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Christmas in Paris: the Ferris Wheel on Place de la Concorde
Plaisirs d’Hiver, Christmas in Brussels: Xmas markets, ice rinks and sparkling museums
At Christmas, Rome becomes magic: musicals, operas and children’s plays for all tastes
Paris never comes out of fashion, but at Christmas it is even more magic and fun: everyone and of any age will surely enjoy a trip to the French capital to say goodbye to the year 2014 and celebrate the beginning of the new year with a smile.
One of the most fascinating points of interest in Paris is definitely the Grande Roue of Place de la Concorde (Ferris Wheel): it is 60 meters high and offers its visitors a unique view of Paris city centre.
Built back in 1900, the wheel was unfortunately dismantled in 1937 to obtain the much-needed iron. Neverthless, at the threshold of the new millennium, in 2000, the Wheel came back to its original place and, from that on, it has been set up every year, at Christmas, on Place de la Concorde, where it adds a touch of magic to Paris’ festive atmosphere.
If you would like to sit in one of the 42 capsules or admire the over 50,000 light bulbs, hurry up! The wheel is not permanent , but it stays in Paris three months only (from 14 November 2014 to 15 February 2015). Afterwards, it is dismantled and moved to other European cities.
Don’t miss the amazing view of the Champs-Elysées, the Sacred Heart, the Church of the Madeleine, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the elegant silhouette of the Seine.
Full price: 10,00 €
Reducd 5,00 € (children up to 10 years)
Open every day until midnight
Brussels turns on the lights and shows all its colours for Christmas: this year, from November 28 to January 4, the Old Town - from Place de la Monnaie and La Bourse, to Place Sainte-Catherine and the Grande Place - will be the backdrop for a large array of events celebrating Christmas.
Here the main attractions:
-Christmas tree, 22-meters high and the largest ever used so far; light and colour show (over 1,600 light bulbs) created by Koert Vermeulen at the Grand Place (Mon-Fri: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, every hour, Fri-Sun: 5:00pm - 10:30pm, every 30 minutes; show duration: about 15 minutes)
-Ice Cathedral, the colour and light show illuminating the recently restored façade of Sainte-Catherine Cathedral with a fantastic mixture of 3D special effects (daily, 7:00pm - 10:00pm, every 30 minutes )
-Christmas parade, promoted by RTL, starring a colourful sleigh with six reindeers; during the parade, presents will be distributed to both children and adults (on December 14)
-Giants of the Earth, a special exhibition featuring around 30 huge models of animals, comprising dinosaurs, all perfectly working (at La Bourse, every day, from 10.00am to 6.00pm; Fri-Sat and on public holidays: from 10.00am to 8.00pm)
-Ice skate rink at Place de la Monnaie, the Ferris wheel (55-meter high), the carousel and, of course, the Christmas markets, which are considered the third best Christmas markets in Europe
So, Brussels is really worth a visit at Christmas!
Christmas means enjoying happy moments with family and children: is there anything better than a funny show at the local theatre? Rome offers plenty of shows for young people, couple, parents and children: at Brancaccio theatre don’t miss the musical Rapunzel, based on the fairy tale by the Grimm brothers, with the Italian singer Lorella Cuccarini performing the role of Mother Gothel, the evil step-mother that locks the beautiful Rapunzel up in the tower.
For an older audience, we recommend the show The Sound of Music at the Sistina Theatre: it is based on the 1963 film starring Julie Andrews and is perfect for the entertainment of the whole family. The main characters are two famous Italian actors: Luca Ward, who plays the tough colonel Von Trapp, a widower with 7 children, and Vittoria Belvedere, performing the role that used to be Julie Andrews’.
The musical will be staged from December 9 until March, when it will move to other Italian cities.
If you like classical music, try The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet based on a short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann with music by Pëtr Il’ič Čajkovskij (from December 18 to January 4, at Rome’s Opera House).