Vienna Waits For You
I had the absolute pleasure of spending a weekend in Vienna while I was studying in Florence last year and I fell completely head over heels with the city. I can't fully explain it but I just love Vienna -- it's an incredibly enchanting city. Needless to say, I was thrilled to return and explore it even further this time.
My mom and I stayed at the historical Sacher Hotel right in the center of town across the street from the Opera House. You may have heard of the famous Sacher Torte, a chocolate layer cake that is only made by the Sacher Cafe (it's delicious). The first evening we arrived we wandered around a little bit before heading to our dinner reservations at Fabio's, said to be the trendiest restaurant in town. The meal was delectable Italian food amongst a well-dressed crowd, set off the most luxurious shopping street between Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and the like. Needless to say, I felt pretty instantly at home.
The following morning we did a private walking tour around the center of town where we learned more about the history of the Habsburg Empire, the country's involvement in WWII, the present situation of Austria as a Republic, and more. That afternoon, after lunch at the Sacher Cafe in our hotel, we headed up to the Belvedere Palace. I had been there before but both times just loved the layout of the Upper and Lower Palace, separated by a hill and gardens. The whole complex is just lovely and the Upper Palace has a marvelous view over the city. The Upper Palace is also home to countless priceless Austrian art pieces, including the most famous work of Gustav Klimt: The Kiss. I personally love Klimt's work, but especially having learned a little more watching the film "Woman in Gold" starring Helen Mirren and having seen the portrait the movie is about in the Neue Galerie in NYC, both experiences that I highly recommend. Then for dinner that night, I'd booked us a very special reservation... More to come on that, though.