Croatia is a country rich in culture, deriving from a colorful history that spans centuries of diverse influences, from occupations to kingdoms to empires. The Croatia we know today finds its roots in the settlement of Slavic tribes into the area during the 6th century. This heritage lends a somewhat reserved, if austere, tone to an otherwise warm, relaxed seaside country. Soaking up the flavors of Italy, Austria-Hungary, France, and even the Ottoman Empire, there is no shortage of music, dancing, art, architecture, coffee, and cuisine, from the stone walkways of mountaintop villages clear down to the sparkling coastline and its thousand-plus islands. Speaking three primary dialects with many more regional offshoots, Croatians present a multifaceted melding of cultures, all tied together into one over-sized heart.