Moscenicka Draga and
Volosko are only some of the
resplendent gems in the Kvarner Riviera that streches like a necklace
at the foot of Mount Ucka.
It was exactly here in Opatija that the great adventure started,
in 1844, Ignio Scarpa, a wealthy merchant from Rijeka, ordered a
villa to be built for his wife Angiolina. The decision proved to
be more than felicitous. It signed the beginning of fame and fortune
for the locality that, according to an old document from 1453, had
a Benedictine monastery - the St. Jacob's Abbey ("opatija").
Thank to its mild and salubrious climate and a luxuriant flora enriched
with exotic plants such as magnolias, giant sequoias, cammelias
and palm trees, the entire area becomes a centre of an elitist tourism.
Shortly after Villa Angiolina was built, other villas and palaces
grew Villa Jeanette, Villa Esperia, Villa Madonna and hotels Kvarner,
Imperial, Bellevue, and Astoria, all of them echoing the Renescence,
Baroque, and Neo-classic architecture.
Few kilometres from Opatija lays the town of Rijeka
(roman Tarsatica). It is the administrative centre of the Zupanija
Primorsko-goranska region, and the important railway, road, air
and maritime centre. It is said that the name Kvarner derives from
the Latin Qua(te) rnarius that stays for the approach routes to
the gulf according to the cardinal points.
The walls of the fortresses in Bakar and Kraljevica (16th and 17th
cent.) are the testemony of the power of counts Zrinski who, alike
the Frankopans, have left everywhere traces of their rule and prestige.
Following the coast toward Crikvenica, which lays 14 kilometres
further south, we pass through Jadranovo and Dramalj.
New contents are addes to variety of the tourist offer by the archipelago
including the islands Krk, Cres,
and other smaller ones. Rich sacral-art and ethnological collections,
monasteries and churches are waiting th art-lovers to discover them.
The nature gave a precious gift to the islands of Kvarner by giving
them beautiful beaches, hidden in dephts and clear sea. Here one
can really experience full contact with the sea-from bathing or
diving to excellent sea-food, enriched with virgin olive oil, apices
and aromas that give a renown Mediterranean taste.