Friday, 2 December 2022

Where Luxury Collides: Wanda Radetti Meets Hotel Ambasador in Split

December 2, 2022 - When two luxury tourism pioneers collide, as Tasteful Croatian Journeys founder Wanda Radetti meets Hotel Ambasador, the first luxury waterfront 5-star hotel in central Split. It was quite an evening. 

It only takes a few good people, those with vision and a pioneering spirit, whose efforts, dedication and passion can truly bring change. 

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I was reflecting this as a sipped on an excellent glass of Babic after the main course of deer rumpsteak, Roman gnochhi roll with cranberry cooked in Port wine, Jerusalem artichoke cream, butter glazed Brussel sprouts, and demiglace.

Opposite me was a lady I had wanted to meet for a very long time, the truly pioneering founder of luxury Croatian tourism from the USA, and Conde Nast's preferred Croatian partner every year since 2006, Wanda Radetti, whose Visit Croatia Tasteful Croatian Journeys project has arguably done more than anything to raise the profile of Croatian tourism in this crucial market.  

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The location? The restaurant in the newly-opened 5-star Hotel Ambasador on Split's West Coast, a hotel which has (at least in my opinion) already changed the perception of Split as a luxury tourism destination since opening a few months ago. Wanda was here on her first inspection trip with a view to adding Ambasador to her already impressive portfolio of hotels for her excellent tours from Istria to Dubrovnik. 

It is a far cry from the humble beginnings of Wanda's luxury tourism journey in Croatia, which started with her first-ever tour 27 years ago back in 1995. Yes, you heard that right - the same year that the Homeland War ended, Wanda was already bringing tourists from North America on high-quality (at least given the resources available in a nation suffering from a four-year war), as she brought over a group of diaspora women from the Histra Association of Women. It was a trip which was unecognisable from the 5-star luxury tours today which have justified the trust of Conde Nast for the last 16 years. 

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Just finding a hotel open was a challenge, never mind things to see and tourism providers to offer tours. The only hotel available was in Opatija, and so daily day trips to Istria were the norm. As for the wine from the famed wine-producing region of Istira, which today gets awards on the international stage, back then it was pretty undrinkable. Tending to vineyards in a time of war is low priority. 

What was immediately evident from our first exchange is what an excellent communicator Wanda is, always with a word for everyone. Over the years, those waiters and bellboys of 1995 became general managers of top hotels and some of the most important players in Croatian tourism. Wanda knows them all and has watched - and encouraged - their careers grow. As such, she has built up an unparalleled network of places, experiences and - most of all - goodwill, which she can pass on to her clients in the form of outstanding tours with the very best service and attention to detail. 

When Wanda suggested we have dinner at Hotel Ambasador, I smiled and agreed immediately. Apart from being absolutely my favourite place to stay on the coast - you will not find a better view from Dubrovnik to Rovinj - I was curious to see how a luxury travel expert such as Wanda would take to the new hotel star on the Split waterfront. 

As I had already stayed at Ambasador a couple of times, I gave Wanda one piece of advice, which I am pleased she took - to sleep with the curtains open, so that she could fully appreciate the magnificent view of Split, as its colours changed through the day and night. I truly have not seen a better hotel view in this country. 

 It is one of the few places in the world that I don't mind if I wake up in the night, or very early - spectacular.

Split by night, as seen from the Ambasador. 

Just magnificent.

Wanda was clearly impressed too, commenting on the quality of the materials and finish. She was a joy to watch in action, with a kind word for all, a probing question to learn more for her clients, and a watchful eye on everything that was going on in the hotel. If she was going to promote a hotel to her clients, she was going to do it from the viewpoint of total knowledge. This was a site inspection performed by an experienced eye who knew exactly what levels of quality her clients would expect. And she wasn't shy of pointing out a few small areas of improvement, suggestions that were gratefully received and immediately implemented. 

