Soon will be time for Oktoberfest in Europe, and Munich will be the most visited city of the continent.
World capital of beer, it’s the most important city of southern Germany, the most vital of the German State and the capital city of Bavaria, the only German catholic region. Maybe for all this reasons, and for the fact that at least one third of population it’s made by Italians, it’s considered the most northern city of Italy.
What to see in Munich?
Munich’s squares are gorgeous.
One thing I would recommend seeing are those. Above all, incredibly, the one which affected me the most it’s the Platzl. A small square, pedestrian area, which can be reached after strolling in a little street with yellow buildings covered in the green of the plants climbing upon it, and the typical shops, especially of souvenirs. As soon as arrived, one finds himself in front of cafes occupied by people intent in chatting and smiling in the shade of the typical Munich buildings with their pitched, brightly colored roofs.
Here you can also find Starbucks, Hard Rock Cafè and the famous Hofbräuhaus (where you should absolutely stop. It’s a historic brewery, among Bavaria’s most traditional breweries)
After the Platzl, suddenly you reach one of those things, details, which makes you stop looking, puzzled. Maybe they have no reasons, but they’re there… And are remembered back home. In fact, still today, every time I ask myself who the little “Munich Nazgul” is and what it represents.
Soon after my friend Nazgul, there’s another of the most beautiful Munich squares: Marienplatz.
A filled square, and I don’t mean just by people. Time ago this square was known for salt and wheat market, today, instead, for Christkindlmarkt, Christmas market. Unluckily I’ve been there only during summer, and I had no way of seeing it… That’s my reason to go back!
Here, too, there’s one of the details I was speaking about earlier, which are no guide-mentioned important monuments, but which impress you just because they’re different… like the Fischbrunnen, the fish fountain. It’s said that washing your wallet in this fountain on Wednesday it’s a lucky thing… Here’s the second reason to go back, possibly on a Wednesday!
But Marienplatz doesn’t end here.
Dominated by the majestic Neue Rathaus, the new Neo-Gothic style town hall, which in his tower (81 meters, 226 feet, tall) hosts the Glockenspiel, the biggest German carillon, which goes off three times a day: 11.00 AM, 12.00 AM, and, from March to October, 5 PM. Also at 9.00 PM the night watch comes out, an angel accompanied by a lullaby which sounds the city goodnight. Ain’t that sweet? Picture it surrounded by snow, with all the Christmas lights around… Well, I just found a third reason to go back there (if it goes on like this, as soon as I finish writing this post, I pack my bags and go).
Another square I love to remember (and recommended) is Odeonsplatz, the most Italian of Munich’s squares, because it hosts the Theatinekirche and the Feldherrnhalle. The first one is dedicated to Theatines and the second is a copy of “Loggia dei Lanzi” in Florence. From here, also, starts the beautiful Ludwigstraße, where, at number 13, Princess Sissi was born in 1837.
Other fine squares, worth of a visit, are St. Jacob Platz and Stachus, the name which Munich people gives to Karslpatz.
A stroll is recommended through the luxurious Maximilianstraße, between Aston Martin dealers and high-fashion boutiques, and the Residenz, one of Europe’s biggest royal palaces, which hosted, for centuries, the Bavarian dukes, and which has some peculiarities: the two lions on one of the three main sides are told to be lucky, in fact the soldiers queued in line to touch them before leaving for war, hoping to be back alive; the second main facade is a reproduction of Pitti Palace in Florence; and last but not least Saint George’s statue covered by 2291 diamonds, more than 400 rubies and 200 pearls.
Munich has really many things to see, to live… and you know what? You wouldn’t guess what’s one of the most practiced sports in this city…
…Surfing! Every year the the Munich Surf Festival takes place, where over 500 surfers meet to ride the waves – artificial – on Eisbach river.