VIENNA—“It’s so clear you can see the whole city,” my friend Gabriela says, pointing at the scene below us. We’re in the middle of a vineyard on a hill high above Vienna. Below us, the Danube slowly winds its way through the Austrian capital. The Gothic spires of St. Stephen’s Cathedral rise high in the air, and I can see the Prater, Vienna’s Giant Ferris Wheel, in the distance.
Even though it’s a view I’ve seen before, the scene makes me smile. Vienna captured my heart when I was a student studying abroad. When I arrived here, I didn’t like wine, coffee, or classical music. But Vienna worked her magic, and when I left, all three were things I relished.
These days, I return to Vienna as often as I can, but summer is my favorite time to visit. The outdoor patios in the Old Town are filled with diners, and the city’s palace gardens are at their peak colors. Best of all, the vineyards, which run from the edge of the Vienna Woods to the shores of the Danube, have again sprung to life.