The Hotel Ambasador lobby is very striking as you enter, mainly due to the outstanding photogaphy which adorns the walls with huge pictures of life in Split in the 1950s and 1960s. A wonderful connection of hotel and city, and one whose photos take guests back to a different era. Wanda captured them too 

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This is my favourite photo in the lobby, as well as my favourite story from the Ambasador so far. In an age before gadgets, where kids played on the streets for hours, this game was very popular. Soon after the hotel opened, some older locals came in to have a look around, and one pensioner was shocked when he saw the photo, for there he was in the photo, some 60 years ago. I suggested that perhaps they could have a media campaign to see if they could identify the rest of the kids and then organise a reunion dinner. 

Wanda's mission was to also meet the staff, so that she could advise her clients, and there are few more important than the head chef, and Ivica Katic spent some time with Wanda exploring the menu options for future guests. 

And so to the food at dinner. Although I am not an expert, I find that dining in 5-star hotel restaurants can be a little hit and miss, and it is not unknown for me to dine in such institutions and come away hungry. Not so at Ambasador, and what a delightful and creative meal it was too. 

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AUTUMN SOUP

-Butternut squash, butter glazed croutons, beetroot powder, pumpkin oil cream

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BEETROOT RISOTTO WITH GAMBERO ROSSO

-Gambero rosso prawn, Bisque, beetroot puree, goat cheese

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DEER

-Deer rumpsteak, Roman gnochhi roll with cranberry cooked in Port wine, Jerusalem artichoke cream,
butter glazed Brussel sprouts, demiglace

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„VIŠKA TORTA“

Walnuts, orange chocolate, orange Chantilly

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A wonderful evening of fine company, food and wine with Wanda and her colleague, Tia Lovisa Moreira, an evening made even better as charismatic Ambasador General Manager Stipe Medic joined us during the meal - Stipe is a great addition to the hotel, and his local knowledge and humour is just one more asset to this truly great addition to this new star of Split tourism. 

Rovinj and Dubrovnik have long been the stars of luxury tourism in Croatia, and Split has always struggled to shine in this sector, at least in my opinion. The positive noises from Wanda and Tia echoed my own thoughts, as I retired to my room for one more night with the curtains open to enjoy THAT view. Rarely can a hotel have such a perfect view matched by an equally perfect location. Within walking distance of Diocletian's Palace and the Split marina, and yet far enough away from the crowds, Hotel Ambasador is the perfect entry point to enjoy the magic of the Dalmatian capital and its incredible history and heritage. 

Learn more about Hotel Ambasador on the official website.

And if you want to know why Wanda Radetti and Tasteful Croatian Journeys are Conde Nast's preferred choice, check out their website.  

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Croatia and Japan to Meet in 2022 World Cup Round of 16

December 1, 2022 - Croatia and Japan will meet in the 2022 World Cup round of 16 on Monday, December 5. 

With a 0:0 draw against Belgium in the 3rd round of Group F, Croatia secured a spot in the 2022 World Cup round of 16 on Thursday night. 

Morocco topped Group F with seven points, Croatia finished in second with 5, and Belgium and Canada were knocked out of the tournament. 

After Croatia and Belgium finished, the Group E matches were played. And what a crazy way we got to find out Croatia's next World Cup opponent.

Japan beat Spain 2-1 and topped Group E, meaning they play Croatia as the second-placed team min Group F. Spain thus finished second in Group E and will play Morocco, who finished first in Group F. Germany and Costa Rica have been knocked out of the tournament.

You can find all of the possible scenarios of how Croatia learned about its opponent below. 

How Croatia's round of 16 match opponent was decided 

Spain
If Spain beat Japan, they were guaranteed first place. A draw was enough for Spain to pass from first place. However, Spain could have dropped to second only if Costa Rica beat Germany. If Spain lost to Japan, they needed a draw between Costa Rica and Germany or for Germany to win to advance. In that case, goal difference is the deciding factor. 

