We knew Plaka – no, we THOUGHT we knew Plaka!

Or better, we knew A LOT about Plaka, but not all…


… and then, along came Aristotelis, to disclose secrets spots that we had not been aware of, like the house with the glass floor and the ruins underneath, the importance of the Tower of the Winds in the everyday life of the Athenians, the house with the statue at its facade, and a lot more…


The Mascot of our Tour !!!

We began our Tour where the previous one (“Must See Athens”) had finished, at Hadrian’s Arch.

Strolling around Plaka

A “Polikatikia” with … a glass floor !

The bell of independence

Temple of The Winds

Hadrian’s Library

It was a tour that we all enjoyed very much and it was followed (as always), by lunch at a picturesque beer spot in Psyrri, where we will be hosting a beer tasting event in the near future.

“We had a very interested follower last weekend on the “Must See Plaka” tour in Athens. He walked with us, he stopped were we stopped, and he seemed to understand most of the history we were told by our great guide Aristoteles”.
Comment & photo by our friend Kim.

Katerina Tsitsipi, Aristotelis Makris
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A visit at Spyros Vassiliou’s Atelier/House

We are starting a new series of visits to small – mostly unknown – Museums, art galleries, exhibitions and workshops. Let’s meet:


Little Hidden Gems in Athens

Spyros Vassiliou (1903-1985) was a Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, and stage designer. He became widely recognized for his work starting in the 1930s, when he received the Benaki Prize from the Athens Academy. The recipient of a Guggenheim Prize for Greece (in 1960), Spyros Vassiliou’s works have been exhibited in galleries throughout Europe, in the United States, and Canada.
Spyros Vassiliou became recognized as a painter of the transformation of the modern urban environment, depicting with an unwavering eye the sprawl of urban development that surrounded his home in Athens, under the walls of the Parthenon. His artistic identity combined monochrome backgrounds and the unorthodox positioning of objects. He paid homage to the Byzantine icon by floating symbols of everyday Greek life on washes of gold or sea-blue color, very much like the religious symbols that float on gold in religious art. With oils and watercolours he painted natural and urban space, portraits, still-life, and scenes of daily living, combining selective elements of cubism and impressionism. A member of an important community of Greek artists in the mid-20th century, Vassiliou was known as one of the first Greek pop-art painters.
Sourse: wikipedia.org
Do NOT miss the “Little Hidden Gems in Athens” Tours

“The Olive Tree Will Always Be Here”

via: http://yatzer.com/

In the well-known ancient myth about how the Athenians chose their patron deity, the Greek goddess Athena won the sympathy of the city’s people by offering them the olive tree as a gift. This myth, placing the origin of the olive tree in the hands of the goddess of wisdom sometime in a very distant past, is but one of many stories about how important the olive tree is for the Greeks and the Mediterranean in general, from Palestine to Portugal and Tunis to Trieste. For example, on the island of Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the production of olive oil dates back to the Minoan kingdoms (i.e. around 4,000 years ago); some of the island’s olive groves are actually thousands of years old, having grown under the care of countless generations of Cretans… 

read more: http://yatzer.com/gaea-short-film-olive-oil


”The Olive Tree Will Always Be Here” film still, © Indigo View & GAEA.

Short Film Credits
Direction: Theo Papadoulakis
Screenplay: Panagiotis Papoutsakis
DoP: Kostas Nikolopoulos
Production Manager: Dimitris Xenakis
Sound Design: Anastasis Efentakis
Casting Director: Archontissa Kokotsaki
Wardrobe: Xanthi Kontou
Art Director: Douglas Foote
Editor: Allan Michael
Cast: Dimitris Mpoumpouralakis, Despina Tsafaraki, Giorgos Kiminoulakis, Konstantina Koskina, Artemis Skouloudi, Manolis Poulis, Vagelis Vasilakis, Katerina Vasilaki, Giorgos Stentoumis, Nasos Stentoumis, Giorgos Vlachakis, Ivan, Giorgos Galanos, Pantelis Iliakakis, Vaso Psarianou.


photo by DiDo


Old friends, customers and people that we’ve met on our tours only once are all sending us mails and messages, calling us, asking how we are coping, worried about us, wishing for the best of us and our ‘beautiful country’, expressing their concern.

