I've been to some pretty sweet places in my 28 years on this planet.
The top of Mount Vesuvius. The bottom of a bone-dry riverbed. The Sacre Coeur on Christmas Eve. Shakespeare's childhood home.
I added a new one to the list this weekend. Yesterday, I stood in the room where Mozart wrote Le nozze di Figaro. To a music nerd such as myself, that qualifies as THE COOLEST!! in capital letters with two exclamation points. Maybe three.
Mozart spent several years in Vienna. He arrived from Saltzburg after having some sort of temper tantrum and quitting his job there as court musician. While in Vienna he achieved great success. He is said to have spent his three happiest and most productive years in a second-floor apartment on Domgasse, in the Innere Stadt. It looks modest today, an ensemble of modestly-sized rooms with whitewashed walls and hardwood floors. But back in the 1780s, it was prestigious living - a designer apartment, actually!
That's it on the left, just past the blue sign with the Mozart-face.
From the window of his games room, he could gaze down the narrow street to the somewhat squalid little flat he lived in when he first arrived in Vienna. Apparently, the surrounding buildings haven't changed too much since Mozart's time, so you can imagine him standing at the window and seeing more or less what's still there today.
I wonder what he would have thought about people in the year 2013 paying 10 euros to wander through his former home. I also wonder whether the neighbours of Domgasse 5 think that living across the street from Mozart's old digs is the absolute coolest and wake up every morning, glance out their window, and feel inspired to go have a bit of a piano practice. I sure hope so.