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November 02, 2006

Moving South: Kitzbühel, Austria

Kitzbühel, even older than Mainz, is a medieval city in the province of Tyrol, Austria, near the river Kitzbühler Ache. The Illyrians, a war-like lot originally from the Balkans, mined copper around here starting between 1100 BC and 800 BC. Around 15 BC the Roman Emperor Augustus occupied and claimed this area--by that time the old Celtic province of Noricum--which included the Austrian Alps. After the fall of the western Roman Empire, the Bavarii tribe settled in the Kitzbühel region (around 800). So Kitzbühel is old, with a 12th century wall around much of it, small, beautiful, historical, and a bit slow--and loads of fun for those with pluck.

Traditionally, before non-Austrians and Yanks found it, the region was like The Hamptons or a resort for wealthy and proper Austrians, who detest all forms of anarchy, even jaywalking, especially in the larger towns like Vienna. But Kitzbühel has loosened up a bit. Well, a lot. It even has decent jazz. Drinking happens. You can stay in a small castle which is now a small hotel. If my crack law firm can make a couple of ultra-goofy matters we are defending for corporate America go away, and I can get my alleged girlfriend to come with me, I will pass through here again around St. Patrick's Day to see a client rep and to attend meetings of the IBLC. Clients love the alleged girlfriend--and she can sell. And in Kitzbühel, she can ski, which for many is the point of the region.

Posted by JD Hull at November 2, 2006 11:59 PM


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