Japan
Japan could not lose if they wanted a spot in the round of 16. If Japan and Spain drew, Japan would go through if Germany and Costa Rica drew. A draw could also happen if Germany won, but then the total number of goals scored by those teams is considered. A Japan win secured their spot in the next round, almost certainly from first place. 

Germany
Germany was in the most difficult situation in terms of points and only needed a win against Costa Rica. With a win, Germany would be in second place. However, they could only be first if Japan beat Spain - then the goal difference between Germany and Spain would be considered, and Spain has a big advantage there.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica would be eliminated if they lost. They could only move on with a point if Spain beat Japan. If Costa Rica won, they could have been first only if Spain and Japan played a draw. 

Croatia and Japan thus play their round of 16 match on Monday, December 5, at 6 pm local time. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Croatia Entering Schengen Area: No EU Member State has Objections

December 1, 2022 - The ambassadors of the EU member states discussed the expansion of the Schengen area and the proposal of Croatia entering Schengen. According to diplomatic sources, none objected to the proposal to admit Croatia to the zone without internal border controls.

As Index writes, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper), which consists of ambassadors of the member states, discussed the expansion of the Schengen area to Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania as part of the preparations for the meeting of the Council for Justice and Internal Affairs next week.

No member state had objections to the proposal to admit Croatia to Schengen. According to their internal rules, some member statesmust obtain the approval of the competent committees in their national parliaments for their positions in the EU Council.

The governments of Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, and the Netherlands have submitted proposals to their parliaments supporting Croatia's entry and are now waiting for their green light. All other EU and Schengen members have already confirmed their support for Croatia. Coreper will again have the expansion of the Schengen area on the agenda on December 7, a day before the meeting of interior ministers who should take the final decision.

Austria is allegedly against Bulgaria and Romania entering

According to diplomatic sources, the Dutch ambassador was against accepting Bulgaria, Germany supported all three countries, and Austria was against Bulgaria and Romania. Another diplomatic source told Hina that France is strongly committed to Romania.

The problem is that Bulgaria and Romania cannot be separated because the border between these countries was never even intended to be the external Schengen border. To separate the two countries, it would be necessary to prepare the protection of that border and organize the border crossings in accordance with the Schengen rules, and this would take several years.

According to this source, there may be pressure on those who oppose Bulgaria and Romania so that all three countries enter, but it is more likely that only Croatia will get the green light. On the agenda are proposals for two decisions, one for Croatia and one for Bulgaria and Romania. The decision requires the consent of all 22 member states in the Schengen area.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Croatia Advances to 2022 World Cup Round of 16!

December 1, 2022 - Croatia and Belgium finished 0-0 at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Thursday night, which was enough for Croatia to advance to the 2022 World Cup round of 16!

Croatia and Belgium met at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Thursday, December 1, for their final Group F match at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

The Croatia national team enters the last round with 4 points: 1 point for drawing against Morocco and 3 points after defeating Canada 4-1. Belgium, on the other hand, had only 3 points going into the final round. While they narrowly beat Canada, they suffered a shocking defeat to Morocco (0-2). 

Belgium needed a win to advance to the round of 16, while Croatia would be safe with a draw. Croatia losing would seriously complicate their chances of moving forward and would depend on the result between Morocco and Canada in the other Group F match. 

There has been a lot of talk about the crisis in the Belgium camp as one of the world's top national teams struggles to find its rhythm. Are they motivated enough by the noise to prove everyone wrong against Croatia?

Lineups

Croatia: Livaković; Juranović, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Brozović, Modrić, Kovačić; Kramarić, Perišić, Livaja

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Meunier, Castagne, Witsel, Dendoncker, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Trossard, Mertens

Match report 

Seconds after the whistle to start the match, Perisic hit a rocket at Belgium's goal, which went wide. Croatia was dangerous in the next few plays and got the ball into the penalty area. 

Carrasco threatened in the 3rd minute, but Croatia's defense cleared any potential danger. 

