Senior Women's Travel

What is the Spoleto
Festival USA?

The Spoleto Festival USA was founded in 1977 by Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene and others involved in the Festival of Two Worlds as the American counterpart to that festival held annually in Spoleto, Italy. The Charleston festival has maintained traditions of the Italian Festival of Two Worlds.

Each year, audience members experience a broad range of artistic styles and forms, including classical ballet; modern and post-modern dance; opera; chamber, symphonic, and choral music; jazz; theater; and visual arts. Spoleto has earned a reputation for offering programs of the highest artistic caliber, supporting new and innovative works, nurturing outstanding young artists, and expanding public appreciation of the arts.

SWT Tours
SWT TOURS : Home Calendar About Us Trip Sign-up Why SWT Tours? Contact Us

our tour selection is diverse, innovative and personal.

Travel By-The-Book : Senior Women's Travel : Favorite Cities : Theatre Tours
Travel by Knife & Fork : Unique Trips

Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, South Carolina)

Not scheduled for 2009 unless there is demand.  Contact us if you are interested.

The play is the thing...and opera, music, and dance too...

The Washington Post calls the Spoleto Festival "one of the best arts festivals in this country." The Boston Globe says, "Alluring, romantic, and surprising. Charleston is incomparable always, but especially during the annual Spoleto Festival USA."

Our tour includes three nights in Charleston, five Festival performances, and time for sightseeing and wonderful shopping.  The Old City Market features Charleston’s famous coiled sweetgrass baskets, crafts, afghans, local cookies, and candies. Charleston is justly famous for its quality antique shops, featured in the winter Town & Country Travel magazine. In addition, many of the world’s most famous stores are here plus an array of specialty boutiques.

Charleston’s Low Country cuisine guarantees we’ll eat well - she crab soup, crab cakes, oysters, shrimp, and southern barbecue are just some of your options.

The Spoleto Festival calendar for 2007 was announced as of the last week in January.  Piccolo Spoleto, an auxiliary celebration of the arts, with hundreds of free and modestly priced events, has not been announced.

The SWT Tours program is our recommendation for a varied Spoleto Festival experience. They are our choices.  There are, however, many alternatives. The key to seeing exactly what you want is early communication between us.  You can go to the Spoleto Festival website,, for alternative choices or contact us ( for answers to your questions.

The itinerary that follows was for our 2007 tour.

Thursday, June 7
Arrive in Charleston.

Transfer on your own to our hotel.  According to your arrival time, we will plan on local sightseeing or a festival performance (not included in tour price).

5 p.m.   Westminster Choir Ensemble or Violin Recital of new work by young composers

8 p.m.  Swan Lake starring premiere ballerina Nina Ananiashvili, formerly of the Moscow Ballet Theatre, now leading the state ballet of Georgia, in a virtuoso performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic.

Friday, June 8
5 p.m. Spoleto Festival Orchestra performs Hayden Symphony No, 82; Stravinsky’s Pucinella Suite; Debussy’s Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun.

8 p.m. Philip Glass, one of the most influential composers of our time, presents his new work (Book of Longing) based on legendary poet and singer Leonard Cohen’s recently published poetry collection. Performed by an ensemble of singers and musicians with Glass at the keyboard.

Saturday, June 9
2 p.m. Aurelio’s Oratorio, a 70 minute circus theatre spectacle performed by Aurelia Thierree inspired by European circuses. Nothing is as it seems. Performance is imbued with magical, visual wit. The Independent in the UK says “the best circus tricks are timeless.”

8:30 p.m. The Gate Theatre from Dublin presents The Constant Wife, W. Somerset Maugham’s timeless clever comedy about marriage and infidelity.

Sunday, June 10
Depart for home.  If you book a late flight home, you will have more time for shopping and/or time to visit a couple of historic houses or take another walking tour (there is a Civil War walking tour and an architecture tour).

$1,475 (USD) includes 3 nights hotel (single room, no single supplement), Festival tickets, 3 dinners, and Sunday morning walking tour. Price does not include airfare, transfer to and from airport (10 miles), breakfast, lunch, wine or alcoholic beverages at meals, other optional walking tours or visits to historic houses.

Our hotel is The Holiday Inn Historic District.  Although it lacks the ante-bellum charms of many of Charleston’s leading hotels (priced from $300 to $600 per night), our hotel has plenty to recommend it -- gentler prices and a great location (we can walk to most Festival performances). TripAdvisor calls it "the best hidden gem in the world."

Many people like to book tours at the last minute and sometimes we can accommodate these late comers, but not where Festival tickets are concerned.  If you are interested in this tour, please contact us right away.