Underground Art and Archaeology

Have you found yourself in Athens on a holiday, and the sites are closed? Or perhaps it’s a rare rainy day and you’d like to find a way to stay under cover, yet still see some sites?

How about an Athens Art and Archeology tour, by metro?

As you can imagine, digging anywhere in Athens runs the risk of digging up something, so imagine when the city began constructing an underground railway system that runs directly through the entire downtown area? The result is perhaps the largest archeological excavation project every undertaken! In all, an area of almost 50 miles uncovered more than 50.000 ancient artifacts.

Today, 7 metro stations contain exhibits from the excavations:

Can you spot the guy with two left femurs?
  1. Evangelismos (Blue)
  2. Syntagma (Blue)
  3. Panepistimio (Red)
  4. Monasteraki (Blue)
  5. Keramikos (Blue)
  6. Acropolis (Red)
  7. Dafni (Red)

When planning your tour, you may choose to visit the stations in the order listed above, heading north from Syntagma on the Red line to Panepistimio, and then returning to Syntagma to continue your tour, or, you could continue on the Red line to Omonia Square (which has some interesting art on display by Greek artists), where you can transfer to the Green Line which will take you to Monasteraki where you can get back on the Blue Line to Keramikos.

Several stations also have interesting art, the Dafni station, with both its archeology and art, is worth a visit, as are the sculptures by Greek artists in the Evangeslismo metro station and the station at Syntagma Square (look up for the mobiles).

The cost of this tour fits everyone’s budget (1.40 euro cents for 90 minutes or 4.00 euro for the whole day!) – just be sure to purchase and validate your metro ticket (there are little towers where you need to insert your ticket, get it stamped, and then keep in on you at all times – they do random checks, and the fine is quite stiff!) If you are going to be moving about on the metro all day, consider a 24 hour ticket, which will run you 4.00 euro but is valid on the metro, the buses and the trolley, as well as the tram and the suburban rail systems (EXCEPT FOR THE AIRPORT).
It is also the perfect family tour of Athens, since kids love trains and moving about by metro breaks up the search for old rocks with rides up and down esclators, the train and a nice variety of archeological finds (the Monasteraki metro includes a peak at one of the rivers which once ran through Athens).

See if your kids can find the underground cemetery where the skeleton with two left legs is buried! (My nieces DID find it!)

See if you can find the underground river

If you are planning on a week in Athens, you may want to consider a week pass, which is valid on all transportation other than the airport, and costs 14 euro. The truth is that Athens is an extremely walkable city, so the chances are you will spend a lot of time outside of the metro – but having a week long pass means you never have to look for a place to purchase a ticket for the trolley or bus, and offers you the freedom to hop on and hop off at your leisure.

The above two passes (24 hour pass and 7 day pass) are not valid for the suburban rail line to the airport, though there was an announcement about a new pass that will be introduced in the Spring of 2012 that will include transport between the airport and downtown Athens. Watch for updates.

Sometimes in rains in Athens … but that’s ok!

Greece, land of sunshine, true. But every once in awhile there are a few days of rain. It can happen anytime. I’ve seen 3 days of rain in June, I’ve seen 3 days of rain in August, Looks like we’re looking at 3 days of rain in October … No need to fret if it happens that you’ve arrived to a cloudy, rainy Athens. There is plenty to do in Greece’s capital city when it rains. Athens is full of museums, of course, and one of the things I personally love about rainy days is that it gets me inside to the visit them. It’s hard to leave the beautiful outdoors, full of sunshine, when you are only in Athens for a limited time and thinking about returning to gray London or drizzly Seattle, or cold Chicago. So I take advantage of those rainy days to explore the city’s museums, I grab an umbrella and take a stroll through the National Gardens, wander the streets of the city, many times alone, as the cafes fill up with Athenians enjoying the coolness the rains bring.

In addition to the tips below, don’t forget the the Athens Metro is a museum as well.