Croatia looked calm as they played one-twos up the midfield, working their way into Belgium's box. 

Belgium picked up their game and looked for holes in the Croatia defense to play through to Carrasco. There was a close encounter in the 11th minute when he shot near post, but it was brilliantly kicked out by Livakovic for a Belgium corner. 

A quick counter for Belgium in the 12th minute saw De Bruyne take the ball up into Croatia's half, finding Mertens alone on the left wing. Fortunately, Mertens shot high over the goal. 

Modric took a free kick in the 14th minute. The ball made it into the penalty area and the play ultimately resulted in Kramaic falling to the ground. The ref immediately called for a penalty. After consulting VAR, the penalty was recalled due to offside. 

Croatia looked better than Belgium in the first 20 minutes of the match. They quickly found their rhythm, was first to every ball and put pressure on the defense. They only had to watch out for quick Belgium counterattacks thus far. 

Croatia was awarded a corner in the 26th minute, which was cleared by the Belgium defense. 

Belgium spent a few minutes in Croatia's half, unable to produce anything dangerous enough for a goal. Croatia was composed with short passes up the pitch to regain possession.

Sosa worked his way up the left wing and found Brozovic alone at the top of the box, who took one touch too many before shooting. Livaja tried with his head but went over the goal.

Up until now, Belgium struggled to connect passes or crosses. However, Belgium regained possession in the last 5 minutes of the first half and began to control the game. Mertens had a chance in the 43rd minute, and De Bruyne tried crossing into the penalty area in the next play, which was saved by Livakovic.

Kramaric found Sosa in Croatia's next attack, which he shot over the goal. 

Lukaku was warming up to go in for the second half. The referee announced four minutes of additional time. Juranovic closed out the half with a volley on goal.

The first half ended 0-0. The other Group F match between Canada - Morocco ended 1-2 at the half. 

The first half ended with 46% possession for Croatia and 53% for Belgium. Both teams had 5 shots on goal, 0 on target, and 1 corner kick. 

The second half started with no substitutions for Croatia. Lukaku replaced Martens for Belgium. 

Belgium had a dangerous chance in the 48th minute, which Gvardiol cleared for a corner. The ball ultimately found Lukaku's head and ended in Livakovic's hands. 

Croatia had an excellent chance in the 50th minute. Gvardiok received the ball at the top of the box, faked the defense, and found Kovacic, whose shot skimmed off Courtois' fingers for a corner. 

Croatia had another great chance three minutes later. Brozovic picked up the pass on the edge of the penalty area and shot directly at Courtois. Modric did the same moments later. 

Trossard came off for Thorgen Hazard in the 58th minute. 

The most dangerous chance of the match came in the 60th minute. De Bruyne brilliantly played Carrasco. The Croatia defense tried clearing the play before the ball found Lukaku. His shot rocked the post. 

Croatia made their first substitutions in the 64th minute - Petkovic came on for Livaja and Pasalic for Kramaric.

Croatia threatened again in the 67th minute. Modrić received a great cross from the penalty area. He shot sharply to the right side of the goal, but Courtois made a great save. 

In the 72nd minute, Leander Dendoncker came off for Youri Tielemans and Yannick Carrasco for Jeremy Doku. 

The match attendance was announced in the 76th minute - 43,984. 

Ivan Perisic dribbled through Belgium's defense but failed to get a shot off in time. The ball was cleared by the Belgium defense and ended up in Croatia's box and ultimately out a Belgium corner. Croatia got lucky. 

Croatia had a few chances in the next few minutes. Juranovic got the ball into the box, and Petkovic played Broz into the penalty area. Broz just missed the ball. 

But another dangerous attempt from Belgium followed, with Lukaku just missing the goal. 

Eden Hazard came on in the 87th minute and was given the captain band from De Bruyne. 

A Belgium free kick in the 88th minute went into the hands of Livakovic. And another even more threatening play that Livakovic saved on the goal line. 

The ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time to the end of the match. 

