Fête des Vignerons takes place this year, July 18–Aug. 11, in Vevey, Switzerland. A celebration of all things Swiss viticulture, the UNESCO-recognized festival only occurs every 14–28 years, and the strict rules dictate the festival takes place a maximum five times per century.
It goes without saying, then, you should probably make plans to attend this rare festival in Swiss wine country while you can. After all, you might just be in a different place in life the next time it comes around.
Since 1797, the Brotherhood of Winegrowers organized the huge event and, much like for the Olympics, Vevey, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, builds huge venues just for the festival’s purpose.
One of the primary attractions at Fête des Vignerons is the show representing a year in the life of a vineyard, from pruning to social moments like weddings to the harvest. Characters include a young girl and a grandfather, the latter teaching her the traditions and work of winegrowers.
This is not your average small-town theater production, though. The huge production also includes music ensembles ranging from 500 choristers to 120 brass band musicians. There are 5,500 actors performing in the scenes total, all in 70 different costumes, all locals. Show tech includes images and videos projected onto giant screens and an immense LED floor. It’s truly impressive and tickets start at around a mere $80.
However, beyond the main performance, there’s also the Ville en Fête, a vast portion of the city that transforms into a festival-like atmosphere, with entertainment, food, street art and more. Many of the activities and attractions are free.
Barcelona has seen a recent influx of craft cocktails bars within the past five years or so, and Sant Antoni seems to be one of the city’s epicenters of such swanky watering holes. Amid the crisscross streets, organic grocery stores and the soon-to-open, recently renovated Sant Antoni market is Bitter, an inconspicuous cocktail bar where there’s more than meets the eye.
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Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.