1. Not bad for wine
It might surprise some of you to hear that Romania is at number 10 in the Top 12 Wine Producers in the World. The Romanians pump out nearly half a million tonnes of the stuff every year. It’s getting a very good name for itself around the world and is a lot cheaper than the pricey and haughty vineyards in France, Spain and Italy.
2. A shear joy
Legend has it that the whole beginnings of Bucharest arose thanks to a simple shepherd called Bucar, which means ‘joy’. He would tend to his flock on the banks of the river Dambovita, harmlessly playing his flute and sipping at his famous wine. This great music and sumptuous drink made the whole region fall in love with him and so they named the place after him.
3. Count the Count
It might annoy Romanians now that their country can’t be mentioned without the need for Dracula to pop up at some stage, but it’s worth noting that the original inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count was the great Vlad Tepes. He was born in Transylvania but died in Bucharest around 1476. He was nicknamed Vlad the Impaler due to having a certain fondness for the horrific method of torture that literally involved skewering people alive.
4. Ilie Năstase
Famous comedy tennis player Năstase was born in Bucharest just after the war. He has been the number 1 player in the world in 1973 and won the French Open that year and the US Open the year before. He’s latterly become famous for his exhibition matches around the world, especially Wimbledon, where he can even now hit the ball in the most inventive of ways, even if his temper is often a little on the heated side.
Photo of the Museum of Arts in Bucharest, Romania, by Panoramas