Lovro Majer came on for Kovacic in the 90th miunte. 

It was a very tense last few minutes with everyone on the edge of their seat. But the minimum result we needed, we got. Croatia and Belgium finished 0-0, which was enough for Croatia to advance to the last 16! 

Luka Modric was awarded the man of the match. 

Group F crosses over with Group E. The final group E matches are played later tonight, when Croatia will learn its opponent. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Euro in Croatia: Upgrades on ATMs for an Easier Transition

December 1, 2022 - Tihomir Mavricek, executive director of the Cash Sector of the CNB, spoke about the introduction of the euro in Croatia for the N1 television. One month before the introduction of the euro as an official means of payment in the Republic of Croatia, citizens were able to purchase initial packages of euro coins.

Poslovni reports. "The initial package of euro coins contains 33 coins, three coins of 2 and 1 euro, 5 of 20, 50 and 10 cents, 3 of 5 cents, 4 of 2 cents, and 5 of 1 cent. The total value is 13.28 euros, and our citizens will be able to get it for exactly one hundred kunas in all branches of banks, post offices, and Fina", said Mavricek.

"They must not be used for payment until January 1, 2023," he emphasized for N1.

He also clarified why these euro coins are not allowed to be used by citizens and why they would not be valid in, for example, Slovenia. With the first of January, the euro becomes a means of payment.

"Until then, citizens could have problems if they pay with these coins, and they could also receive a fine because it is not a legal means of payment until then," said Mavricek.

He states that this is one of the last steps to prepare for introducing the euro in Croatia. He also referred to euro banknotes. "All the necessary quantities of euro banknotes are in our vaults; they are already being distributed to the banks."

He added that ATMs would be adjusted in December to dispense euros from January. "From January 15, the entire network of ATMs will dispense euros."

Mavricek mentioned another critical change that will facilitate the transition to the euro. "The CNB has agreed with the banks that from December 15, the fee for withdrawing banknotes from ATMs of other banks will be abolished, for kuna until the end of December, and for euros from January 1 to 15."

What will happen to kuna coins after the changeover to the euro?

"From the first of October, when we urged our citizens to deposit extra kuna in banks, coins started to arrive, and they will be taken care of safely. This means that in three years, they will be sold as secondary raw materials when they cease to be a means of payment. It is a huge logistical task, and it takes time," Mavricek said, adding that kuna coins can also be recycled into euros.

"We will process and cut the banknotes on the banknote processing systems, and then the rest will be taken care of," he concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Be Careful if You Like Feeding Birds, in Pula You Could get Fined

December 1, 2022 - Though they can be cheerful and cute, birds can create a mess in public areas. In Pula, they remind of measures to keep things under control - the prohibition on feeding birds.

As Poslovni / Glas Istre write, despite the engagement of falconers, the installation of loudspeakers with sounds of bird predators, and even colourful balloons - starlings and other birds still cannot be driven away from their favorite habitats in the city center.

One of those is the Giardini, or rather the crowns of centuries-old trees, from which flocks of birds decorate the heads of passers-by and numerous tourists and restaurant terraces in summer. And it is not that individuals do not contribute to birds moving in, as they like to feed pigeons and other bird species in this particular location. Many, however, do not know that this is prohibited by the city's Decision on communal order.

The Communal Palace specifies that according to the said decision, it is not allowed to leave any waste or "contaminate in any other way surfaces where it is forbidden to feed birds, dogs, cats, and other animals."
Violation of this provision is punishable for legal entities under Article 177 and for natural persons under Article 180 of the decision above. The prescribed amount of the fine is from HRK 5 to HRK 10,000 for legal entities, while for natural persons, the fine is HRK 300 to HRK 1,000," the Communal Palace states.

They add that the city police do not keep special records for acts that violate the ban on feeding birds.

The City specifies that it is forbidden to feed birds, dogs, cats,and other animals in public areas, because this pollutes public spaces and birds then gather at the feeding grounds.

