Whether you are interested in food, wine, history, music or vintage cars, there’s a festival somewhere in the world to enjoy. Travel smarter to these spring and summer festivals around the world:
Wine — Most wine festivals are in the fall, around harvest time. New York State’s Finger Lakes is beating the crush (pun intended) with the first ever Finger Lakes Wine Month launching May 2013. This month-long celebration features special offers at wineries, tasting rooms, restaurants, wine bars, retailers and attractions, plus getaway packages at local hotels and bed and breakfast accommodations. Finger Lakes wine lovers across the world can take part in Finger Lakes Wine Hour at the end of the month, the world’s largest Finger Lakes virtual wine tasting.
Vintage Cars – The Mille Miglia just might be the most famous vintage car race in the world, open only to classics built before 1957. Originally it was a real race, between Brescia and Rome, but these days it’s more of a parade and celebration of some of the world’s most beautiful cars. This year’s Mille Miglia is May 16-19. I was lucky to attend a few years ago, and able to drool over gorgeous vintage roadsters including Ferrari, Lancia and Lamborghini. Another thing that makes this race different from all others is that some cars are actually driven out of the Mille Miglia museum in Brescia by their owners, and returned after the race.
Cheese – Wales’s reputation as the home of excellent British cheese is celebrated twice during the summer at two of the most stunning castles in the region. First there’s the Big Cheese Fest at Caerphily Castle in July. Set in the shadows of one of Europe’s largest Castles, it’s an extravaganza of street entertainers, music, dance, traditional funfair, fire eating, minstrels, troubadours and much more. The magnificent Cardiff Castle (shown here) then plays host to The Big British Cheese Festival in September, which is a must for both cheddar enthusiasts and cheese connoisseurs alike! There’s a Best of British Market, a Taste of Wales Market, and lots of live entertainment and family fun. Another Welsh highlight is the Abergavenny Food Festival also in September. Click here for a list of the best food festivals in Britain this summer, from Visit Britain.
Classical Music – The second oldest music festival in the Czech Republic is Smetana´s Litomysl International Opera Festival, held annually in the birthplace town of Bedrich Smetana, one of the greatest and most popular Czech composers. The setting is magical – the beautiful outdoor courtyard of the Litomysi Castle. The town of Litomysl is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year’s two-week festival is June 13-30.
More Classical Music — 2013 marks the 200th Birthday of the composer Richard Wagner, which is being celebrated both in Germany, where he was born, and Switzerland, where he lived for many years. The city of Leipzig has a two-week Wagner Festival in June; download the festival schedule here. And click here to enjoy some of Wagner’s best music.