Culture and cars
It is easy to dream all four wheels in a city where worldwide fame cars are made. The car culture is very important in Stuttgart, more than anywhere else. Here began their unique trajectories Daimler-Benz and Porsche. We can find two spectacular museums in honor of these brands.
On one side, the ultramodern Mercedes-Benz Museum, which tells the car’s complete history from the beginning without skipping any of the stages. In his futuristic building, you’ll find over 1,500 pieces spread over nine floors documenting its history.
On the other hand, it is located the Porche Museum, in the town of Zuffenhausen. The building causes great admiration because of its architecture, and the fact that it is supported by only three points. It seems to float in the air. Inside, all white, we find rare vehicles and a variety of historical mode.
Also, if your visit to Stuttgart is in March, during the month Retro Classics is celebrated, one of the most beautiful car fair of all Germany, where classic car collectors worldwide met together.
But not only the automotive industry city lives, Ballet, Opera and Theatre are worldwide known. The Great Orchestra of Stuttgart, jazz clubs or two musical theaters in the SI-Centrum Stuttgart provide musical delights to all visitors. In the streets Calwer and Königstrasse will enjoy a mile of world-class stores where to shop. And save your time for another of the great attractions that Stuttgart offers: Wilhelma Park, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens and zoos in Europe.
A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.
Avignon is Culture, Its Bridge Notwithstanding
No bridge seems to be as famous as the one in Avignon, the central theme of one of the best known children’s songs in France. Indeed, it has been sung in virtually all languages – local guides can even sing it in Japanese – so it comes as no surprise that anyone arriving at the battered Pont Saint-Bénézet is likely to sing the song or even dance it. This structure, twice destroyed by flooding along the Rhone, has become an icon of this Provençal city and its ambassador par excellence, earning it universal fame.
Apart from its bridge, Avignon, which is just an hour’s drive from Marseille, is a historic city, having once been the capital of Christendom and the centrepiece in one of the major schisms in the Catholic Church. Dating from that period is the formidable Papal Palace, the largest known Gothic palace. In the 14th century it witnessed a cultural and economic Renaissance that saw the arrival of bankers, artists and writers from all over Europe in a quest to be near the papal orbit – Petrarch was one of them.
But, it was not until five centuries later that Avignon again became a beacon of intellectual activity. 1947 saw the birth of the Avignon Festival, France’s longest-standing and most celebrated event devoted to theatre and the scenic arts and one of the most firmly rooted festivals in Europe. This year it runs into its 70th edition and will be held from 6 to 24 July at more than 30 venues.
A turning point in the Festival’s schedule of events came in the year 2000 when Avignon was designated the European Capital of Culture. Then ensued a cultural revival in this, the major population centre in the department of Vaucluse – set in the new region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – as attested by the opening of the Lambert Collection – Museum of Contemporary Art, set up in 2000 around a historic endowment by the merchant and collector, Yvon Lambert. The endowment is admirable and comprehensive and features permanent exhibitions showcasing the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sol LeWitt, Douglas Gordon and the ever-controversial photographer, Andrés Serrano, among other artists, as well as numerous temporary exhibitions.
Avignon has ten museums in all, prominent among them being the Musée du Petit Palais, with a large collection of medieval painting, the Calvet Museum, the Musée Angladon, dedicated to Impressionism, and the Musée Louis-Vouland, which specialises in the decorative arts. There is also an opera theatre, an exhibition park and some unique facilities like La FabricA, a theatre factory where various companies rehearse their performances in the run-up to the Avignon Festival.
Art is also present in Les Halles Market, endowed with a stunning vertical garden created by the artist, Patrick Blanc. This market is the ideal spot for buying fresh produce and Provençal specialities at one of their forty plus stores.
It would be amiss to end this article without recommending some of the venues for eating the tastiest food in Avignon. One is Maison de Fogasses, a splendid town palace which offers an exquisite menu of the day for around 20 euros based on locally sourced products. Another is LE 46 which specialises in French cuisine with Mediterranean flourishes.
Avignon is the perfect destination for a getaway from Marseille. Check out your flights to Marseille here.
