Game, set, party & gourmet! Umag is the name of the game

The most fun ATP European World tour 250 event is for sure the Croatia Open in Umag that takes place in Umag for the 22nd time at end of July. This year it’s from July 21 – 31, ten days of tennis, parties, good food and wine, and lost of summer fun. Umag is more than just top male tennis tournament: it’s so much fun, great food, fantastic parties and the fabulous courts sitting next to a beach – it’s just amazing. The games have to start a bit later in the day or evening, of course, because it’s to hot when the Sun is high up in the sky  but when that sea breeze starts flowing in and the air brings good music and fine flavors from the Istrian cuisine – you know life is treating you well. This year I’ve decided to spend the whole 10 days of game, set & gourmet – as I call it – coz I don’t want to miss a thing.

First, good tennis.

The main crowd is:  Tommy Robredo Garces and Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, Juan Ignacio Chela, Carlos Berlocq and Maximo Gonzales of Argentina, Pablo Cuevas of Urugvay, Fabio Fognini, Andreas Seppi, Potito Starace and Filippo Volandri od Italy, Aleksandr Dolgopolov and Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine, Thiemo de Bakker and Robin Haase of the Netherlands and Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia meet Croatia’s best Ivan Ljubicic, Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig.

The Spanish armada is strong, the Croats are promising a good fight, the Italians are pretty good so it should be interesting – and not only for the ladies.

When he is off the tennis court, Tommy Robredo Garces loves to relax at his ranch with the horses Watch the video.

Tommy Robredo Garces on ATP World Tour uncovered

From a war refugee to the professional on the court – Ivan Ljubicic’s road was windy and hard. Being 31, he is oldest in the tour.

Ivan Ljubicic on ATP World Tour uncovered

Second, the gourmet part.

Ah, goodIstrian food and great wine – my favorite part. Istrian Gourmet Festival is the second year taking place during the ATP. The idea is to promote Istrian gastronomy – from traditional to gourmet cuisine – and best Istrian wines to some of the 70.000 visitors expected to come this year. The Our cuisine part is the open to public: three traditional and gourmet restaurants will prepare their best dishes. Konoba Buscina from Buscina is a great place that redefines the traditional Istrian cuisine with its tastes, flavors and authentic dishes packed into a modern gastronomical experience.   The owner Fabiana Mijanovic is excellent in doing so with the help of her son Neven. Her charming stone adorned konoba, a traditional Istrian restaurant, is located near Umag in village Buscina. Fabiana’s ,  top dishes are those prepare with the traditional Istrian cattle boskarin, a true delicacy here in the region. Buscina is one of top 10 konobas in Istria, bear the IQ = Istrian Quality label and the Tartufo vero label which means it’s among the few restaurants that prepare the truffle based dishes according to highly set gastronomical standards. When you come to Fabiana, you can be sure you will be enjoying Istria’s fresh produce – be it from the sea or the greens from the land because she acquires only Istrian made fish, clamps, meet and veggies.

My favorite dish is for sure Fabiana’s chocolate cake with extra virgin olive oil and a glass of fresh malvasia. The combination of dark chocolate with the intense extra vergin oil is absolutely fantastic! You have to combine it with a glass of malvasia – and at Buscina there are more than 90 labels, Istrian producers leading the pack.

Istrian Gourmet festival has a special tent in which special evening will be organized hosting not only Istria’s best chefs but the top European one and two Michelin star chefs. Here is the schedule of events that I will cover in details in the days to come.

And third – the parties!

There will be some jazz, some light operettas with the great Spanish singer Montserrat Caballe, and D.J.’s rocking the party. The stage will go to Yolanda be cool, the Australian band became popular with their hit “We don’t speak Americano”, a sampled 1956 Napolitano song “Tu voa fa l’americano”.

Yolanda be Cool on You Tube

Counting till it all beings on Thursday July 21.

 

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