Spoleto Festival

Each year the city of Charleston, South Carolina welcomes summer with the annual Spoleto Festival. The Spoleto Festival Charleston is a 17-day arts festival which starts in late May and runs through mid-June. The name for the Spoleto Festival USA comes from an Italian city called Spoleto, where for years a similar arts festival known as the “Festival dei Due Mondi” (the Festival of Two Worlds) is held and served as the inspiration for the Spoleto Festival Charleston. The Spoleto Festival USA was started in 1977 and has occurred each summer since.

The Spoleto Festival focuses on arts from throughout the area and features opera, classical music performances, theatre performances and jazz performances. More than 100 performances in all are said to take place at the Spoleto Festival Charleston each year, and over the years the Spoleto Festival has hosted more than 100 international premiers of performances and more than 90 American premieres of performances. Many of the best talents in the arts in the United States have made appearances at the Spoleto Festival Charleston, including famous string player Yo-Yo Ma.

Spoleto Festival USA is held at various locations throughout the city of Charleston over the course of the festival, including downtown parks, the Charleston Performing Arts Center, and a host of small theatres and music halls throughout the area. Tickets can be purchased directly through the Spoleto Festival website for all of the Spoleto Festival performances, which is also where interested patrons can find a full list of the performances each year. Among Charleston festivals, Spoleto is clearly one of the most popular, so buy tickets early for the shows you definitely want to see.

Those in town for Charleston festivals may be looking for Charleston hotels. Downtown is where guests of the city will find the more upscale hotels as well as many of the city’s most historic hotels. Charleston is also a great city for bed and breakfasts if you are willing to stay on the outskirts of town. Travel to the various shows for Spoleto Charleston festivals can be handled through Charleston public transportation. The metro system in Charleston is the best in the state, and will make stops at the Charleston Performing Arts Center and other locations throughout downtown Charleston.

If you find yourself in Charleston for Spoleto and want to check out some of the other Charleston festivals happening in May and June, you might try the Iris Festival in nearby Sumter. Head to the Swan Lake Iris Gardens for a fun festival involving food, crafts and plenty of admiration of the gorgeous gardens. While you are there, check out the Fort Sumter National Monument. The area is a great way to take tours and days trips from Charleston.

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