I have a confession to make – I love shopping for souvenirs. But, I prefer them to be unique, and not just cheap trinkets. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard finding authentic souvenirs. It’s so much easier to just give in and settle for a postcard or a magnet, but with a little research, you’ll be able to tell the tourist traps from the authentic articles.
Here’s to making your Croatian souvenir hunt just a little bit easier:
Licitarsko Srce – You’ll see the Licitarsko Srce or Gingerbread Hearts everywhere in Croatia. These shiny red hearts (also available in various shapes – angels, houses, birds, and more – though hearts are the traditional deal) are a common sight and can be found dangling from the shelves of Croatian souvenir stores and stalls everywhere. These hearts are made from honey dough and are decorated in bright colours, with bits of ribbons and tiny mirrors. They are considered symbols of Croatian love and warmth, and are also considered to be a good luck charm.
Maraschino Liqueur – Find yourself a bottle of liquid cherry; you won’t regret it. Maraschino liqueur is made from Dalmatian sour cherries; the cherry pit and cherry tree leaves are also utilized as ingredients along with honey. The original recipe, it is claimed, originated in a Dominican monastery in Zadar during the 16th century. And even today, you can enjoy the very same traditional recipe. This popular drink can be easily f0und at local restaurants and inns, and a bottle can be purchased at local markets and stores as well.
Coral and Silver Jewellery – Croatia is a great destination to buy unique and authentic coral and silver jewellery. Many jewellers continue to use traditional patterns and designs, making their collections fairly unique for tourists. Of course there are an equal number of modern designers creating artistic, gem-studded pieces. You’ll find a number of small, accessible jewellery stores and galleries all across Croatia. Just step into one and find the piece that suits you.
Croatian Wines – Not many know that there is a long tradition of wine making in Croatia; wine was made here even earlier than Roman times. Of course the output and technology has since improved vastly. Today Croatia boasts a multitude of wines and wine producing regions. From traditional to modern producers; from house wines to much more expensive affairs, there’s a Croatian wine out there to suit every palate.
Croatian Art – Art, in most any form, makes for some of the best Croatian souvenir acquisitions you can obtain just about anywhere. Here you can indulge your inner art collector, as most Croatian towns boast a good number of local galleries, and a simple stroll through most any town can turn into an art lesson. If you are looking for something offbeat, try investing in a piece of Croatian Naive Art. This artwork is trully unique and quite exquisite.