"Given the aggressiveness of certain bird species, this is used to protect people from the danger of excessive growth of a certain bird population, but also the need to keep animals under the control and supervision of experts. In addition, such actions also affect citizens' quality of life in terms of day and night rest, hygiene, pollution of facades, as well as other consequences that arise from it", the City states.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Fortenova Profit Reaches Impressive 534 Million Kuna

December the 1st, 2022 - The Fortenova profit has reached impressive figures during the first nine months of 2022, with the growth of all business indicators being helped along by an excellent post-pandemic summer tourist season.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on Wednesday this week, the Fortenova Group (Grupa) announced its detailed business results for the first nine months of this year, according to which it achieved a profit from continuous operations of 534 million kuna, against a loss of 384 million kuna in the same period last year.

The greatest positive impact on the growth of all business indicators was the aforementioned excellent tourist season which finally took place as normal following two years of coronavirus-induced instability and stress, there were also significant operational improvements which helped the situation and even ongoing inflation did its bit.

In the aforementioned nine-month period, Fortenova profit margins went up, seeing the company achieve a total consolidated income from continuous operations of 30.3 billion kuna, (4 billion euros), which represents a 38 percent increase compared to the same period back in 2021.

Without the impact of the integration of Mercator, the total income from Fortenova's continuous operations is 15 percent higher in comparison to the same period back in 2021. At the same time, the consolidated adjusted EBITDA of that same period compared to last year increased by 22 percent, to 2.1 billion kuna, or 275 million euros.

At the end of September this year, Fortenova profit was eye-watering, with almost two billion kuna resting in its accounts. At the same time, it continued with the process of debt relief.

For more on Croatian companies, entrepreneurs and innovation, keep up with our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Croatian Vertiv Factory Eyes Great Opportunity for Data Centres

December the 1st, 2022 - The Croatian Vertiv factory has an excellent chance of getting a slice of the proverbial cake which comes in the form of a huge increase in searches for data centres.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, as many as 20 projects are currently being worked on at the Croatian Vertiv factory's production plant in Rugvica. At the entrance to the IMS (which is a factory for the production of modular solutions), Marko Skara, the factory manager, showed of this 500 kilowatt power data centre, made to order, which is being disassembled and prepared to be sent up to France.

The second, smart mode, intended for a customer from Uzbekistan is currently being tested. This is followed by disassembly and shipping. All in all, the Croatian Vertiv factory's management explained that the production of modular data centres, such as those which are being assembled in the factory in Rugvica, which was opened last April, takes only six to seven weeks.

It's worth noting that this plant in Zagreb County acts as a base for modular solutions and a centre of excellence for the whole world. "Engineers here in Zagreb support the engineering and development of other regions, in addition to EMEA and America and the Asia-Pacific region," emphasised Vedran Brzic, senior director of IMS Engineering.

This speaks volumes about the importance of the factory here in Croatia, one of 23 production locations of Vertiv, whose headquarters are in the USA, and one of five in Europe. This one in Croatia specialises in the construction of modular data centres intended for the wider EMEA region.

In addition, the factory, the construction of which amounted to 10 million euros, also produces air conditioners (intended for cooling data centres) and energy modules, which is their best-selling and also the most expensive product they boast. The new facility in Rugvica has 130 percent more internal space, which isn't surprising when you take into account the demand for data centres we're seeing at this moment in time.

"In just a couple of years, business has doubled, and we expect demand to grow by 20 percent," said Viktor Petik, a member of the Vertiv Croatia Management Board, a company founded in 2017, but whose tradition in Croatia stretches back far further, as it is the successor of Emerson Energy System, which has been operating in Croatia since 2000.

The growth of Vertiv Croatia's revenues, which grew by 66 percent back in 2020 and by 32 percent last year, reaching 716 million kuna, speaks volumes about the demand for data centres on the whole. Petik pointed out that they expect growth this year as well, and this was also reflected in the number of employees, which grew from 280 at the end of 2020 to more than 500 now.

