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Posts Tagged ‘Cultural Capital’

So why am I focused on Graz, a city which was Europe’s Cultural Capital in 2003? Because it is relatively unknown and is a great “off-the-beaten-track” destination for people who love food, wine, music and other cultural experiences. I recently came back from an Austrian Destination Summit (developed by the Austrian Tourism Board) and had the opportunity to visit this very unique city in southern Austria. Graz is only about 2.5 hours from Vienna (car or train). Whichever way you enter the city, do not let your initial impressions lead to disappointment. Your patience will be paid off once you reach the historic center and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Graz Old Town

The historic center is not only comprised of many different architectural styles, it is packed with wonderful sensory experiences such as farmers markets, bakeries, boutiques and museums. Our group got to know Graz via a 3-hour walking food and wine tour:

  • Der Steirer: Appetizers at this charming wine bar and market highlighted Goose Pate and Smoked Salmon.
  • Aiola Restaurant: The Entree included lightly fried Perch and a creative Cucumber & Beet Salad, all within a stylized modern setting.
  • Schlossberg: Dessert was made of light Almond Pastry, Chestnuts, Caramel and Raspberry. The view over Graz was the icing on the cake.

The day ended with window shopping through the old town and a Styrian Wine Pairing Dinner at Restaurant Landhauskeller. This was a particularly interesting experience considering the historic setting, old Styrian recipes and a wine sommelier who explained each of the wines we were pairing with our dishes.

Our final stop the next morning was to visit the unique and world-renowned Landeszeughaus Graz (Armoury Museum).

Here are some visual highlights from our day+ in Graz:

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Final Note: If you are a foodie who is looking for a new cultural experience, let me know so I can introduce you to Graz’s exclusive hit event – The Long Table – which takes place in the summer and highlights their culinary offerings in an al fresco, white table cloth setting right in the center of old town.

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