July is upon us and thoughts of eagerly anticipated summer holidays are frequent visitors. What kind of holidaymaker are you? Do you like lying on a beach, earphones in, book in one hand and cocktail in the other? Or, perhaps, you’re a culture vulture, deftly exploring one historic landmark after another? Or do you use your holiday to pursue your hobbies or try out new ones? However you choose to spend your time, we have a little something for everyone this month.
Stateside, July is renowned for starting with a big bang, as Independence Day is celebrated with fireworks in cities all over the country on the 4th. In New York, Macy’s pyrotechnics are always hugely impressive, while Boston and DC also boast spectacular displays on the banks of the Charles River and over the Washington Monument respectively.
In Europe this month, there’s a mixture of sport and culture to get you in the holiday mood. Nothing says ‘British summer’ quite like tennis whites and strawberries and cream at the All England Club’s Wimbledon Championships. Get into the swing of things between 1 and 7 July, when the action will really be hotting up, with the quarter, semi and grand finals scheduled over those seven days. If you’re more of a water baby at heart, dip your toe into the Fina World Championships in Barcelona. Starting on 19 July, events range from high diving to synchronised swimming and water polo.
As for the culture, this takes centre stage in Geneva and Munich. The former hosts its annual Geneva Festival from 18 July to 11 August, with around 150 free concerts covering every music genre. You can also head lakeside for waterskiing displays and thrilling waterski jumping by the daring Xtreme de la Rade, or enjoy the traditional funfair in the Jardin Anglais. In Munich, from 27 June to 31 July, the Bayerische Staatsoper raises its curtain for the Munich Opera Festival. 2013 is the 200-year birthday anniversary of luminary composers Verdi and Wagner, and here you can catch new interpretations of some of their classic works. There are performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto and Otello, as well as Don Carlo, which will be conducted by the legendary Zubin Mehta. And Wagner fans will be spellbound by Die Walküre, conducted by Kent Nagano and featuring Bryn Terfel in the role of Wotan, a first for Munich.
If you’re looking for enticing holiday reading, make sure you visit Hong Kong’s annual Book Fair, which runs from 17 to 23 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Bibliophiles can buy in bulk as the fair offers a speedy delivery service. And little ones can also lose themselves in the written word, at the aptly named Children’s Paradise exhibition hall.
For our guest destination blog this month, I’m delighted to introduce Jennifer Bradley Franklin, an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist who has the lowdown on the hot happenings in her home city throughout July.
Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications
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