To all of them we want to send our gratitude and love, our thanks and hopes that all is going to get better in the future, and tell them that Greece is not less beautiful, less safe, or less friendly because of all that awful situation.
We are expecting them all here, to walk and talk, laugh and cry, eat and drink, and be grateful for the true friends we have all over the world.


G I N E T A I !!! It can be done !

by: Peter Economides

An article by Peter Economides


The article that appeared in TO VIMA newspaper on 21 December 2014, translated into English.

It encapsulates my new year wish ….. Greece as the West Coast of Europe.
Maybe it won’t happen this year.
Maybe not next. But it can happen.
If we want it …..

GINETAIIt’s inevitable. One day soon we’ll pick ourselves up from the rubble of this crisis.
We’ll stand up, dust ourselves off and move forward. The question is who will we be on that day? How will we think? What is the motivation that will drive us forward?Will we finally understand who we are and where we live?
Without clinging to the past but moving fast forward into the future.
Will we have leaders brave enough to encourage us?
Smart enough to know when to be there and when to get out of the way…This is what I imagine.
And this, I am sure, is what we can be ….“The crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The ones who see things differently.”The Apple of the Mediterranean.
The West Coast of Europe.
The fresh young edge of this tired old continent.
The creative corner.It’s an idea that I put forward three years ago.
And Nick Malkoutzis from Kathimerini replied: “It’s a crazy idea. In fact it’s an idea that is just about crazy enough to succeed.”It is succeeding….
In the space of a few short years Athens has transformed into a city with a vibrant startup culture. Greek mattresses are the rage in New York. Supermarket shelves are filling up with beautifully designed, high quality food products. Indigenous Greek wines such as Malagousia and Asyrtiko are winning top awards on the wine lists at top restaurants from Sydney to London at prices upwards of €100 per bottle. I love it.Greece is the new cool.
Willem Sodderland talks about it in his buzzable.biz piece, “Why Greece is in better shape than Germany.” We’ve become creative through necessity. On a continent that is generally lazy, complacent and defensive and has not, for the past 70 years or so, had any need to be otherwise.I was in Silicon Valley a few weeks ago.
And it had me thinking.
Whatever the West Coast of America represents today, that’s what Athens once was.
Startup city.
And the startup ideas then were democracy, philosophy, medicine, mathematics…I want Greece to be the West Coast of Europe.
“Den kanei kryo stin Ellada …”

Greek Dance Classes in English

We are truly happy to hear about these classes ! Dora Stratou Dance Theatre is one of our favorite institutions in Athens and we’ve been collaborating for a long time.
We are really looking forward to seeing foreign students performing in the summer.
Do NOT miss this opportunity!!!



Greek Dances Theatre Dora Stratou

Is pleased to announce a

New Dance Class in ENGLISH

For Beginners.


dora stratou13221243_785326078236042_8483276706964559069_oWEB

Commencing weekly from Thursday

2nd March 2017

at 6.00pm – 7.00pm

  • Basic steps and dances explained in detail in English

  • Three-month course pre-cursor to a possible one-year course starting in October
  • Lessons to take place in the bespoke dance studio below the theatre at the rear of Filopappou Hill.
  • Price 70€ for the three-month course
  • For information contact Miss Ada Angeli on: 210 324 4395 or email: mail@grdance.org – subject English Dance Class.



Athens Transport Tickets and Cards

All info via: athenstransport.com. A very helpful and informative website not only for residents but for visitors and tourists


Photo source: discovergreece.com

From Monday, February 1st, 2016, new Athens transport ticket prices take effect.

