Fun facts and figures and a very quick quiz. Plus: why do we celebrate Oktoberfest, anyway?
RITES OF PASSAGE
MUNICH, GERMANY, 17 SEPTEMBER–3 OCTOBER
Every year since 1810, the city of Munich has pulled out the stops, opened up the kegs and let the beer flow in the name of Oktoberfest. Beginning in September (despite the name), the long and legendary beer festival attracts scores of visitors, and anyone backpacking around Europe would be wise to time their Germany stop to coincide with it.
At noon on 17 September Munich’s Lord Mayor will open the first keg of beer in the Schottenhamel tent, at which point the other 13 tents can begin serving their beers. Brass bands and tents serving up sausages and roast meats all add to the atmosphere. The reason for it all? Apparently we’re still celebrating the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen- Hildburghausen. Fine by us.
Text by Chrissy Range
IMPRESS YOUR TRAVELLING COMPANIONS
17,000 years ago the islands of Malta were mountaintops of one landmass
368 Height in metres of Berlin's Fernsehturm (TV tower)
47 Height in metres of the Reichstag
1964 The year that Malta gained independence from the British
60 The year AD when St Paul is said to have been shipwrecked on Malta
60 Number of Bordeaux appellations that are produced
89 Percentage of wine produced in Bordeaux that is red
48 The year AD when it's believed wine production began in Bordeaux
9 Percentage rise in overnight stays by foreign tourists to Finland, June 2011 vs June 2010
0.5 Approximate overnight stays (in millions) foreign tourists spent in Finland in June 2011
THIS MONTH, WE ASKED: “What is your favourite Italian food and why?”
“Pizza, because it’s cheap and tastes good!”
SUSI HUEGLE, STUDENT, ULM, GERMANY
“Lasagne, hand-made by my mother or grandmother”
DAVID DE SENSI, CUSTOMER ASSISTANT, CALABRIA, ITALY
“Spaghetti vongole, because I love seafood”
MARINA MENRAD, STUDENT, ULM, GERMANY
THE MOVIE DIRECTOR’S NEW PARIS NIGHTCLUB
Maverick movie-maker David Lynch has turned his hand to everything from music to contemporary art, but his latest project has been to design the interiors for a hip new Paris nightclub. Named after a setting in his surreal film Mulholland Drive, Club Silencio is now open and features a library, bar, cinema and live music stage. It’s headed by Arnaud Frisch of Social Club, the city’s coolest dance music venue, which is housed in the same building.
Silencio is for members only from 6pm to midnight, but until 6am anyone can experience it. Given Lynch’s movies, we’re intrigued.
142 RUE MONTMARTRE, WWW.SILENCIO-CLUB.COM
Text by Chris Bealand
SOFT SHELL CRABS
Talk about Death in Venice: the crabs of the Lido, where Thomas Mann’s tragic tale was set, are a delicacy served up to hungry diners in trattorie all over town. During spring and autumn, the crabs moult and are promptly harvested and put in the pot – alive. Try them deep fried in egg and flour at Trattoria Antiche Carampane, San Polo (www. antichecarampane.com), not far from the Rialto Bridge. Because the shells of the moeche are soft for this short period, they can be gobbled up in one go – if you can handle that!
Text by Chris Bealand
I KNOW A LITTLE PLACE
THIS MONTH: PESCARA, ITALY
WHERE AGAIN? On Italy’s eastern coast, halfway between Venice in the north and the country’s “heel”.
GATEWAY TO: Italy’s mountainous Abruzzo region.
INSIDER’S VERDICT: The region has a rural, homely feel, with more than 300 farms offering agro-tourism-style accommodation. Pescara is the largest city – a bustling, historical spot right on the Adriatic.
TRY IT IF YOU LIKE: Drinking Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine. And nature. There are four nature reserves, including the Abruzzo National Park.
MUST DO: Skiing. Refreshingly un-touristy, the numerous ski areas of the Apennines mountain range offer a wild and challenging terrain. And it’s a year-round walker’s paradise too.
Text by Mike Peake
Drop what you’re doing and answer this…
Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, is the son of which movie star?
A AVA GARDNER
B GRACE KELLY
C MAE WEST