But as we were driving back from a summer vacation in Austria and the Czech Republic two summers ago, my husband and I decided to play tour guide to our sons, who had never been to Salzburg before.
We only had a few hours, since we were just embarking on the long drive back to Rome, but we were thrilled to stretch our legs and visit this city named as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1997. It is recognized for its wonderfully preserved baroque architecture in its old town.
Not surprisingly – given its name – Salzburg originally became wealthy thanks to the salt mined in its surrounding region.
The castle that dominates the town was constructed in 1077. We hiked up here and took the our around – although my kids were most certainly “castled” out by that point.
Although, if you experience a hot day like ours, you’ll get a pretty good workout trekking up. Alternatively, a funicular seems to be very popular with the tourist groups.
Salzburg’s most famous son is Amadeus Mozart, and between the statue, the shops with the Mozart candy on display, the names of restaurants and hotels and cafes, you’d be hard-pressed not to realize this on your visit.
Mozart was born here in 1756, but as a child prodigy he quickly gained favor with the Court and – after travelling extensively to display his musical talent – transferred to the capital of Vienna in 1767.
And fans of big budget musicals will recognize it as the setting of the film “The Sound of Music”.
Plenty here to amuse all. We were sorry our stop-off was so short, but I definitely look forward to getting back with my kids to Salzburg.