Vienna is the perfect setting for an historical story. You can truly sense the magnificence of a splendid capital that was the centre of empires. It is no wonder we usually associate it with Sissi, the Empress. Her true story has been told many times, whether in a fictional or in a documentary way. Why? Maybe because of her tormented love story, maybe because she was a beauty and fashion icon in her time, maybe because she never settled and always looked for a way to free herself from her deep unhappiness. In vain, though.
Schönbrunner Palace is the most famous residence of Sissi. However, palaces and grand houses are abundant in Vienna. As they are Museums, full of art from that time and beyond. And speaking of art, music, especially classical music, is at the core of the city. In fact, it is a whole empire-like lifestyle that somehow Vienna managed to maintain despite the ever-undergoing modernisation that it is enduring. Balls, where dancing the waltz is the main attraction, are still incredibly popular. You need to book a place with many months ahead. And we should not forget the amazing Vienna Philharmonic, whose New Year’s concert is famous worldwide.
However, Vienna is not without its dark side. Their alignment with Hitler, and voluntary annexation to the Third Reich, is to this day a matter no one likes to discuss. Like Berlin, this city was divided into sections when the Second World War ended. At that time, and until 1955, there was also the British sector, the American sector, the French sector and the Soviet sector. However, “freedom” came here before Berlin, but many consequences are still in effect, like the demand for neutrality due to its geographic location dividing Germany and Italy. In reality, together with Switzerland, they form a block in the middle of Europe whose neutrality is fundamental for preventing war in the region, at least along the same lines as the previous ones. For now it is working. Will it prevail?