Here’s my top 10 things to do on a rainy day in Athens (divided into several geographically close activities):

Near the Acropolis
1. Visit the Acropolis Museum, plant yourself on the second level in the Cafe, enjoy a budget friendly lunch and enjoy the views.
2. From the Acropolis Museum you are just round the corner from the Atelier Spyros Vassiliou Museum, . Vassiliou, was one of the most acclaimed artists in Greece, and you may just recognize some of the work on display.
The Atelier Spyros Vassiliou Museum is open:
Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday from 10 am – 2 pm and on Wednesdays from noon to 8 pm.
Admission is 2 euro.
3. Also near the Acropolis is the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum. This private collection is housed in a beautiful building at Karyatidon and Kallisperi Streets, just off the esplanade of Dionysiou Areopagitou St. on the south side of the Acropolis, below the Theatre of Dionysos. The glitter of all those jewels will certainly bring the sunshine inside!
Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum is open:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Sunday: 11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Wednesday: 9.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Mondays, Tuesdays and National holidays the museum is closed.
General Admission: 5,00 €
Students, senior Citizens, and Groups: 4,00 €

Near Syntagma Square
4. Another trio of activities on a rainy day includes a walk, with an umbrella, through the National Gardens. It’s peaceful, especially so in the rainy, when there’s few people out, and the gardens hold many secret areas where you can escape the rain. There is a cafe at one end, but I prefer to continue out of the gardens to the Zappeio, where I may wander inside the magnificent Zappeion Hall and admire the architecture inside (I love the rotanda!). One September I browsed the bookseller kiosks and found this lovely story:

A Rainy Day in Athens, 1841
Hans Christian Anderson, the beloved Danish teller of tales, visited the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Here, from his book, A Poet’s Bazaar, re-issued by Michael Kessend, New York in 1987, is an intriguing tale from a day in Athens.

The rain was falling in large drops and soon there was a downpour. Three different flocks of sheep stood in the narrow square in front of the church, they huddled together, closer and closer. The shepherds lent on their long staffs. Closely wrapped in thick brown smocks, with their shapeless hats pulled over their heads, they looked more like Greenlanders than what we think of as Greeks. They stood bare-legged in the mud. The rain poured down and eased off only towards evening, when the wind broke up the clouds and scattered them away like mist.

I ventured out. Creeping out from their low mud-huts were a couple of Negro families, who had been slaves under the Turks. The woman’s entire costume consisted of a sort of gown and a soiled skirt. She lay and scooped out water over the doorstep, while small black children, one wearing nothing but a red wool shirt, danced in the mud.

It certainly conjures up a much different Athens than we see today.

Following your visit to Zappeion is the third rainy day spot for this excursion:

5. Be an Athenian at the Aegli Cafe. Grab a seat on the covered veranda, order a coffee or light lunch and settle in for awhile, reading, people watching and enjoying the car free quietness of the gardens.

6. From the Zappeion gardens cross over Amalias to visit the Jewish Museum of Athens. Being a wandering Jewess myself, this museum holds a special place in my heart, but favoritism aside this is an amazing collection of Judaica from all over Greece. The museum also does a fine job of telling the story of the history of the Jews of Greece, which dates back more than 23 centuries in Greece!
The Jewish Museum of Greece is located at Nikis 39, Athens and is open:
Monday to Friday: 9.00 am to 2.30 pm
Sundays: 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
Saturdays: closed
Admission fees: Adults 5 euros, students 3 euro

7. Continue on to the Frissiras Museum, a private collection of European artists, housed in a most beautiful building at the corner of Monis Asteriou and Kydathineon St. The museum is open:
Wednesday to Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Monday & Tuesday: closed
Admission is 3 euro.

Around Thissio
8. Start your morning with a walk down to the cafes on Heraklidon street. Here you’ll find lovely old Neo-Classical buildings, renovated, cozy and friendly on a rainy day. Take a seat on the covered roof of Cafe Chocolat and contemplate the Parthenon from this prized Athenian vantage point.  Look for the fabulous teahouse on Poulopoulou (2 blocks off of the pedestrian street). Enjoy a cup of organic herbal tea and when you are ready, continue back to Herakleidon street, to:

9. The Herakleidon Museum, the Escher exhibits. This small private collection is an experience in visual arts. The Herakleidon Museum is open:
Tue-Sat 13:00-21:00
Sun 11:00-19:00
Monday – closed

Museum Admission
General admission: 6€
Students & over 65: 4€

10. Continue walking down Herakleidon away from the historical center and you’ll find the Melina Mercouri Cultural Center, The center is home to two permanent exhibitions, A Journey through Athens, on the first floor, where one can view 19th-century Athens and elements of the 20th century via reproductions of buildings, houses, stores and people, and my favorite, The Haridimos Shadow Puppet Museum – Theatre which, which hosts a vast collection of items that belonged to the Haridimos family, renowned shadow puppet masters. Over 1,000 exhibits are on display including figures made with leather, cardboard, gelatine and sets drawn on fabric, cloth-bound manuscripts, folk art paintings and photographs dating from the early 20th century until today. Performances are staged for schools free of charge, while puppet figure-making lessons are held for children and adults on a weekly basis, however if you are lucky enough to find Sotiris Haridimos on site when you arrive, you could be treated to your own private shadow puppet show!
The Cultural Center and Museum are open:
Daily from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, except Mondays and Sunday evenings