  • Holders of old tickets will be able to use them until April 3oth, 2016.

Questions answered in this page:

  • What are the different types of tickets for Athens public transport and how much do they cost?
  • For what modes of transport and for how long is each ticket valid?
  • What kind of ticket do I need to travel from/to the Athens airport?
  • Who can use a reduced ticket?
  • Where can I buy Athens transportation tickets? How do I use a ticket?
  • How can I get a monthly card?
  • What kind of ticket do I need for the suburban railway (proastiakos)?
  • What are the different types of tickets for Athens public transport?
Type of ticket Ticket Price Reduced Ticket Price
Intergrated ticket for all modes (Valid for 90 mins) € 1.40  € 0.60
24-hour ticket for all modes € 4,5  No reduced ticket
5-day ticket for all modes € 9  No reduced ticket 
3-day tourist ticket € 22 No reduced ticket
Express Bus ticket for the airport € 6 € 3
Metro ticket for the airport
(also valid for Suburban Railway and all other modes)
€ 10,
ticket for 2 persons € 18,
ticket for 3 persons € 24
€ 5
No reduced tickets
for 2 or 3 persons
Return Metro ticket for the airport (for 2 journeys in under 7 days) € 18 No reduced ticket


Integrated tickets are valid for 90 minutes after their validation for transportation and transfers on: city Buses (excluding Airport express buses and X80 line), Trolley-Buses, Tram, Metro (all stations except Airport), Suburban Railway (only sections Piraeus – SKA and Magoula – Koropi).


Tourist tickets are valid for: 1 round trip from/to Athens International airport by Metro or Express Bus and unlimited travel on all other modes for 3 days, including line X80 (for example from 10am on Friday till 10am on Monday). As of 2016, they are available at Athens Airport metro and bus station and Omonoia, Syntagma, Thiseio, Monastiraki, Akropoli and Piraeus metro stations.


24-hour and 5-day tickets are valid for transportation and tranfers on: city buses (excluding Airport lines) (the 24-hour ticket but not the 5-day ticket is valid for X80 line), trolley-buses, tram, metro (all stations except Airport), Suburban Railway (only sections Pireus – SKA and Magoula – Koropi, not for Airport). They are valid for 24 hours and 5×24 hours after the first validation. For example, from 1pm on Monday till 1pm on Tuesday for the the 24-hour ticket, and from 1pm on Wednesday till 1pm the following Monday for the 5-day ticket.


Metro tickets for the airport are vald for 90 minutes after their validation for transportation and transfers on the same modes as the integrated tickets, plus a transfer from/to the airport with the metro. They are NOT valid for rides on Airport express buses. Same conditions apply for return metro tickets to the airport, and 2 and 3 persons tickets for the airport. Return tickets for the airport can be used for a return within 7 days.


Express bus tickets for the airport are valid only for a ride on an airport express bus, and no other means of transport.



  • What kind of ticket do I need to travel from/to the Athens airport?
  • Who can use a Reduced Ticket?
  • Where can I buy a ticket? 
  • How do I use an Athens transport ticket?
  • How can I get a monthly or a 3-month card (travelcard)?
  • Cards for all modes excluding airport
  • Cards for all modes including airport
  • How about Athens Suburban Railway and other Railway tickets?

SOURCE/READ MORE: athenstransport.gr

The “Mentis Donation”


The site of the old workshop at 6 Polyfimou Street houses the “Mentis Donation”. The donation by Spyros, Marina, and Othon Mentis to the Benaki Museums includes the sum total of all the merchandise in storage, as well as the equipment of the MENTIS fibre manufactory, one of the oldest workshop and commercial enterprises in the country in the field of fibre processing and production of passementerie (galloons, ornamental cords – piping, braids, fringes, tassels, brandebourg frogging, curtain tiebacks).


