Europe Traveler's event picks for March 8-10

Cafes and chocolate shops throughout Antwerp, Belgium, will sell all manner of chocolate and chocolate-inclusive goodies during Chocolate Week, March 8-17.


By KAREN BRADBURY | Stars and Stripes | Published: March 4, 2019

Snow Jazz Gastein

Location: Saegewerk and other venues in and around Bad Gastein, Austria
Dates: March 8-17
“Small is beautiful” is the motto of the 18th edition of Snow Jazz, a series of jazz concerts complementing the chance to indulge in spring skiing. The name is taken from the fact that this year’s batch of performers is made up of soloists, duos and trios. In addition to evening performances, jazz acts give free performances on the terraces of ski lodges in the afternoon. An old saw mill converted into a concert venue sets the stage for other shows.
Admission: A 10-day festival pass goes for 140 euros. Weekend passes are available, as are tickets to individual concerts.

Chocolate Week

Location: Cafes and chocolate shops throughout Antwerp, Belgium
Dates: March 8-17
Antwerp is known for its vibrant culinary scene, and chocolate is one of the products that Belgium as a whole does best. The purchase of a chocolate pass offers the holder the chance to indulge his or her sweet tooth while strolling past the main sights of this pretty city. More than 20 chocolate makers take part in this tasty offer.
Admission: a pass valid for tasting 10 chocolate treats goes for 10 euros.

Retro Classics

Location: Trade Fair Grounds, Stuttgart, Germany
Dates: March 7-10
Classic automobiles stretch as far as the eye can see at this expansive fair celebrating driving culture throughout the decades. In addition to eyeing lovingly restored cars, visitors can purchase spare parts, enjoy shows or take in exhibitions.   
Admission: Tickets go for 18 euros when purchased online or 20 euros at the gate, ages 6-15 pay 13 or 15 euros, and those ages 5 and under enter free.

ITB Berlin

Location: Berlin ExpoCenter City, Berlin
Dates: March 9-10 (10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days)
In a travel-mad nation, you’d expect the country’s biggest travel fair highlighting new trends and old favorite destinations would be something special, and that it is. Once industry insiders have concluded their business, organizers welcome the public over the weekend. Learn about that place you’ve always longed to go, or get familiar with a destination you’d never previously encountered. Some 180 destinations and regions have a presence here. Entertainment, culinary treats from around the world and a program for children ensure all leave satisfied. Each year attention turns to a particular tourist magnet; in 2019, it’s Malaysia’s turn in the spotlight.
Admission: 15 euros adults at the gate or save by booking online, where tickets go for 12 euros. Those under the age of 14 enter for free.


Location: Fiera Milano RHO, SS. 33 del Sempione 28, Milan, Italy
Dates: March 8-10 (9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily)
Wish you lived in another world? Spend several hours in an alternate universe, where rulers of the day are the heroes of fantasy and sci-fi movies and TV shows. Comic book collectors, Cosplayers and gamers are in their element here too. 
Admission: Adult tickets cost 14 euros at the door; ages 7-12 pay 7 euros; ages 6 and under enter free.

Dolomiti Ski Jazz

Location: Cavalesi and other towns of the Val de Fiemme, Italy
Dates: March 9-17
Italy’s gorgeous Dolomites region is a great ski destination throughout the season, but perhaps never more than in early spring, when it adds daily jazz concerts into the mix of slopeside offerings. Two jazz concerts take place daily: one on the slopes and later in the evening, a performance at a local theater or pub. Some 60 artists in all will participate in the 22nd edition of this event. A new addition to the program this year is a food festival in which cheese, chocolate and regional specialties are paired with jazz music.   
Admission: many concerts are free; others charge moderate admission fees.


Location: Basel, Switzerland
Dates: March 11-13                                 
Carnival celebrations in Basel remove visitors from time and place. The event starts off under cover of darkness and at 4 a.m., lanterns upon which themes or sujets are painted begin to glow and the signal is given for hundreds of drummers and piccolo players to strike up the same march. Other highlights of the three-day celebration include the corteges, parades which take place at 1:30 p.m. March 11 and 13.
Admission: Be sure to purchase a badge to help offset organizational costs; these cost only a few euros each.