Three days in Thisseio

Although I’m a Pagrati girl to the core, every once in awhile I get a chance to go on vacation in Athens, heading across the historical center, and landing at a lovely, romantic Neo-Classical home just off the Grand Promenade which wraps around the Acropolis and A read more

Athens Best Kept Secret IMHO

Cemetery in Athens Greece
A place of sorrow, but also an urban art gallery in tribute to many

The Athens “First Cemetery” (Protonekrotafio) is one of Athens’ best kept secrets. Don’t confuse it with the Ancient Cemetery at Keramikos, which incidentally was also one of Athens best kept archeological secrets until very recently.

Understandably a place of human sorrow, it is also provides, though, a fascinating window into the history of Greece from the nineteenth century through to the present day. Among the thousands of graves, there are hundreds of Greece’s foremost politicians, military leaders, revolutionaries, benefactors, academics, tycoons, artists, actors and actresses, and churchmen –many of them household names. Even more importantly the cemetery is the country’s largest repository of sculpture, as the funerary monuments date back to the 1830’s. The cemetery is truly a sculptural garden through which the various artistic currents present in Greece can be appreciated, from the temple-like tomb of Heinrich Schliemann (designed by Ernst Ziller, who is also buried in the Athens First Cemetery) to the most recent, “modern” monuments, including the grave of actress and former Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri, whose tomb is often sought out by Athenians and tourists in the know.

The cemetery has two Greek orthodox churches, as well as a Catholic church, but it also a Jewish section and a Protestant section.

famous cemeteries of the worldWhile the majority of those buried in the Protonekrotafi are Greeks, the cemetery is also the final resting place for a number of PhilHelenes, such as actor and director Jules Dassin, author TH White and filmaker Humprey Jennings.

Protonekrotafio, Athens’ “First Cemetery,” which is also something of an oasis in the midst of the virbrant, bustling and sometime chaotic city, rates with the famous Highgate (London) and Père Lachaise (Paris) cemeteries, and definitely rewards the visitor who takes the time to stroll through it’s vast graveyards.

The Athens First Protonekrotafio Cemetery is located in the Mets area of Pagrati, about a 15 minute walk from Syntagma Square, behind the Old Olympic Stadium and the Temple of Zeus.   The main entrance is at the top end of Anapafseos Street (Eternal Rest Street), but if you are coming from Ymittou Street in Pagrati you’ll find a closer entrance on Markos Mouskourou street.


Options for August Full Moon at the Acropolis

Full Moon Eclipse over Parthenon, originally uploaded by greek58.

UPDATE FOR 2011 –  Lots of sites will be open on August 13, just not the Acropolis! See the latest post for a complete list.

The Acropolis after dark? Check out the August Full Moon Festival
Every August, on the eve of the full moon, several archeological sites in Greece stay open late for a full moon festival. This year, 2011, due to the large crowds that showed up last year, the Acropolis itself won’t be open. But there will be other activities in the area so you can enjoy the historic center of Athens under the light of the full moon. The Acropolis Museum will be open until midnight and there may be a free concert along the Grand Promenade.

You won’t be as lucky as we were when I shot this photo in 2008, as a total ecplipse suddenly hid the entire moon, leaving us in total darkness until the lights slowly came up from inside the Parthenon.

For a look at a previous year Full Moon Celebration at the Acropolis, visit our Gallery.

Ten things to do in Athens with children that don’t involve old rocks

Traveling with children should be a fun experience, but all too often parents forget that kids don’t always like the same things we like, or that they don’t always move at the same pace as the grown-ups move. There’s alot of archeology in Greece, and you have traveled far to see it. But to your kids, (and to some adults) after awhile all those ruins look the same. A common trip to Greece includes a quick stop in Athens to admire the Parthenon, followed by a whirl through Plaka and then a race to the port for the ferry to Mykonos and Santorini (neither of which are what I would call child friendly islands).

