This project is sponsored by Sofia Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality for 2013, and is in support to the Sofia and the South-west region nomination for European Capital of Culture for 2019
Martina Vrdoljak was born in 1982 in Zagreb. She graduated the Law Faculty at the University of Zagreb. Her first appointment as a junior diplomat was in Sofia, where she has lived since 2007. Martina likes painting and reading, and is currently on a PhD course in foreign policy and political science.
Your favourite cultural venues in Sofia – and why are they favourites?
Sofia has a very healthy deal of cultural venues of different kinds. What I like is that here you can find lots of small establishments where you can see a good exhibition of contemporary art and, after that, you can eat or drink something, all in one place. The Red House stands out. Also I like very much the jazz club under the National Palace of Culture where you can often listen to concerts of talented and famous jazz musicians.
Is Sofia a cosmopolitan city?
I think the soul of each city is in the people who live in it. In Sofia I have met some very open-minded folks who are able to share exciting experience and have fresh ideas.
Your favourite hangouts in Sofia?
Zaimov Park, Slaveykov Square, Graf Ignatiev Street and Kino Vlaykova.
Three things you find amazing about Sofia?
The number of parks, gardens and decorative trees around Sofia is astounding. Sofia is a very green city. I am also enchanted by the variety of fresh fruit and vegetables on the market. One of my favourite smells is that of roasted peppers, the pecheni chushki, that spreads through the streets of Sofia in autumn. Also, there are a number of nice garden restaurants in Sofia.
Three things you dislike about Sofia?
Being flushed by the water from the "smiling cobbles" while you are waking in the city during a rainy day. Not infrequent water shortages, at least where I live, and the lack of garbage cans around the city.
Apart from local culture, are there any other events that visitors or residents should take a note of?
Sofia offers a variety of international film festivals. Around the city you can also find lots of small theatres and very often in one of them you can see interesting performances. During the spring and summer there are some interesting open air events worth seeing. I like very much A to jazZ Festival.
Does Sofia deserve to be named European Capital of Culture for 2019?
With lots of cultural happenings around the city throughout the year, small cultural venues with good programmes and people eager to attend such happenings, I think Sofia stands a good chance of being named European Capital of Culture for 2019.