Once a year in May, the ‘Saperlipopette’ festival settles down in Montpellier. This festival aimed at young people has a lot to offer. Not only theatrical performances but also art workshops and sports, a parade of giant marionettes and a field full of board games. Enough entertainment to keep your kids and yourself going for hours!
Cultural heart of Montpellier
Domaine d’O, located in the heart of Montpellier, is the departmental centre of art and culture. In the middle of a 23 hectare beautiful, well-maintained park, you will find the Théâtre d’O (with 220 seats), the Château d’O, and the Amphithéâtre d’O (with 1800 seats). The park is open to the public, and it is just lovely to wander around. There are restaurants at the Domaine d’O, but I would strongly suggest bringing a picnic. Nothing beats a luncheon on a blanket under an olive tree.
The Château d’O dates back to the 18th century and is classified as a historical monument. The castle was an ancient Montpellier ‘Folie’, meaning ‘Folly’ or a building that was mainly constructed for decoration. It was only in 1958 that the General Council of the Hérault restored the run-down estate. And it quickly became an important cultural centre.
Fun and laughter
The Saperlipopette Festival was first organised in 1997 and has been running ever since. Saperlipopette is quite an old fashioned word, which you don’t hear a lot anymore, and means ‘goodness me’. Although the word is rather peculiar, it does really stick in my mind. It makes me smile just by the funny sound of it. So does the festival. The atmosphere always is very relaxed and cheerful. Everywhere you go, you’ll see kids playing and laughing, looking for new adventures. It is always challenging taking our kids to the park, as they love to discover something new on every corner.
In the end, we did manage to see a show. The kids loved watching ‘Tutti in Valigia’ about street artist, joker and clown Luigi Ciotta. He played a concierge in a hotel, who brought live in old suitcases. No talking, just his mimicry was enough for the audience to enjoy and laugh.