Text by Tus Destinos
Images by Tus Destinos, Avignon-Tourisme (C.Rodde)more info
The Cannes Film Festival – a Rendezvous with Culture and Glamour
For twelve days, from 13 to 24 May, producers, film-makers and film stars come together in the city of Cannes to compete for the coveted Palme d’Or. The Cannes Festival is one of the most prestigious cinema festivals in the world. That is why, year after year, it draws great stars from the world of cinema, while millions of film enthusiasts the world over await the awards ceremony with baited breath.
Under the presidency of Louis Lumière, regarded as the father of cinema, the festival was first inaugurated on 1 September 1939, fatefully just one day before the outbreak of World War Two, which led to its cancellation until it was reinstated in 1946. The idea of the festival was to rival the Venice Film Festival, the oldest in the world. It was a way of expressing displeasure over the fact that the Italians had excluded some French gems from their festival, in favour of certain titles of a political and nationalistic character.
Showcase of the Famous
While the festival itself is for professionals, Cannes is inundated with hoards of film enthusiasts and onlookers eager to get a glimpse of their idols. If you’d like to see them all together, you’ll have to stake out a viewing spot during the opening ceremony at the entrance to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. The moment of greatest expectation is when the stars ascend the famous red carpet of 24 steps, comparable to the Oscar award-winning ceremony in Hollywood.
How to Enjoy the Festival
The major screenings are held in the Palais des Festivals and, as we intimated, they are generally reserved for professionals. You can, however, opt to view the open-air screenings, which are free of charge, in the Cinéma de la Plage, located on Plage Macé, where a film is shown every night as part of a themed programme. During the festival, Cannes throngs with art and culture and activities are staged all over the place. A week before it opens, the Cannes Festival website will be publishing its 2015 Official Selection of activities, which include master classes or film cycles, among other things.
What to Do in Cannes?
Cannes is a privileged city, located in the very heart of the French Riviera and just 27 kilometres from Nice airport. It is surrounded by picturesque villages, including Le Cannet, La Roquette-Sur-Siagne, Mougins and Vallauris, while the idyllic beaches of the French Riviera lie south of the city.
Discover the Old Town – Le Suquet
Set a top a hill lies the oldest quarter in Cannes, Le Suquet, a maze of alleyways and stairways running between the Riviera’s typical Provençal houses. This is a good area for having a meal as it is packed with bistros and restaurants, and also features one of the best views over the bay, the harbour and the Lérins Islands.
The Promenade de la Croisette
The Promenade de la Croisette is a palm-tree-lined esplanade that stretches for three kilometres, from Casino Palm Beach to the Palais des Festivals. Next to the palace is a promenade with Hollywood-style fame for the over 400 handprints it bears of such film stars as Charlie Chaplin, Julie Andrews, Sylvester Stallone, Catherine Deneuve, Liza Minelli and Meryl Streep.
Take a Tour of its Paradisiacal Islands
The Lérins Islands lie within easy reach of Cannes harbour. They comprise an archipelago which lies opposite the city’s bay and are made up of four islands, of which only two – Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat – are inhabited. The first of these is the most visited, with its pleasant, forested areas. Here stands the Fort Royal, where the Man in the Iron Mask was once held prisoner for over ten years. The life of this mysterious character was the subject of a film by Leonardo di Caprio.
Surround Yourself with Luxury – Visit the Grand Villas of Cannes
Wrap yourself in luxury with a visit to the Villa Rothschild in the district of Croix des Gardes. The villa, in neoclassical style with magnificent gardens, was once home to Lord Brougham. His influence over the nobility of the period prompted other residences to be built, turning Cannes into the prosperous city it is today. Another one worth visiting is the Villa Domergue, designed by Jean-Gabriel Domergue and inspired by Venetian palaces. Its gardens are adorned with statues of the owner’s wife.
Text by Scanner FMmore info
So much more than beaches: culture and cuisine in Menorca
There’s so much more to Menorca than just idyllic beaches, fishing villages and charming paths by the sea. The island offers amazing food and a busy cultural programme throughout the year.more info