Athens may be a big city, but if you slow down just a bit, and you base yourself on the correct, family friendly side of downtown, you’re sure to fall in love. There’s much to explore in this at once modern and ancient metropolis, and much to entertain the children while you still get to explore the ancient sites.

So, slow down, plant yourself in Athens for 4 or 5 days, and plan to include at least half of these top ten Athens travel ideas that will please and entertain both you and your children:

1. Haridimos Shadow Puppet Museum and Workshop, perfect for the child WITHIN all of us.

2. Hellenic Cosmos Virtual Reality Exhibits, highly recommended before you drag them though the Ancient Agora or off to Ancient Olympia.

3. Visit the Caretta Caretta Turtle Rescue Center in Glyfada – you can combine this with your Tram trip (see #4 below).

4. Take the slow train to the coast, find a beach, and PLAY. There’s a kids’ “moonwalk land”, an old Navy boat that’s been transformed into a museum as well as a human sized chess game almost always in play on the boardwalk not far from the Flisovos Marina (Tram stop anywhere, but Trocadero is a good place to find lots to do), and during October 2010 you can pickup free bicycles to ride up and down the coast just by showing your tram ticket (limited to set hours, see the Tram website for more details).  If you feel compelled to “do” something “educational” on the way back, see number 6 below).

5. Visit the wonderful playground in the National Gardens near the Zappeio.

6. The Eugenides Planetarium in Palio Faliro.

7. Take a hydrofoil to Hydra.

8. Go to an outdoor movie, or if you’re visiting outside of the summer cinema season, consider the Village Theater in Pangrati on Ymittou. Before the movie you can take the kids for a tumble in the lower level indoor child’s playland, or upstairs to the fantastic children’s store, the Imaginarium, and after the movie you can head down the street to Ladokolla – see #9.

9. Let them eat with their hands at Archaion Gefseis (Ancient Flavors) – if they are picky eaters and don’t want to eat, that’s ok too, because the seats all allow diners to experience dinner as the Ancients did, while reclining – so, if the kids are tired, let them sleep! Yes, the place is a bit kitchy, but where else can the kids eat with their hands without you having to tell them to mind their manners? If kitsch is too much for you, go local and take them to Ladokolla, the waxpaper place, where sheets of butcher paper are your plates and eating with your hands from the pile of finger linking  good grilled chops in the center of the table is the rule.  The funny cartoons on the walls are captioned in Greek – but no matter, one of your friendly, energetic young servers will surely translate the captions.

10.  Ride the metro. Kids not only love trains, but the metro is an amazing archeological dig that puts things into much greater perspective than alot of the sites you’ll be dragging them to. Forget about the cases with urns, just check out the ancient graves, the aquaduct, an old kiln and more. And really impress your kids when you point out that the skeleton in the grave in the Syntagma station has two left femurs!

And finally, if you MUST visit a museum – consider the original Benaki Museum on Vas. Sophias avenue – if you are traveling with young girls, they’ll love the collection of costumes, you’ll get to see plenty of ancient relics as well, while the airplane lovers in your group will enjoy a peek at the outdoor aircraft on display behind the War Museum just up the street, and afterwards you’ll be able to make a quick exit to the playground across the street in the National Gardens.

Open Walks in Athens: 18 museums with free admission

OpenWalkAthens 4
Free Museums in Athens
Sunday, November 2
11:00 AM -4:00 PM

Come and discover the wealth that hide small museums in the city:

18 Museums

Guided tours, interactive exhibits, screenings video, activities for children and families, educational programs, personal narrative experiences, workshops

Free entry to all museums


OpenWalkAthens (OWA) : an open promenade that invites Athenians to experience aspects of the city, its history and its people. This is the 4th Open Walk Athens, and this one highlights all of those ‘little museums’ that you may pass by on a daily basis but didn’t even know existed!

So, this Sunday, November 2 from 11 am to 4 pm, 18 museums will open their doors and lead us to their treasures. Included are historic sites like the Mosque in Monastiraki, and freshly opened places like the Museum of Greek Gastronomy in Psyrri, take a ride on an authentic Athenian neighborhood in the mid-20th century, learn firsthand about life on the islands political exiles. An open conversation with mathematicians, historians, artists, artisans, folklorists, play with interactive exhibits, the Jewish religion and traditions, how to make the famous figure of Shadows.Forgotten watermills, unique jewelry, rare minerals, ceramics, fine textiles, manuscripts, paintings, musical instruments, paintings and three-dimensional works of children, rare scientific instruments and the banner of the first University of Greece waiting for you to discover different worlds. And all these old mansions, neoclassical buildings with ornate ceilings, stairs and twisted hidden courtyards in the heart of Athens!

