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South Carolina

Spoleto Festival USA

The Spoleto Festival is a performing arts festival set in Charleston, a city chosen for its similarities to Spoleto, Italy. Come see for yourself as you enjoy art, cuisine and culture.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21257RJ
6 days
Starts at
South Carolina

Spoleto Festival USA

The Spoleto Festival is a performing arts festival set in Charleston, a city chosen for its similarities to Spoleto, Italy. Come see for yourself as you enjoy art, cuisine and culture.
6 days
Starts at
Program No. 21257 RJ
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6 days
5 nights
9 meals
5B 2L 2D
Spoleto Talk, Performances TBA
Charleston, South Carolina
Carriage Ride, Performances
Charleston, South Carolina
Spoleto Festivities
Charleston, South Carolina
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At a Glance

Experience the magnificent Spoleto Festival and its complementary event, Piccolo Spoleto. These international multi-arts celebrations are America’s premier international performing-arts festivals, filling lovely Charleston’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by world-renowned artists and emerging performers in opera, theater, dance, chamber, symphonic, choral, bluegrass and jazz. Hear from Spoleto staff as you attend six performances with reserved tickets and seating and as many other Spoleto events as you can fit in around them. Make use of a significant amount of free time to pursue your own interests with opportunities to dine out on your own.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Be thrilled by symphonies and operas, exhilarated by jazz and bluegrass, electrified by dance and acrobatics and delighted by theater.
  • A horse-drawn carriage ride reveals more than 300 years of history, including antebellum mansions, churches and gardens.
  • Enjoy reserved seating for all performances as well as a significant amount of free time for exploring the festival on your own.

