In the City of Mozart

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If there were any historical figure who could move me to tears, there’s only one.  Mozart.

Many of you know that I was groomed to be a serious musician from a very young age.  I worked hard; I later enrolled at Boston Conservatory.  And while it didn’t turn into a full-time career, music has always been a huge part of my life.

To me, Mozart is everything.

I mean, there’s a fairly decent chance that at least one of my kids will end up with the middle name Amadeus.  Not even joking.

So I was looking forward to exploring Salzburg, Mozart’s home city, and exploring the two main sights: Mozart’s birthplace and the Mozart Residence, the house in which he grew up.

Mozart’s birthplace is now home to a museum with lots of artifacts — including handwritten letters, scores, and LOCKS OF HIS HAIR.  Seriously.

Mozart’s residence was quieter and felt more like a home than a museum.  The floorboards creaked beneath my feet as I surveyed the room.  Letters from his sister Nannerl.  Portraits of his wife Constanze.  Some of his childhood instruments.

This was his house.  Sure, he couldn’t wait to get out of Salzburg, and God knows I understand that feeling, but this was his house.  This is where he LIVED.

I could barely breathe. And I mean that in the best way possible.

But the best thing that a Mozart-phile can do is attend the Mozart Dinner Concert.

My friend Ken Kaminesky and I were invited by the Salzburg Tourism Board to experience the dinner concert.  This event was amazing — starting with the fact that we were in the oldest restaurant in Europe.

Yes, oldest restaurant in Europe.  Stiftskeller St. Peter has been in continuous operation SINCE THE YEAR 803.  No, that’s not a typo.  That’s over 1200 years of operation.

The restaurant itself is stunning.  Each room had a different style and feel — I couldn’t help thinking how great a wedding venue it made.  No matter your style, no matter the size of your reception, you’ll find the perfect room.

Plus, you could start with sipping champagne outside on the beautiful square.  Just perfect.

I absolutely LOVED the ceiling in this room.

Something more modern and intimate…

Something more elegant and traditional for a larger group.

And then the concert began, and what a treat it was.  A string quintet played onstage as a soprano and baritone sang selections from Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Magic Flute.  Plus Eine Klein Nachtmusik, of course!

In between each performance, we were served traditional meals from the 18th century, including Capon (a type of chicken) with semolina strudel and potato pumpkin dumpling.

But the food couldn’t compare to the music.

Take a look at the video, shot by Ken:

A dinner concert like this could have easily been a cheesy tourist trap.  Not here.  The music was fantastic, the performers were extremely gifted, the food was delicious, and the setting was unforgettable.

This was the real thing, and it was fantastic.  You could see it in the smiles on every face in the room.

Short of actually getting to perform, my Mozart experience in Salzburg was everything I could ever have wanted it to be.

My trip to Salzburg was sponsored by the Austria Tourism Board and the Salzburg Tourism Board.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

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15 thoughts on “In the City of Mozart”

  1. My brother’s middle name is Wolfgang.. not sure if Amadeus is more or less ridiculous? Exposed brick makes me swoon, that restaurant is gorgeous!

  2. Dinner+music is always a good combo. It’s amazing how far the restaurant dates back to. I know the restaurant Botin in Madrid claims to be the World’s Oldest, but they only date back to the 1700’s!

  3. Mozart! 😀 I remember my grandfather playing his Mozart CD collection when he wants to relax after work. This sort of reminded me of my trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon and explored William Shakespeare’s hometown. Seems like they’re truly proud of their legacy.

  4. What a wonderful journey!I also like music and Australia,have you been any other tourist spot in Australia?If so,where can I share them on your blog?Thank you!

  5. Kate, i love Mozart very much as well and i dream about visiting Austria, Salzburg and Vienna one day. It would be great if you join to this wonderful group about Mozart with over 14,000 members and share your experience there. This is the link of the group
    You wont rgret, the group is great, active and full of musicians and music lovers, overall Mozart lovers

  6. I share your love of Mozart! See this article I wrote:

    10 Things I Learned from Listening to All 27 Mozart Piano Concertos.

    Enjoying browsing through your site. My wife and are are living around the world 2-3 months at a time. We’re in Malaga Spain right now (which I would put right up there with Granada). Next up is Tangier Morocco, then Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic. After that it’s Bergen, Norway and somewhere in the UK, perhaps Chester or York, based on your recommendations. In the past year we’ve lived in Italy, Ecuador and Peru.

  7. Mike Stanovsky

    So happy to see Donauinselfest on the list, I’ve been in town last time on a business trip and our clients took us there. Pretty cool, huh? They also arranged our transfer to and from the airport. I was quite satisfied with the service and ask them what company they used, they said so I go with them now too whenever I visit.

  8. I’ve always wanted to go to the New Years Day concert in Vienna. Sadly the tickets are drawn by lottery and I’ve never been lucky.
    I love the restaurant. Old is cool as I continuously tell my son. I’m traveling to Austria again very shortly and I’ve added this place to my tour list. Thanks for your excellent article.

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