The Sound of Music is one of the most beloved films of all time. Not only did the 1965 film win an Oscar for Best Picture of the Year, but it was even commemorated for boosting tourism in Austria. The true story following the real Von Trapp Family during World War II has become a classic over the years. Maria Von Trapp was a nun at an Austrian convent who went from serving as a governess in the Von Trapp household to the wife of Captain Georg Von Trapp. But in reality, the family was actually fairly different than the version portrayed by Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the feature film.
Initially, the story of Maria Von Trapp's memoir, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, was depicted in two different German films — Die Trapp-Familie and Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika. It was only after Rodgers and Hammerstein adapted the story into an American musical on Broadway that Hollywood decided to turn it into a feature film. But they took a lot of liberties with romanticizing the true story.
In reality, Maria was only hired to be a governess for Maria Franziska Gobertina Von Trapp (Louisa in the film) who was ill with scarlet fever — not all of the children as depicted in the film. She and Captain Von Trapp also married more for practical reasons than love, though she revealed in her book that they did grow to love each other deeply during their 20-year marriage (until his death). Though the family didn't make a dramatic exit out of the country across the Swiss Alps like in the film, they did take a train to Italy, made it to London, and eventually traveled to the United States.
Like many others at the time, the Von Trapps had greatly been affected by the Great Depression in the '30s. So after fleeing the Nazis in Europe, they settled in America as the Von Trapp Family Singers. After touring the country performing in the '40s, the Von Trapp family decided to settle down in the quaint town of Stowe, Vermont. It was there that they built up a family farm with beautiful mountain views that reminded them of their home in Austria. They started welcoming outside guests to stay in their 27-room family home/lodge in the 50s and the Von Trapp Family Lodge officially became a tourist destination.
Though a fire in the '80s destroyed the original structure, the Trapp Family Lodge was brought back to its former glory and then some. It now offers 96 rooms across its 2,500-acre property. The mountain resort is one of the most interesting places you can go in New England because it offers a history tour on the property where you can learn all about the fascinating past of the Von Trapp Family. Stay in one of the main rooms or even a villa or guest house chalet!
It's also an incredible getaway spot for outdoor enthusiasts. There are over 60 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, tennis courts, a fitness center with a rock-climbing wall, a hot tub and sauna, and more. And obviously, in the winter there is all the skiing and cross country skiing you could dream of. Certainly, COVID makes things difficult to plan travels, but this historic lodge looks top-notch and definitely deserves a place on your travel bucket list. Head up to Stowe, VT, and really get a glimpse of everything that happened after The Sound of Music.
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