City of Beauty
Salzburg is the 4th largest city in Austria, the capital of this federal state and a wonderful place to travel with children. One of the most impossibly beautiful spots on earth, its citizens are accustomed to continually hearing tourists exclaim: “It must be wonderful to live in such a lovely city!” It is, after all, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site, the home of Mozart’s birthplace and the renowned Salzburg Festival. Its Old Town is one of the best preserved city centers in Europe, surrounded on the south by the Alps and on the north by rolling plains (think of the grand opening scene in the film The Sound of Music. Baroque towers and churches abound and narrow alley-ways offer old-world restaurants and charming shops for browsing.
City of Song
What would this City of Song be today without several Sound of Music tours? These allow visitors to see the original film locations including Leopoldskron Palace and the Nonnberg Convent. After seeing the stage production, I found the tour amusing and fun. One evening we dined in a candle-lit baroque hall, St. Peter Stiftskeller, for a Mozart Dinner Concert performed by accomplished opera singers in period costumes, while enjoying a superb dinner inspired by 18th-century recipes. The Amadeus Consort performed arias, duets and overtures from “Don Giovanni,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “The Magic Flute,” as well as a rendition of “A Little Night Music.” Properly transported back in time, a saunter through Mozart Square on the way to my hotel was a nice finishing touch to the evening. Wouldn’t an artsy teenager love a day like this?
City of History
Adults and children of all ages—teens included—love to see a place where Knights once lived, so at some point head on over to Salzburg Castle, the biggest castle in central Europe, and then tour the affiliated museum full of all sorts of swords, helmets and other armor. There are little people inhabiting the Mirabell Gardens—well, the Baroque carved-from-stone- kind, anyway. It’s great fun for all, and the entrance is free of charge! You’ll find a new and modern exhibition in the Salzburg Museum, recently re-opened; it’s equipped with a self-guided tour specifically for children.
One of the Best
During my time in Salzburg, I had the great good luck to one day enter the enchanting world of Schloss Fuschl, the renowned hotel property situated just one Mozart serenade—about nine miles—from the city. This legendary fairytale chateau, named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the 25 best resorts in Europe, was built in 1450 as a hunting lodge. Used as a summer residence for the Archbishops of Salzburg, the castle became world-famous over the years and today is recognized as the number one hideaway resort in Austria. Ideal for families, at this property, kids 12 and under stay free of charge. There are myriad activities for the family to do ensemble: snowboarding, windsurfing, downhill skiing, horseback riding and family-favorites like sailing and canoeing—all things your teen will relish.
We dined one evening at its Restaurant Jagdhof with traditional hunting architecture and typical Austrian specialties, including savory fish from the hotel’s very own fishery. The mood was one of sophisticated grandeur, enhanced by music from the Great American Songbook and rendered delightfully by pianist Tim Hubler. With a luxe spa, inspired dining, and a world-famous collection of “Old Master” paintings, my stay at this dream property will forever be etched in my memory.
Barbara Barton Sloane is the Travel Editor/Writer for The Westchester Guardian, The Westchester Herald and The Yonkers Tribune as well as a contributor to a great number of other publications. Barbara is an avid marathon runner, hiker and cyclist and a very active volunteer. You can learn more about her by visiting www.barbarabartonsloane.com/