Kvarner newsletter / no 33

Lovran's Marunada 2010
Hot sweet chestnuts

The rustling of early autumn leaves under foot, the pleasant ambience and intoxicating scents of chestnuts on the streets – these are just a part of the atmosphere of Lovran's famous Marunada sweet chestnut festival. This year, the event takes place from the 15th to the 31st of October, attracting a lot of visitors to Lovran and other places along the Opatija Riviera.

October in Lovran and the entire Opatija Riviera is characterised by a splendid atmosphere and the aroma of the area's sweet chestnuts – a tasty fruit, which is the basis of the Marunada festival that traditionally takes place each autumn. The attractiveness of this event has recently been confirmed by one of the UK's leading newspapers, The Guardian. The newspaper lists this sweet chestnut festival as one of Europe's top ten food festivals this autumn.
If you haven't tried sweet chestnut yet, now you have the chance to do so: this year's Marunada takes place from the 15th to the 31st of October. This is the period when the offer on the entire Opatija Riviera will be dedicated to this tasty fruit.
Sweet chestnut grows abundantly on the slopes of Mount Učka, primarily in and around Lovran, Opatija and Mošćenička Draga. The fruits are easily recognisable – their shell is brighter, and the taste is much sweeter than the common chestnut. This is why sweet chestnuts have become such a popular autumn food on Kvarner, not only for desserts, but also for a variety of meat dishes and other specialities of the local cuisine.
The festival traditionally begins in Lovran (15th-17th October), and then moves on the following two weekends to the villages in the hinterland – Dobreć (23rd-24th October) and Liganj (30th-31st October).
During the festival, various stands on the streets and local hotels, bars and restaurants will offer a variety of specialities made from sweet chestnuts. Apart from to roasted chestnuts, visitors will have the opportunity to sample a wide range of desserts and some original recipes of the region.
The festival will also include various entertainment programmes. In addition to the central party on Lovran's town square, the event will also include exhibitions of cakes and mushrooms, local fair, and various sport programmes aimed at promoting Učka Nature Park. The 8th Učka Mountain Trek race starts on the 23rd of October, and one day later is the start of the Giro di Marunada bicycle race. This year's Marunada hiking tour is scheduled for the 30th of October.