The Slovenian people are mainly of Slavic descent, and the
predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, which is still widely
practised by a large portion of the population.
Slovenia was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and because of
this it has always retained close cultural ties to Western Europe,
at least in terms of social attitude.
Food and Drink
Slovenian restaurants are usually always packed at meal times.
Ljubljana's old town has the highest concentration of excellent
restaurants in the country, and almost every restaurant, however
upmarket, will welcome you with true Slovenian hospitality and
quality service. Portions are always large, in the tradition of
Eastern Europe. A meal will usually consist of a thick soup
(usually meaty) with main courses of roast meat or other and a
selection of warm vegetables depending on season. Paprika is used
widely as a flavour enhancer as are garlic and salt. Cold meats,
bread, cheese and sausage are often served buffet style.
Dishes such as chicken fillets with a pistachio nut crust and
roast foal are distinctively Slovenian in character and are served
pretty much anywhere. The more adventurous might want to try some
of Slovenia's hearty staples such as zelodec sausage with potatoes,
juha soups (with beef, noodles or chunky vegetables) and Hungarian
inspired goulash laced with paprika.
The area that is modern day Slovenia became part of the Roman
Empire in the 1st century AD and was known as Pannonia and Noricum.
Slovenia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
with the downfall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which became
known as Yugoslavia after 1929. During World War Two, the country
was annexed by Germany, Italy and Hungary, but became a republic of
the re-established Communist Yugoslavia in 1945 under the rule of
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Cigarette smoking, while not quite as heavy as in Slovenia's
neighbouring countries, can get oppressive at times. Some
restaurants, but by no means all, have installed non-smoking areas.
In late spring to early autumn most Slovenes tend to eat and drink
outside so wafts of smoke are not a problem.
You're likely to be as overwhelmed by the friendliness of the
Slovenes as you are by the beauty of the country. Learning a few
simple Slovene words will win you even more smiles. Try out
dober dan (good day), prosim (please) and
hvala lepa (thank you very much).