General Notes

Performances for each date of Spoleto vary. Carefully examine the daily schedule for the week you are considering before ordering tickets for your free time. Weekly performances vary and are not the same for each date. Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Charleston, Savannah & Coastal Islands Book: A Complete Guide, Fifth Edition (A Great Destinations Guide) [Paperback]
by Cecily McMillan
Veteran author and 25-year-resident Cecily McMillan explores the unique intrigue of the Carolina Lowcountry region, examining its history, culture, and people, and provides authoritative recommendations for accommodations, dining, sight-seeing, and recreational activities. Whether you're visiting for a long weekend or renting a cottage on the coast for a week, anyone visiting this magical region will be able to experience the pleasures and pastimes and all new amenities and comforts the region has to offer. Whether your taste gravitates toward admiring historic architecture, savoring local gourmet cuisine in the finest restaurants, casting a net for shrimp, or bird-watching or kayaking, travelers of all persuasions will find the most up-to-date advice for where to go and what to do. 100 black & white photos, 5 maps.
A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
by Ruth Miller and Ann Taylor Andrus
The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the great buildings of Colonial America. Serving as city hall, customs house, post office and prison; as the British Headquarters during the occupation of Charles Towne and then host to a great ball honoring George Washington, the Exchange has been an eyewitness to America’s history. This stoic building-—designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975—-has been described as the best example of the dignity and ornament of the traditional English “exchange-town hall” design of the eighteenth century built in the United States. From within its Great Hall to deep below in the Provost Dungeon, the Exchange has played a vital role in American history. Andrus’ and Miller’s fast-paced and readable survey of the history and significance of the Old Exchange Building will appeal to visitor and serious historian alike.
Charleston Map
by Navigator Maps
A clear, easy to use souvenir map of Charleston, featuring the city center and well-marked places of interest. (USS312, $5.95)
Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
The Invention of Wings, a powerful and sweeping historical novel by Sue Monk Kidd, begins, fittingly, with an image of flight: Hetty “Handful”, who has grown up as a slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, recalls the night her mother told her that her ancestors in Africa could fly over trees and clouds. That day, Handful’s mother, Charlotte, gave her daughter the gift of hope— the possibility that someday she might regain her wings and fly to freedom. Throughout Kidd’s exquisitely written story, Handful struggles, sometimes with quiet dissidence, sometimes with open rebellion, to cultivate a belief in the invincibility of her spirit and in the sacred truth that one does not need actual wings in order to rise.
Staging Charleston: The Spoleto Festival U.S.A. . Paperback
by by Colleen K Reilly
The Spoleto Festival U.S.A. is a seventeen day international arts festival held annually in Charleston, South Carolina. While the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. perpetuates many of the cultural practices of the hegemonic community of Charleston, it also participates in negotiations of culture on the contemporary global stage. The Festival and the City rely on one another to constitute an identity that is consumable for a tourist and/or festival audience, and this relationship became even more urgent after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Hurricane Hugo serves as a peripeteia of the self-fashioning and self-reflexive narrative shaped by the Charleston elite since the 18 th century, and the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. serves as the agent of its denouement. This function of the festival impulse in the contemporary urban setting of Charleston, South Carolina will be the focus of this dissertation, which will examine the relationship between the "placedness" of the historical city and the "placelessness" of the festival atmosphere. This study will identify the features of the festival impulse that engage history, memory, and community and negotiate the territory between "place" and "space". It will compare the historical imaginary of the city with its contemporary identity as an international tourist destination and identify the strategies employed by the festival to destabilize homogenous worldviews and remap the geography of memory in Charleston's past and present.
Very Charleston: A Celebration of History, Culture, and Lowcountry Charm
by Diana Hollingsworth Gessler
Cobblestone streets leading to perfectly preserved historic homes. Intricate wrought-iron gates opening to lush, fragrant gardens. A skyline of steeples and a river harbor bustling with schooners and sailboats. Charleston is one of America's most charming cities.In vibrant watercolors and detailed sketches, artist Diana Gessler captures the beauty and riches that make Charleston so unique: White Point Gardens, the Spoleto Festival, Rainbow Row, Waterfront Park, Fort Moultrie, the beaches of Sullivan's Island, sumptuous Lowcountry cuisine, and handmade sweetgrass baskets. Full of fascinating details--on everything from the art of early entertaining, the city's inspired architectural and garden designs, and George Washington's Southern tour to famous Charlestonians and the flags of Sumter--Very Charleston celebrates the city, the Lowcountry, the people, and our history. Hand-lettered and full color throughout, Very Charleston includes maps, an index, and a handy appendix of sites. With her cheerful illustrations and love for discovering little-known facts, Diana Gessler has created both an entertaining guide and an irresistible keepsake for visitors and Charlestonians alike.
Touring the Tombstones
by Ruth Miller
A series of guide books to Charleston's 18th century graveyards.
A Short History of Charleston
by Robert N. Rosen
A concise small history of Charleston that is easy to read and enjoyable.
South of Broad
by Pat Conroy
Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for. South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest; a long-awaited work from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.
9 Meals
5 Breakfasts
2 Lunches
2 Dinners
The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Lodgings may differ by date. Select a date to see the lodgings specific to that date.
Jun 08, 2021 - Jun 13, 2021
  • Jun 08, 2021 - Jun 13, 2021
5 nights
The Francis Marion Hotel, located in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina, was the largest and grandest in the Carolinas when it opened in 1924. Named for General Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox" of the American Revolution, the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston re-opened in 1996 after a $12 million National Trust award-winning restoration, and is once again Charleston's Grand Hotel. Guests at the Francis Marion Charleston Hotel can enjoy classic Southern cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Swamp Fox Restaurant and Bar, cocktails and jazz piano music in the Swamp Fox bar, and complete spa services at Spa Adagio. Experience unsurpassed views of the historic harbor at the Francis Marion Hotel, the only high-rise hotel in Charleston's historic district. All 230 guest rooms including 10 Suites and 4 Penthouse Suites are tastefully furnished for today's sophisticated traveler, and provide modern conveniences from wireless Internet access, voicemail and data ports to on-demand movies. In keeping and preserving the historic features of the hotel, the bathrooms are small but serviceable.

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