 It’s easy!
Pick up a map from any of the 18 museums.



or Download the application of Clio Muse and discover the path OWA 4
Olo the OWA4 on your mobile. Text and map via the free application  Clio Muse . Please install now available versions for Android and iPhone .


774Suggested starting points:
Come and get a map and start your ride 2 recommended sites: •••   Museum of Greek Folk Art – Mosque Tzisdarakis (image) Ares 1 right on the Square. Monastiraki (climb the stairs to the balcony released on the 1st floor) •••  Jewish Museum, Victory 39, Area  Metro Constitution



The Museums participating in OpenWalkAthens

1. Jewish Museum of Greece
Nikis 39 – Syntagma  • Opens at 3.00 pm (15:00)

2.The Museum of Greek Children’s Art

Kodrou 9 – Plaka
Children’s activities will be held on the day of the walk, they will be 20-minutes long  for children between 14.00-16.00 and 14.00- – specifically at 14.20, 14.30-14.50, 15.00-15.20 and 15.30-15.50.

3. Museum of Greek Folk Art – Main Building 

12065718231585046481johnny_automatic_NPS_map_pictographs_part_97.svg.medKydathinaion 17 Plaka – Opens at  3:00 PM
4. Greek Children’s Museum

Kydathinaion 14 Plate  • Opens at  15.00

5. Museum of Folk Art and Tradition “Angelica Hatzimichalis”
Hatzimichalis 6 – Plaka 

6.Mouseio Jewelry Elias Lalaouni
12065718231585046481johnny_automatic_NPS_map_pictographs_part_97.svg.medCaryatids + Kallisperi 12 Acropolis

7. Atelier Spyros Vassiliou
Gouemster 5a – Acropolis

Walkers will have the opportunity to be guided by the artist’s granddaughter. The tours will take place at 11.00 and 15.00. Duration of tour: approximately 30 minutes. Finally there will be a 20% discount on all items in the museum shop.


8. Museum of History University of Athens
Dome 5 -Plaka
9. Museum of Greek Folk Art – Building route 22 Pan  

Pan 22 Plaka •  Open until 15.00
10. Museum of Greek Folk Instruments Phoebus Anoyanakis

Diogenous 1-3, Plaka


11. Museum of Greek Folk Art – Mosque Tzisdarakis
Ares 1 Sq. Monastiraki •  Open until 15.00

12. Museum of Greek Gastronomy

Ag. Dimitriou 13 Psirri
On the day of the walk and throughout its duration, in the Museum there will be a side event – workshop on “Introduction to Greek herbs.”


13. Center for the Study of Traditional Pottery 
12065718231585046481johnny_automatic_NPS_map_pictographs_part_97.svg.medMelidoni 2 Thisio
. ••• On the day of the walk the museum will present periodic report “Jugs from around the Greece “and will display the video on the art of pottery. Guests of OWA will have 10% discount in ceramics shop.


14. Exile Museum 
Ag. Asomaton 31 Thisio
••• On the day of the walk will be held at 11.00 am tour of the museum. In addition, there will be a 15% discount in gift shop.


15. Museum Macronisos
Ag. Asomaton 31 Thisio
The Day of OWA, Mr. Spiliotis and two other members of the Board will host a tour and talk with visitors at 12.00. If participants are numerous, and will become second tour later.


16. Institute of Greek Mills  
12065718231585046481johnny_automatic_NPS_map_pictographs_part_97.svg.medSt. Asomaton 45 Thisio 
On the day of the walk will be “running” the exhibition “Last mill in Athens- Windmill Mets “and will display the 20 minute movie Amalia Triantopoulou” Greek watermill. ” In addition, scheduled two official tours at 12.00 and at 13.00 (if large public turnout is possible more tours). Finally, offer a 15% discount on Museum publications.

17. Museum Herakleidon
Herakleidon 16 Thisio
On the day of the walk will be rotating in the showroom the math teachers who are implementing the program and welcome visitors. Time 14:00 academics responsible Messrs Mavrommatis and smear will inform parents and children about the interactive exhibits on mathematics. Also, there will be a 10% discount in the Museum shop for walkers.


