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When in South Italy’s storied Campania region, where would you rather stay:A) a mega-chain hotel?B) a restored monastery, palace or manor? If you answered “A,” no need to read on. But for travelers who yearn to be lord of a castle -- even for only a night -- can discover top heritage properties in the Campania capital of Naples, in nearby Sorrento and on the island of Capri across the bay.
And what getaway to these mainland cities is complete without a boat ride to Capri? Here are several vintage offerings to bring history to your bedside after visiting the Greek temples at Paestum, the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum or the resorts Tiberius left behind on the “Blue Island” of Capri.
Read more: Historic Hotels in and Around Capri
Cherry brandy, fado music and hand-painted tiles make for three perfectly sound reasons to visit Lisbon, Portugal, any time of the year. Two more are its international documentary showcase, Doclisboa (in October) and festival of independent world cinema called Indie Lisboa (in April).
If you're attending either, or both, of these emerging festivals, you'll want a fabulous place to repair to after hectic days of screenings, panels and parties. One solution to consider is the Heritage Hotels of Lisbon, a boutique chain of luxury boutique hotels that arguably rivals cinema in providing period stories and fantasy escape.
Read more: The Heritage Hotels of Lisbon
Český Krumlov, the Czech Republic's answer to Camelot, is so fairy-tale perfect you half expect mini-chiclets to rain down on its cobbled streets. Marionettes deck the panes of its gingerbread shops. Bears roam a castle moat. And the town's very name describes the bend in the Vltava River that rings this UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 13th century.It's no wonder Hollywood came here to shoot The Adventures of Pinocchio and opening frames of The Illusionist. All that's missing in the medieval fantasy set is a green ogre. Český Krumlov's mediating role between filmed artifice and real world makes it an ideal junction after summer's cinema rites in another corner of Bohemia, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Yet unlike the spa town of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), this South Bohemia destination lacks thermal waters to drink in or splash about. The closest thing is the indoor pool, sauna and solarium of its five-star Hotel Růže, housed in a 16th-century Jesuit monastery and university.
Read more: Doing it The Czech Way--The...
While July 4th celebrates one earth-shaking revolution, another world shattering event took place in France on July 14th 1789 — the storming of the Bastille. That event led to the undoing of the French monarchy and the establishment of the French Republic which was more less ratified at the Fête de la Fédération a year later in 1790. In English-speaking countries, Bastille Day is the common name given to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14 each year. In France, it’s formally called La fête nationale.
Here in New York it’s acknowledged by several interconnected events such as French Restaurant Week and Bastille Week both created/sponsored by MPB Agency. Finishing up this week, the 3rd annual France Rocks Summerfest, presented by The French music Bureau Export, — which had started on June 1st 2018 — and closed on July 5th with a selection of bands in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. It is the largest French music festival in the US and showcases the multifarious native French talent as well as international artists who draw their inspiration from France. The lineup had included 25 artists spanning genres from indie pop, rock, world and electronic music. Info can be found #FranceRocksFest2018 where one can view the artists bios.
Since its creation in 2011, French Restaurant Week® has been supported by over 211 participating restaurants. In partnership with the ordering system, OpenTable®, this week offers customers the opportunity to consume special prix-fixe menu options during either dinner, and in some cases, lunch. Previously, wines were also highlighted within the dining spots as sponsors.
This celebration is also part of Bastille Week, which not only recognizes the other major global revolution of the late 1700s but also offers an online media resource which lists events that spotlight the French Independence Day and it highlighting events during July.
This year, New York’s 9th edition returned July 2nd and runs through Bastille Week, dovetailing into various celebrations on July 15th, 2018. And, from July 16th to the 22nd, Chicago’s French Restaurant Week takes place. In both cities special promo prices run from $17.89 (the bar option), $25 (the lunch option), $38 (the basic dinner option) and $178.90 (the dinner option for 2), so priced in honor of the French Revolution.
Among the 22 Restaurants participating this year are such favorites as A.O.C East, Troquet, Le Bateau Ivre, La Sirene, Bistro Vendôme, A.O.C. L’aile ou la Cuisse, Brasserie 8 1/2, Café du Soleil, Café Centro, Boucherie, Match 65 Brasserie, Excuse My French, Bistrot Leo, Fig & Olive, Petite Boucherie, Boucherie Park, Perrine, Le Rivage, Pardon My French, Deux Amis, Maison Harlem, and Jubilee.For more information go to: www.FrenchRestaurantWeek.comand/or www.BastilleWeek.com
In addition, Bastille Day can be celebrated through the French street fair sponsored by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), on Sunday, July 15, 2018, from noon to 5 pm. This summer’s fête offers booths with an afternoon’s selection of French food, wine, culture, musique, dance, and other entertainment on east 60th Street, within three blocks — from Fifth Avenue to Lexington. For over 20 years, Bastille Day on 60th Street has been the city’s largest public celebration of France’s national holiday and honors the country’s historic friendship with the USA. The day recalls the storming of the Bastille — the birth of the modern French nation.
Highlights include a live screening of World Cup Final; a champagne and jazz party (inside the FIAF building from 1:30pm & 3:30pm); a South of France Tasting, a “Sneak Peek” screening of “Le Brio” at 5:30pm; and at 4:45pm a prize drawing to win trips to Paris and Martinique. For more info: phone or email 212-355-6100/
Finally, on Saturday, July 14th is the 5th Annual NYC Bodypainting Day. Though not directly related to the other events by date — unless they present the the French tri-color flag — fully nude men and women will spend four hours of live painting, accompanied by Washington Square Park pianist Colin Huggins and will hold a unity song circle which follows at 4:15pm. Promoting acceptance of all people, regardless of race, gender and political affiliation, the songs will include Imagine by John Lennon and This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie. Other activities include a photo shoot at the Fountain, a march to Union Square Park, a double-decker bus tour over the Manhattan Bridge, and the Bash After-Party, benefiting Human Connection Arts, producer of Bodypainting Day and other public art events. For more info go to:humanconnectionarts.org
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