In addition, this year, they also opened an office in Rijeka after numerous discussions. Rijeka, according to Brzic, prevailed for three reasons. "It's a city with a strong tech university and other faculties that Vertiv needs. Rijeka also has a rich industrial tradition, and it's close to Zagreb," explained Brzic, adding hat these are solutions that are very complex. "Modular data centres require the cooperation of a number of engineering disciplines, such as architecture, construction, energy, mechanical engineering, air conditioning, automation," he stated.

''With the rapid progression of digitisation, data centres are becoming more and more in demand, and changes in trends are being observed,'' explained Igor Grdic, who is in charge of operations and services for Croatia and the CEE countries of the Croatian Vertiv factory.

"Data centres are mostly located around large cities, such as the famous FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) and Dublin. Recently, we've seen a shift in needs and capacity to the east. For the last three years, Poland, more precisely Warsaw, has had an explosion in data centres with over 200 MW of capacity.

Israel is also following Warsaw's trends, but the question arises as to where the next expansion will go. Vertiv Croatia, of course, is pushing Croatia,'' Grdic concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

First Ever Winter Wine & Walk to Take Place in Baranja

November 30, 2022 - The well-known wine walk along the undiscovered paths of Baranja is getting its winter edition for the first time this year on Saturday, December 10, 2022 – Winter Wine & Walk.

As SiB writes, on the nine km-long route through the villages of Suza and Zmajevac, the famous wine meccas of Baranja, the participants will be welcomed at 14 points by Baranja winemakers and restaurants with top-quality wines and traditional snacks.

The organisers will equip the walkers with a map, a wine glass, and a winter hat, and the participants will need to bring comfortable clothes and shoes. It is equally important to arrive in a good mood and with a good team.

The walkers will move in groups under the guidance of a tourist guide who, in addition to leading the way, will make sure that the group learns something new about Baranja.

Participants gather in Zmajevac in front of the Cultural Centre, with parking spaces available nearby. After collecting their equipment and checking in with the organiser, the walkers will take a dedicated bus to the first checkpoint of the walk.

The following wineries await Pinkert, Kovač, Kolar, Horvat, Gerštmajer, Svijetli dvori, Zlatno Brdo, Kalazić, Josić, Szabo, and Kusić. Providing Baranja snacks for the energy: Kovač Čarda restaurant, the Oaza Mira vacation house, the association Tako je to nekad bilo (That's How it Used to be), Vinarium Borarium, and Kusić cellars.

The start for the groups is according to the following schedule:

Group 1 12:00 p.m
Group 2 12:30 p.m
Group 3 1:00 p.m
Group 4 1:00 p.m

In addition to the beautiful landscape and top-quality food and drinks, during this adventure to the wine capitals of Baranja, walkers will be welcomed with song, music, and dance by the local artists.

The end of the walk does not mean the end of fun! At the end of the trail, the start of the Advent afterparty awaits in the "Catholic surduk" in Zmajevac.

A Christmas fair with mulled wine, lights, a rich music program, and a special experience of Zmajevac surduk awaits everyone on 10 December at the Winter Wine & Walk.

APPLICATIONS can be submitted by filling out the form HERE.

Registration fee: HRK 300.00 / €39.82

Registration fee includes: wine glass, winter cap, map, a voucher for wine tasting at 12 locations + 5 gastronomic locations, tourist guide, and bus transportation (Zmajevac-Suza)

Payments are made no later than Monday, December 5, 2022. towards:

Baranja Tourist Board

Kralja Tomislava 70, Beli Manastir

Description: Registration fee for Winter Wine & walk

IBAN: HR32 2340 0091 1108 3919 1

Info: Baranja Tourist Board, tel. 031/702080 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Private Exhibition of Academic Sculptor Pero Jelisić and Painter Davor Jelisić Held in Zagreb

oNovember 30, 2022 - A delightful evening of art, music and culture in Zagreb on Saturday, as academic sculptor Pero Jelisic held a private exhibition of his work 

One of the many joys of living in Croatia is that every day is different, and there is often a surprise around every corner. 