18. Paul. Centre “Melina” – Collection “Journey to the Old Athens ‘and Collectors’ Shadow Puppets theater family Charidimos”
12065718231585046481johnny_automatic_NPS_map_pictographs_part_97.svg.medHerakleidon 66A, Thisio
On the day of the walk himself Mr. Charidimos will talk about the exhibits and show how the site was built (12.00 to 13.00). There will also be a tour of the top floor of the museum in the exhibition “Journey to Old Athens” (13.30 to 14.30).

August full moon activities in Athens (& beyond)


The August full moon is always a special time in Greece, and 2013 will be no exception.  Already announced are concerts on Philopapou Hill and at Ancient Elefsina, and several other events are in the works which are still to be announced (this is still Greece, after all, where advanced planning is not too popular!)  But, if you youself have already planned to be in Greece on August 21 – be sure to leave the evening open for something special and unique.

If previous years are an example, least 70 archaeological sites and other sites of interest – spaces, museums, monuments – will be open (and free to the general public).  

Musical concerts, theatrical performances, tours, video screenings and observations of stars are among the events that will take place around the country – from Thrace to Crete to the Ionian Islands and to the Dodecanese, dozens of museums and sites will remain open, with special events, or concert, such as those  to be held on Philopappou Hills and Elefsina where the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Municipality of Athens will serenade visitors under the light of the full moon.

Athens World Music Festival

The «Athens World Music Festival», organized for the second consecutive year, from 15 to 19 July 2013, the City of Athens Technopolis. Under the special theme titled “PIIGS” artists from 5 European countries, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain-branded as the last year for budgetary debt, show the great musical wealth of their countries.

The “PIIGS” will have the opportunity to show how culture and music is an important pillar of both European and world music and cultural tradition.

This year’s participants: Portugal (Andre Maia Band, Cristina Branco), Italy (Encardia, Nueva Compania di Canto Popolare), Ireland (Realta, Altan), Greece (Kristi Stasinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis “Greekadelia”, Mario), Spain (Xarnege, Lenacay).

Artistic Director: Maria Strofalis


• Monday, July 15th – Portugal

Andre Maia Band

The Andre Maia Band adapts and plays Fados and music from Portugal. The Fado is the expression of the Portuguese soul. The sense of mystery and melancholy of this music was born in Lisbon (Portugal), are the elements that ensure Fado in a prominent position on the so-called “World Music”.

The Andre Maia Band are the André Maia: singing, Zaitidou Effi: kanun, Xenia Tseligas: bayan (accordion orchestra), Alexander Kapsokavadis: guitar / lute, Kostas Stavropoulos: contrabass.



Cristina Branco

The voice of Christina Branco is taxidiariki. Just feel ‘complacency’, ‘puts bow to other ports “to find” new skin »• new skin and saying mean young street musicians, new musical concepts, new challenges. The search for new musical horizons seems to be the concept that characterizes her career Cristina Branco.

The anxiety and the search for new roads can be seen from the beginning of her career. It was evident in Ulisses [Ulysses], on Abril [April], on Não há só tangos em Paris [There’s More to Paris than Tangos], again at Alegria [Joy]. The Cristina Branco describes this continuous search as “the adrenaline rush of being alive.”

The Alegria is not an album about hope, but does not deny that there may be hope.




• Tuesday, July 16 – Italy


The encardia, the peculiar and completely attractive this music collective, is at this time one of the most visible and prestigious in the country and internationally Greek forms of world music. Devoted to the rich traditional and energetic music of Southern Italy, with the convincing their expression and performance of music, our music traveling in remote villages of Calabria, in the beautiful Salento region and in all those places that still speak Gkrekanika and other local dialects. Main characteristic of the shape the relationship you develop with the respective public of their concerts. The group was founded in 2004 to describe a enviable story so far that includes nearly 500 live performances throughout Greece, but also France, Germany, Algeria, Switzerland, Cyprus, but mainly in Italy itself and five highly successful albums.

In March 2012, the film Angel Kovotsos (production G. Poulidis) entitled encardia «Stone dancing” and on the trek the group in the areas of Greek-speaking villages of Italy, won the audience award at the 14th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and displayed foreign festival and in theaters across Greece since November 2012! 



