Despite its turbulent history caught between Christendom and Islam, communism and fascism, Budapest remains one of the world’s loveliest and most enchanting cities. Much of Budapest’s special charm derives from the mighty Danube that flows through the centre of the city, dividing picturesque Medieval and Baroque Buda, perched on its craggy mountain from the urbane Pest with its broad avenues lined with Neo-Renaissance palazzi and its grand hotels and Belle Epoque cafes.
Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1871, Chicago became one of the most dynamic cities of the early modern period. It was the city of prohibition and gangsters but also of breath-taking architecture, jazz and fabulous opera performances.
Capital of gambling and guilty pleasures, Monte Carlo laid on extraordinary cultural entertainments for the world’s plutocracy. In the early twentieth century the tiny jewel-like opera house premiered operas by composers such as Massenet, Puccini and Ravel and later hosted Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
With its elegant 18th century centre, framed by two mountains, crowned by a ruined monastery and a Moorish castle, Lisbon has the most spectacularly theatrical setting of any European capital, and a rich and highly distinctive cultural and architectural heritage.
Birth place of the tango and home of the great Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires is the most elegant and sophisticated cultural capital in the Southern Hemisphere. In its splendid heyday Buenos Aires emulated Paris and could afford to invite the world’s most celebrated musical and theatrical performers.