The precipitous peaks of the Dolomites are a wonder to behold at any time of year; the lush nature of the region is stunning and filled with the summertime pleasures of hiking, climbing, and paragliding. The area has loads to offer in the way of celebrations and festivals as well. We’d like to point out a few, set within the stunning backdrop of the Dolomites.
The Valbadia Jazz festival celebrates the southern Tyrol valley with a range of acts from Italy and abroad. Held at various venues through out the region, from July 11th to the 20th of August, musicians and Jazz, Blues, Funk, Soul, and Pop lovers alike will come together to jam to international sounds. In it’s 11th year, the festival showcases the Italian take on jazz. The 22nd of July and the 5th of August promise to be especially interesting as the musicians take to the streets of Corvara.
If you’re planning on being there on the 22nd, you might as well stay a few days longer and check out the “Witch Dance” on the 23rd of July in St. Martin in Thurn. Make your way to the Pieter field in the Puez Geißler nature park to watch as a centuries old belief in witchery unfolds in celebration through the night. The witch dance is purported to be an ancient belief, demonstrated for the curious eyes of the public only once a year. The huts of Würzjoch will be open to visitors, displaying handcrafts and regional culinary specialties. A market will have some very intriguing items related to the festival for sale and children and adults have the chance to learn about the history of witches, ghosts, and demons during spooky story hours.
Don’t leave Alta Badia just yet! An entirely different celebration will be held just a few days later, when crowds gather in Corvara on the 27th of July to see some of the areas most beautiful women compete to be voted as the regional entry in the Miss Italy contest. Miss Italy is in its 71st year, you’ll have the chance to root for your favourite in the town square- you may just see the next Sophia Loren.
Everything is taking place just a few minutes drive from the Lagació Mountain Residence. Nestled into the Dolomites traditions and luxury combine, in these spectacular apartment residences. All of the apartments offer panoramic views and are decorated in natural woods and materials. Your well-being will be pampered in the extensive spa, and fresh organic foods and local specialties will be delivered to your door. Any outing can be arranged for you, so you can just relax and have your own mountain adventure.
Times and dates for the Altabadia Jazz Festival and the Miss Italy can be found by clinking on the links. www.valbadiajazz.com / www.missitalia.rai.it The team at Lagacio can provide more information about the Witch Dance celebration and the Puez Geisler alpine nature park.
Contributing writer: Alicia Reuter
Budapest bursts to life every summer during their indulgent Summer Festival, presenting some of the top names in international theatre and opera. Priding itself on the indulgent and colourful line up, it’s set on the Margaret Island Open-air Stage from June through August.
For the first time ever, visitors can be transported to and from Margaret Island by a sightseeing dinner boat, adding a romantic element to the experience. Margaret Island is a lush oasis, covered in fragrant flowers and towering trees, there’s even a small zoo and not to be missed national monuments. The open-air stage of the island is the only like it in the country, and offers views to the Water Tower monument. It’s worthwhile to get to the island a little early to climb the tower and check out the view the 53-meter observation point. Equipped for every type of performance, from opera to rock concerts, it’s a stunning venue for the summer festivities.
Highlights of this years programme include Boris Godunov, returning to Hungary’s stages after years. Performing on the 24th and 30th of July, it promises to be a masterpiece of Slavic opera with stunning scenery, starring artists from the Bolsoi Theatre in Moscow.
Many premières are featured, including the musical version of Mór Jókai’s novel, Szegény gazdagok (Poor Riches), as well as the latest work of co-writers, György Szomor and Tibor Miklós, the Robin Hood musical. There’s an entire Robin Hood festival to be held in conjunction with the première, in the Great Meadow of Margaret Island. Entertainments include jousting, fencing, and fanciful period costumes. Aida will be performed, by audience demand, for the first time at the festival since it’s wildly successful debut at the 2007 Summer Festival.
The festival is reason enough to plan a trip to Budapest, when the evenings are long and cool and the stages and the skies promise to be filled with stars. The Lánchíd 19 Hotel is a must have indulgence when in Budapest. Views over the Danube and the city are spectacular, and while your evenings are filled with opera and theatre, you can fill your days exploring the heart of this colourful city, just outside your door.
Contributing writer: Alicia Reuter
Less than three weeks to go until the second largest Ironman competition in the world. On the 4th of July almost 3000 athletes will take over the Austrian town of Kärnten, competing for the title of Ironman Austria. Places for this year’s competition sold out in a record 62 minutes, with 2800 athletes taking part. Read the rest of this entry »
Fancy a little unadulterated Lux without all the stuffiness but with plenty of urban chic– then the Aegean Suites Hotel is for you. Set above the beaches of Megali Ammos, this all-suite bijou abode has the hallmarks of a private Greek residence set amongst the olive trees perched high into the hillside.
Cool white interiors, over proportioned ornamental jars and rich textiles are offset by personal artworks and touches of the Mediterranean hand, lend that all-important resort flavour and that bohemian edge.
Iain & Crew
SANTORINI is a place of mystical proportions; jaw dropping vistas and natural beauty. The little towns and villages cling to the steep slopes reminiscent of cream running down the sides of a cake berg into the deep blue of the Aegean.
If you are looking for a romantic hideaway, a creative think zone or a place to spend time with friends – the Aenaon Villas is it. Tucked away on its’ own patch of steep cliff face overlooking the famous Caldera, the soothing soft white interiors and crafted rustic elements give the strong emotional character.
This place has soul – get some.
Iain & Crew