Nueva Compania di Canto Popolare

The “Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare” was created in 1970 to promote the traditions of the region of Campania (region in southern Italy with its capital Naples). The phenomenal success of the Spoleto Festival in 1972 and 1974 was the start of their international career. Since then, the “Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare” have participated in the most important music festivals in Europe and beyond, as in Edinburgh, Helsinki, Berlin (Festwochen), the Théatre des Nations (Caracas 1977, Hamburg 1979), Buenos Aires ( Coliseum), the Festival of the Fiandres, Zurich, Strasbourg (Mozarteum), Paris (Théatre de la Ville), Athens, Israel, Spoleto (USA), Sydney (Opera House), Hong Kong, Singapore, the Schwetzingen Festspiele (1990) , Tokyo (Sogetsu Hall), Cologne (Opera), Sao Paulo (Sesc Pompeia 2001), Sofia (Sala Bulgaria 2001), Belgrade (Kolarca 2002), London (Riverside Studios) Munich (Herculees Saal) and many others.

2013 have already appeared in various shows around the world, as ksi in two performances at the International Music Festival in Cartagena, Colombia, where they played in front of 3,000 people and the show was broadcast live on television. Their program includes tours of all major cities in Luxembourg, Germany and Italy.



• Wednesday, July 17 – Ireland


The Réalta have a lively, enthusiastic and respectful approach to traditional Irladiki music. Raised on the music of The Bothy Band, Planxty and other such classic shapes, this complex from Belfast manages to capture the time value of traditional music and infuse this data from other music venues.

Using dual Irish bagpipes, Irish flutes, guitar and bodhrán (traditional drums), this polyorganic trio presents an enchanting program of dance music combined with storytelling and traditional songs. Their music incorporates a youthful quest that blends perfectly with strict attention to detail in the execution.

In live performances, the Réalta enchants the audience with enthusiasm, energy and passion of their music.

Their first album titled ‘Open The Door For Three’ was released in September 2012.




The traditional folk band Altan is one of the protagonists of the revival of Irish music at home and abroad. Famous for dynamic double violins and timeless a cappella performances of old Celtic songs, the sounds Altan specialize in the dynamic style of the area of ​​Donegal, which stands for kilts musical influences bearing.

Her father Mairead, o Francie Mooney, was a leading figure in the preservation and promotion of music violin Donegal, which Altan made popular around the world. The traditional sounds of Donegal have a distinct Scottish connotations, mainly because of its long exchange of workers migrating between Scotland and Donegal and the inevitable involvement of local musicians. The quick, odd, sharp routes bow and triple staccato characterizing violinists of Donegal are the heart of the dynamic sound of both ionizing playing the Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Ciaran Tourish. This basic sound of Altan flanked by his accordion Dermont Byrne and dynamic sound of percussion played by Ciaran Curran, and Daithi Sproule.



• Thursday, July 18 – Greece

Kristi Stasinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis “Greekadelia”

Kristi Stasinopoulou: voice, bendir, Indian harmonium

Stathis Kalyviotis: lute, live looping, electronics, vocals

Christy Stasinopoulou is singer-songwriter songwriter for many years pursue its own, independent course in Greek music and song. Stathis is a composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist. Together they have released 5 albums that stood abroad. Since then, along with their band traveling and playing in international music festivals and venues in Europe, America, Canada, Brazil, etc. In most of these very important festival is the only Greek representative of our country, the music and our language.

In June 2012, the company engleziki Riverboat Records of World Music Network released the fifth album of Kristi Stasinopoulou and Stathis Kalyvioti, entitled Greekadelia, this time includes remixes Greek folk songs from various regions of Greece. For two months in a row in August and September, Greekadelia is at number one of the World Music Charts Europe. Has gotten rave reviews from newspapers such as the Guardian, the Independent, the Financial Times, the magazine Folk Roots, magazine Songlines etc.

Christie & Stathis playing songs from their latest album Greekadelia, including electronic-acoustic covers of traditional songs and their own songs from their previous album, Yfantokosmos, Ichotropia, The Secrets of the Rocks and Taxidoskopio.




One of the most expressive representatives of rebetika and folk song, Mary, was born in the Russian Thessaloniki.The mother of the Farasa Cappadocia (central village was a large region of Southeast Cappadocia stretched over the mountain ranges and highlands of the Taurus and Anti-Taurus) arrived refugee in Greece in 1923 and settled in Plati Imathia. Her father hails from Korino Katerini.

Mary “baptized” in the music of the 13’s singing and playing the accordion next to her father, who was also a musician. Since then serve with exemplary consistency and passion singing next to the most important performers of rebetika and folk song. He has toured in most Greek cities, in many European countries and the USA. Touching and deeply human Maria is considered the last authentic representatives of a style that draws on the human experience and avoids spurious imitations and innovations.