For over one-and-a-half centuries, the products of MENTIS Ltd. decorated Greek traditional costumes, theatrical costumes, clerical vestments and military uniforms, and creations of well-known couturiers in Greece and abroad. When the Mentis family was forced to close the business in 2011, the Benaki Museum accepted the generous offer of the Mentis family, in order to create a space that will be a living workshop / museum.
The goal is to offer visitors an opportunity to learn how a historical workshop functioned; follow every step involved in silk processing and the crafting of masterpieces out of thread, for which the company was renowned.


At the same time, this new space aims to become a centre for the conservation of traditional crafts related to thread/filament processing, weaving and embroidery. Beyond monitoring the living process of production, the Benaki Museum Educational Programme Department is collaborating with highly-skilled workers to arrange a programme of classes for adults about these traditional arts.


At the same time, the Benaki Museum Shop, in its ongoing efforts to connect old know-how with a contemporary look, invites young artists to be inspired by the products of the MENTIS workshop. Their work, objects with a contemporary aesthetic, which use traditional materials, will be put on display for sale at the Piraios Street Building Shop

text source:

photos from our last visit.

photos by Dido


The most beautiful buildings are situated in Athens.

The most beautiful buildings are situated in Athens. A recording program of the period



photos by monumenta

Thursday September 17th 2015
Opening of the photography exhibition “The most beautiful buildings are situated in Athens. A recording program of the period 1830-1940”

The SNFCC Visitors Center and MONUMENTA present the photography exhibition “The most beautiful buildings are situated in Athens. A recording program of the period 1830-1940”. The exhibition presents the results of the three year research realized by MONUMENTA in collaboration with numerous volunteers and organizations from Athens.

The photographs depict public and private buildings of various functions and diverse architectural styles, as well as the recording program’s history and aspects.

At the opening, Mrs. Irini Gratsia, archeologists and coordinator of MONUMENTA, will present the recording program and its outcome.

For the past three years, the non-profit civil company for the protection of the natural and architectural heritage of Greece and Cyprus MONUMENTA is implementing the program “Recording and Promotion of the 19th and 20th century’s buildings in Athens”, with an exclusive donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Exhibition opening: Thursday September 17th, 18:30

Exhibition duration: Thursday September 17th – Wednesday September 30th 2015

Free admission at the SNFCC Visitors Center.

Information: 210 8778396/8 or email at visitorscenter@snfcc.org

ACCESS/MAP (click on the link)

*For your convenience during the opening evening, you can use the free shuttle bus service which connects the SNFCC Visitors Center with Syggrou – Fix metro station (starting point from Kallirrois Avenue and arrival on Evripidou street – beginning of the Esplanade). Scheduled routes will take place 30’ before and after each event.

Has Persephone come to earth yet ?

Myths tell the stories of ancestors and the origin of humans and the world, the gods, supernatural beings (satyrs, nymphs, mermaids) and heroes with super-human, usually god-given, powers (as in the case of Heracles or Perseus of the Greeks). Myths also describe origins or nuances of long-held customs or explain natural events such as the sunrise and sunset, the full moon or thunder and lightning storms.


Persephone, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete


One of the most famous myths of ancient Greece is of Demeter, goddess of the grain, and her daughter Persephone. Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and brought down to the underworld. Demeter searched desperately everywhere for the maiden but could not find her. During this time of Demeter’s sorrow the crops failed and people starved and the gods were not given their due. Zeus, king of the gods, ordered Hades to restore Persephone to her mother and Hades obliged but, because Persephone had eaten a certain number of pomegranate seeds while in the underworld, she had to spend half the year below the earth and could enjoy the other half with her mother.

This story explained the change of the seasons in Greece. When it is warm and the fields are bountiful, Persephone is with her mother and Demeter is happy and causes the world to bloom; in the cold and rainy season, when Persephone is below the earth with Hades, Demeter mourns and the land lies barren.

sourse: http://www.ancient.eu/mythology/