How many times can a city be called a ‘hidden gem’ and still remain hidden? This is the question for Ljubljana, which these days is packed with enthusiastic tourists, yet still feels to each of them like a secret wonderland they’ve just discovered. Ljubljana means ‘beloved’, and it’s easy to see why. Always the most economic and culturally advanced city of ex-Yugoslavia, it draws its influence from nearby Venice and Vienna and feels suitably cosmopolitan, accessible and affluent. As an American writer living here, I’ve become Slovenia’s most vocal ‘cheerleader’ in the anglophone media. Many a foreigner writes to me with a request for recommendations, and I’m always delighted to help others discover the facets of this ‘hidden gem’.