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Sarajevo Dinner
Destination Bosnia:
Dinner in Sarajevo with Mrs. Safija
(Dispatch #4)

Story and photos by Tom Weber

dining table at The 4 Rooms of Mrs. Safija

forbidden love affair between a beautiful Bosnian woman and a handsome Austrian count is the backdrop for tonight's icebreaker dinner as members of the newly-formed "band of merry media" – 18 travel writers and photographers invited by Insight Vacations to sample a portion of its Bosnia-Dalamatian Riviera itinerary – get acquainted, cling glasses and break bread at one of Sarajevo's upscale restaurants: The 4 Rooms of Mrs. Safija.

wall hanging at the The 4 Rooms of Mrs. Safija restaurant

Originally built as a home in 1910 by Count Johan Von Herberstein for his beloved Safija, the love of his life, this Bosnian-European fusion restaurant, located in the hilly and trendy neighborhood of Bjelave, has been restored to early 20th century splendor.

Filled with lots of period pieces, the Four Rooms of Mrs. Safija celebrates that legendary and taboo love affair between a Muslim woman and a man during ChristianSarajevo's transition from Ottoman to Austro-Hungarian rule in the early 1900s, and stands today as a monument to love, beauty and fortitude.

gramophone at the The 4 Rooms of Mrs. Safija

wine and tapas bar

another room at The 4 Rooms of Mrs. Safija

Built up, not out, the house is a three-story epicurean landmark, with a restaurant, lounge, wine and tapas bar and a seasonal summer garden outside.

But, enough about the décor. How's the food?

chef at The 4 Rooms of Mrs. Safija

Regularly cited by international food critics as one of Sarajevo's very best restaurants, my fellow travel scribes and I pretty much have the run of Mrs. Safija's four rooms and the superlative kitchen as we touch knife to fork and enjoy this Insight "signature," get-acquainted, three-course dinner.

dinner fare: bubbly rose wine, Bey's chicken soup, sea bass fillet in saffron sauce and filo dough-style apple strudel with vanilla ice cream

Over a glass of bubbly rosé, I select the Bey's chicken soup – Bosnia's national soup – a sea bass fillet in a saffron sauce, and a filo dough-style apple strudel with vanilla ice cream. Not to be overlooked, all of these mouth-watering dishes are complimented by fine white and red wines from the house cellar.

Count Johan may have fallen head over heels for the lovely Safija, but our newly formed "band of merry media" is definitely smitten by these four rooms and the kitchen. Uh, any chance we can have seconds?

Insight Vacatoions' Sarajevo and Dalmatian Riviera brochure

For complete information on Insight's premium and luxury-escorted itineraries, including 110+ journeys throughout Europe, just click HERE, or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.

items at the Bascarsija bazaar

See you tomorrow morning when we'll hook up with Dino, Insight's "Man in Sarajevo," for an informative stroll around the Baščaršija, the old Ottoman bazaar. Until then, laku noć (good night).

Related Articles:
Bird's-Eye Views from Sarajevo's Yellow Fortress; Surprising Sarajevo – Dinner in Grandma's Kitchen; Destination: Bosnia and the Dalmatian Riviera; An Eastern Mediterranean Odyssey; Sailing the Adriatic with Silversea: A Moment in Montenegro

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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

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Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

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Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: Thanks for stopping by and commenting..


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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal

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