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February 04, 2010

Kitzbühel

Speaking of snow. Kitzbühel is a medieval town in the province of Tyrol, Austria, near the river Kitzbühler Ache. The Illyrians, a war-like 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. It's small (around 8500 people), beautiful, historical, and a bit slow--but loads of fun for those with pluck. In modern times, and before non-Austrians found it and made even it more famous for skiing, the region was a resort for wealthy and proper Austrians from towns like Vienna.

But Kitzbühel has loosened up a bit. Well, a lot. It now has decent jazz. Drinking happens. It's inexpensive to live or visit here. It's surprisingly quiet. You can write your novel or textbook. You can miss editors' deadlines--and count on forgiveness. Oh, you can ski. And you can watch some of the best skiers in the world.

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Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at February 4, 2010 11:59 PM

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