Art, music, coffee, chocolate cake … the Austrian capital, also the cultural heart of Europe, has it all
Barely halfway through our first morning in Vienna and my wife, Alexa, has already succumbed to Stendhal syndrome. Named after the 19th-century French author who first described the phenomenon on a visit to Florence, Stendhal syndrome is brought on by over exposure to artworks of sublime beauty. The sufferer presents with heart palpitations, dizzy spells and, in the most severe cases, cardiac arrest. Alexa’s bout, which came on somewhere between Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow and Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Water, a surreal portrait composed of fish, in the magnificent Kunsthistorisches Museum, passed without the need for medical attention.