Vienna: “Oh capital my capital!”

As thrilling as the first time I visited, this city is always a revelation!

I return to my beloved Vienna, a city I feel bound to, probably for the very strong connection between Vienna and Trieste, in fact when I’m here and I’m asked when I’m from, they always say “ah Trieste! The south of Austria!”.

Nostalgic people from Trieste like me would still like to be part of the Empire, and people from Vienna would like us to be part of their territory, like parents and children who have been separated at birth….

To feel my heart beat as I relive the splendour of the Empire, I decide to spend a few days in Vienna.

I chose the perfect hotel in district 7, just out of the city centre. This area was originally a design centre, full of small and charming boutiques and shops (exactly 58 to be precise) where you can discover the latest trends and meet the designers.

To Prepare your itinerary I suggest you have a look at this website: http://www.7tm.at/home/en.

Sorry for the digression, but I couldn’t leave out this detail!

So in the middle of this creative centre I chose to stay at the Hotel Falkensteiner Am Schottenfeld .

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This hotel chain has never let my expectations down, I’ve been a guest of theirs in different countries and I’ve always found an excellent service quality with a good price range!

In a nice spacious room, with skylights with a view over the rooftops of the city, I spent three unforgettable days!

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Not only the room was unforgettable but also the rich buffet breakfast, that occupied a good half hour, and at lunch a didn’t feel the need for a big meal 😉

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I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the SPA of the hotel, because I walked about 14 kilometres every day and I didn’t quite feel like an extra work out, but the foot reflexology and the sauna after a snow storm really regenerated me!

I’ll take you with me as I discover the classic itineraries and much more, between culture, food and entertainment, with a lot of attention for children!

This time I had company, my 9 year old son Giovanni was with me and fell completely in love with this city!

Before leaving I suggest you buy the Vienna Card that is also available in hotels and you’ll be able to use the public transport for free as well as a great number of discounts. You can also download a dedicated app with a mapp and you can filter the attraction according to your interests.

The first place we visited was the Schoenbrunn Castle, where unfortunately you can’t photograph the inside; I fully enjoyed the lovely decorated rooms in the different themes, like the oriental Indian, the fresco ceilings, the silk tapestries and lace curtains.

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I suggest you come here with a lot of patience because this lovely place is full of curious people who want to look at every corner of this “humble” home. From here you step out  and walk around the immense gardens and if you’re in the company of a little friend like I was, you can walk all the way to the Neptune fountain where on the right you’ll find the entrance to the Zoo.

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You really should visit it because it’s exceptional!

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We were also lucky enough to meet a little panda cub that was pleasantly sleeping during our visit!

A suggestion: when you leave the zoo you’ll find large transparent Plexiglas boxes where they suggest you put in your used maps and your tickets! Watch out for them!

I put my ticket in unfortunately, without realizing it was also good for the access to the palm greenhouse of Schoenbrunn L … what a genius!

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It will probably be dinner time by the time you’ve visited the Castle, park, zoo and greenhouse, you’ll be ready to head back.

Once I was back in the most beautiful underground station, I headed towards the centre, to Gastwirtschaft Huth; I wanted to have dinner in a traditional Viennese restaurant and try some traditional dishes. What do you think I ate?

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I didn’t have only Wiener Schnitzel but also a good plate of Carinthian ravioli full of lovely flavours, all accompanied by a nice fresh beer!

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The best part of Vienna is music and to best understand how much this art is important for the city you should see a few numbers:

  • 000 people listen to live music every evening
  • 000 concerts a year
  • 120 stages in town
  • 000 hours spent dancing in occasion of the 450 Viennese balls
  • 750 American bars, dancing bars and discos
  • 300 evenings a year of Opera
  • 50 million viewers in 90 countries for the New Year’s Eve Concert of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna

And many other numbers should be added like the choir of little singers (the oldest boyband in the world since 1948), “Elisabeth” (the most successful musical in German language with 10 million spectators in 11 countries), The Festival of the island of the Danube and the Festival of Music in the Rathausplatz Square (850.000 visitors every year).

So after the dinner at Hunt, I suggest you stop right next to the restaurant, exactly like I did.. and which best place than the House of Music?

This was my son’s favourite stop, he enjoyed it so much he asked to go back the next day. The Haus Der Musik is placed in the antique palace of Erzherzog Karl in the historic centre, where the founder and the first master of the chapel of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna was born: Otto Nicolai (1810-1849).

On the first floor you’ll find the museum and the historic archive, and among the various aspects they also have the batons of the most illustrious orchestra directors.

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As you walk up the stairs the museum beccomes more interactive and embraces the history of different classic composers, with the chance to listen to the most different sounds. In a room filled with funnels and strange objects shaped like showers, you can hear sounds emitted from our bodies and noises from large cities, from Saint Marc square in Venice, to New York and Singapore.

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From here you go up the stairs and reach the best experience, in a dark room, where they invite you to sit on the floor and curl up like in a mother’s womb. Here you can hear the noises we would have heard in the womb; a light tremble of the pavement will tickle all five senses.

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Here there’s is a lot to discover and the hours run away quickly. We came in after dinner, at 8pm and the museum closed at 10pm which gave us little time (coming in later was convenient because the ticket price was better).

We had to leave at the moment when, at the end of the museum on the fourth floor, Giovanni was acting out the role of the virtual orchestra director of the Wiener Philharmoniker.

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Musicians follow your directions, but don’t think that professional musicians accept the wrong rhythm directions… if they get it wrong they stop playing, get up and…start directing a few words at you 😉

I assure you that if you have children or you like music, this is a perfect place to visit!

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The day is now over and I’ve been going on a little too much, so in the next article I’ll try being a little more concise because I want to tell you everything, without leaving anything to chance 😉

Auf Wiedersehen!

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