and sweet treats under the stunning backdrop of the Karavanke Alpine range. Since the earliest times, the biggest urban centre below the Karavanke mountains has been “honestly sweet” Radovljica, which features one of the best-preserved medieval town centres in Slovenia.
The delights of Radol´ca, as the locals call it, have been sung wide and far by Avseniki, one of the best-known Alpine pop folk groups. The Avsenik brothers, who are known as the fathers of this musical genre, have also penned some of the most frequently played instrumental music in the world. The lively melodies sing of green woodlands, lovely locations, happy people and sweet treats under the stunning backdrop of the Karavanke Alpine range, just over an hour from Ljubljana towards the northwest and a stone’s throw from Bled.
Since the earliest times, the biggest urban centre below the Karavanke mountains has been “honestly sweet” Radovljica, which features one of the best-preserved medieval town centres in Slovenia. Today it thrills people with its sub-Alpine architecture, and it is a true open-air museum. You can get to know stories from the past and old crafts in modern guise. The people of Radovljica are still outstanding beekeepers, blacksmiths, potters and gingerbread makers. They painstakingly maintain the rich traditions and showcase them at festivals. The home cooking, honey and chocolate make every experience in Radovljica honestly sweet. Spice up your stay with the tastes of Radovljica, which have placed the destination among this year’s EDEN finalists.
Radovljica invites you to “this homely” part of Slovenia, as the locals say, to sweet treats, discoveries, experiences and memories stretching back to the Middle Ages. At one time counts and knights inhabited the castles and manors of Radol’ca, and their stories still fire the imagination today. Through the tradition of blacksmiths and beekeepers the town developed into a delightful sub-Alpine settlement with hospitable locals. Today the people of Radovljica still live in harmony with nature and like to use everything local, starting with their own garden vegetables. They are tied to their rural tranquillity amid a springtime of flowering meadows, but they often make merry and celebrate, for the tourism calendar offers a range of festivals and events.
You can ride around the town using the handy Hop on – Hop off bus, which links Radovljica, Bled, Begunje and Brezje. Take a stroll around Linhartov Trg, the main square of the medieval town centre and the heart and soul of Radovljica. Have a look at the museum and Gingerbread Maker Traditional House, which is famous for making traditional gingerbread hearts with little mirrors. Did you know that gingerbread making is the craft creation of semi-durable pastry out of honey dough? Close by is the Beekeeping Museum. You can find out about the Carniolan bee or kranjska sivka (Carniolan grey), which is a native bee breed. A special feature of Slovenia’s Alpine regions, and an essential part of their cultural heritage, is the painting of beehive panels. The museum houses more than 600 examples of this art!
The cuisine of Radovljica is truly the most honestly sweet. Honey features prominently, along with all the fine things made from honey, including spirits and liqueurs. In Radovljica the finest combination is chocolate and honey. And alongside all the sweet things, all the true Gorenjska folk like a drop of the hard stuff. Radovljica restaurateurs swear by ingredients from the local environment and they often cultivate their own fields. They still like to cook traditional kroparski fižolovc bean stew or bean hotpots.
TYPICAL RADOVLJICA DISH
Linhartov cukr is a chocolate praline of white, milk or dark chocolate. It is filled with liqueur made of ingredients from the local environment. You can also try sweet honey at tastings hosted by local beekeepers.
TOP CULINARY EXPERIENCE
Sweeten up with some excellent local dishes and the Tastes of Radol’ca, which link together 10 Radovljica inns and restaurants. These tastes are most prominent in November, the month of restaurants, but you can enjoy them throughout the year, including in a experience weekend package. Every year the restaurateurs prepare local dishes that are typical of Radovljica and the surrounding area, and they can be identified on menus by the bee symbol.
POPULAR EVENTS IN RADOVLJICA
* Every first Saturday in the month, the Villa Podvin hosts the Podvin Market. This is a showcase for local restaurateurs, whose dishes incorporate local ingredients, traditional recipes and modern preparation methods.
* For a number of years Radovljica has also hosted the most chocolate-intense event in Slovenia, the Festival of Chocolate, in April. And the nearby village of Begunje is home to Slovenia’s most famous chocolate company, Gorenjka. The festival features both large and small-scale chocolate makers and chocolate studios showcasing their products and chocolate masterpieces.
* The longest-running Slovenian festival of old music, Festival Radovljica, takes place every August. The first one was held back in 1982. Various locations around the town serve as venues for 10 concerts by different performers of old music from around the world.