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The plan for last Saturday evening was relatively simple - the long-awaited opening of Advent in Zagreb, once more restored to its pre-pandemic glory. There was palpable excitement from the little ones. A friend suggested I make an appearance at a private event he was attending. And so I entered another world, completely forgetting about Advent, at least as soon as the kids took their leave, allowing me to enjoy a rather unexpected and fascinating unplanned evening of culture and excellent company. A little more detail in the press release below, before some closing remarks from me: 

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Last Saturday, a private, pre-Christmas exhibition of father and son, academic sculptor Pero Jelisić and painter Davor Jelisić, was held in Zagreb. Maja and Jonathan Cooper, serial entrepreneurs and business angels, opened the doors of their apartment, which was conceptually decorated as a gallery space, and for this occasion transformed into a real gallery outfit, to numerous guests and art lovers.

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Art critic Iva Körbler provided professional support in experiencing the 86 exhibited works, which highlighted the self-effacement of the top sculptor Pero Jelisić, a student of the doyens of Croatian sculpture Kršinić, Augustinčić and Radauš, who is among those artists whose works speak volumes about him. Numerous guests witnessed this by following the artistic path of one of the most prominent members of the HDLU through the multiple award-winning sculptures of Nikola Tesla, and sculptures from the oeuvre of water - drops and its variations, and female nudes, and impressive relief sculptures of the Sun and the Moon were also exhibited. and works of other life scenes expressed through movement and emotions.Davor Jelisić confirms the saying that the apple does not fall far from the tree. He has continued the artistic family tradition and built a recognizable, distinctive artistic style that is best reflected in the range of works from Koprena to Jungle that we had the opportunity to see in the current exhibition.

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Two musical numbers also contributed to the atmosphere. The first was performed by Krešimir Ferenčina, a member of the Zagreb Philharmonic, who performed A. Corelli's Allegro from the 3rd violin sonata in C major, and the second was performed by the young cellist Maša Biban Capponi, a 2nd grade student at Elly Bašić High School, who performed Saint Seans - Allegro passion Op. 43.

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The exhibition also had a humanitarian character through the donation of part of the proceeds from the sale to the Association of Melanoma Patients.

According to the organizers, this event will continue as a tradition, and next year we will have the opportunity to enjoy this unique and unusual delicacy on the cultural scene of Zagreb.

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In addition to meeting many Croatians from social circles higher than those I usually swim in, there were two moments which will stay with me in addition to the fantastic company (so many very interesting people), the art, and the excellent refreshments and hospitality of the Cooper household. The first was watching the master at work, as Pero Jelisic, seemingly oblivious to all the noise and celebration around him, continued to work quietly, methodically, and with total dedication to his art. It was an extraordinary contrast to the conversations of high society all around him. Even the cameraman circling him as he worked did not phase him. A humble artist and a master of his craft united in a mission to produce another perfect bust. You can see Pero At work in the video below. 

 

The second was a personal surprise for me, as the cocktail waiter at the reception introduced himself to me upon entering. Although we had never met, Denis Vlahovac recently contacted me to tell his story on TCN for our Returnee Reflections series, and Denis gave a great interview on his journey from Vancouver back to Dauvar, where he has started an excellent new cocktail business. You can read his interview here.   

And Denis had perhaps the most innovative use of the dreaded bureaucratic Croatian company stamp, using it to brand his company logo on each block of ice that graced his excellent cocktails. 

A fabulous evening all round, and a delightful snapshot into a cultural window of Zagreb. Many thanks to the excellent hosts, Maja and Jonathan Cooper. Check out the official video of the evening below.

To learn more about the work of Pero Jelisic, visit his official website.

To learn more about the work of Davor Jelisic, visit his official website.

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