The Hills Are Alive

Over the course of our amazing semester in the Joseph S. Bruno program, we have been able to travel to some pretty incredible destinations during our personal travel weekends. Though it’s hard to choose, one of my favorites was traveling to the Austrian countryside and participating in The Sound of Music tour!
If you’re reading this and you’re not up on your Sound of Music history, don’t fret! After a weekend in Austria and watching the movie many times, I would consider myself an expert. The movie, starring Julie Andrews, was shot in Salzburg, Austria (and the beautiful surrounding countryside) in 1964. It instantly became an international hit, and is the third most successful movie of all time. The film was shot in many well-known Austrian sites and really made the city of Salzburg an important ‘character’.
The best part of going on the Panorama tour is, not only the sing along, but that it’s an all-encompassing tour of Salzburg and the lake and mountain region, so even if someone is not particularly interested in The Sound of Music, it is still such an enjoyable experience and a great way to hit all the highlights of the area.
Fellow JSB student, Spencer Smyly, and I had such a great time – and we even got to enjoy some “crisp apple strudel” at the end of the tour after going to visit the beautiful abbey in Mondsee, Austria where the main characters of the movie get married.
Being our last weekend of non-program travel, Spencer and I noticed how confident and comfortable we were as we navigated through a new city. The beautiful and serene mountaintops and hills of Austria gave us some much-needed time to reflect on the past few months here. We realized how much we have learned and grown while in Ariccia and what an incredible laboratory for personal empowerment the Joseph S. Bruno Program is.


Mondsee, Austria

Maddie Coats