First came on stage singing and Derveniotis Virvou. He was fortunate to sing next to Marcus Vamvakari 1967. For many years appeared to Thessaloniki with the Chondronako and Christos MiGs. 

In 2009 released the cd «Mario – 50 Years path”, a live album that contains some of the most iconic songs of rebetiko as the course of Marios.

Among other contained the best rembetika of Thessaloniki (“The green mill”, “The bloke stands”, “third Thursday spaghetti” etc.), great rembetika Vassilis Tsitsani (“Like outcast,” “Tonight on beaches” ) and songs-suggestions such as “God Almighty.”



• Friday, July 19 – Spain


The word Xarnege, or Sharnègo comes from gaskoniki dialect and refers to the villages located on the border between the French province of Gascony and the Basque country and where the inhabitants speak Basque and Gascony. The band of Xarnege combines many elements common to both cultures.

The Gascons musicians Joan Baudoin (has played with shapes VERD E BLU, UN PAS UN SAUT), Lucia Longué (PAKOPOLEN, DUS MOTS DE LETRAS, BAAL) and Simon Guillaumin (PAKOPOLEN, PASS’AIRES, ROCK’N’TRAD, PARAULAS DE BAL, BAAL) join forces with Basque musicians Juan Ezeiza (GANBARA, EURITAN BLAI, LANTZ) and Josean Martin Zarko (GANBARA, ALBOKA, EURITAN BLAI, LANTZ) and create this exceptional ensemble that seeks the union and regeneration traditional music of their hometown of Biscay and the Basque Country.

The traditional music from both sides of the western Pyrenees, and from Bearn, Navarra and the Basque Country is the repertoire of songs, dances and sounds of Xarnege. The Gascony and the Basque Country, besides being geographically close, share many cultural elements and music is one of them.

Traditional dances branles, gavottes, jauzis, segidas, polkas, rondeus, mutchikoak and waltz and the music that accompanies them interpreted, therefore, uniquely personal way, to form a joint expression of two peoples with different modes of communication, and whose relationship between them is not known to the general public.Versions of the same song interpreted differently by different instruments, in different languages ​​and having different dance steps, but the spirit remains the same.




The Lenacay show the RYMA, their first album and the start of this adventure. A disc is a musical journey without limits from the roots of flamenco in uncharted horizons.

This exercise is a musical experiment that moves between flamenco and different forms of musical expression, and also some experimental electronic content. Send a groundbreaking call for an unforgettable journey of the senses.The name of this extraordinary shape comes from the joining of two words in Romany, ie dialect of Spanish gypsies:

 LEN: the life course

ACAY: look

The combination of two words creates a broader sense it represents the most musical and physical aspects of life: A LOOK AT STATE OF LIFE

(That continuous learning)

An innovative time travel that combines flamenco roots in tandem rhythm, melodies rumba, funk bass and dancing flamenco.




“Technopolis” City of Athens : Piraeus 100, Gazi, 210 3475518, 210 3453548



Metro Station “Kerameikos” Trolei: No. 21 (from Omonia), Attitude “Coal gas,” Buses: 049, 815, 838, 914, B18, C18, Attitude “Coal gas’

Start time : 21.00

Ticket price : 10 € daily, 25 € five days


Mon, 15/07/2013 – 21:00 – Fri, 07/19/2013 – 21:00

Ep’ Avli, neo-classical gem

Most people visiting Athens Old Olympic Stadium never venture up the narrow staircase to the far left of the Stadium (as you face it). It’s a shame, since those who do will be rewarded with the chance to walk along one of my favorite hidden streets in Athens. The path that starts when you reach the top of the stairs offers an interesting tour through Athens architectural history:  Here a quintessentially Greek Cycladic home exists adjacent to post war multi-family 2 flats, elegant 80’s buildings neighbor charming neo-classical single family homes (there’s even a Cat house – ruled by a large orange and white Tabby).  The road isn’t too long, as it dead ends at Archimidous street and it’s here you’ll find a beautifully restored neoclassical home that now houses the Greek restaurant, Ep Avli.

Whether you dine inside one of the former homes’ parlors or on the terrace roof garden, a meal here usually starts with a complimentary meze, perhaps a homemade lentil salad or a

Before you order they serve a small treat, usually a salad with lentil which is absolutely tasteful and suitable as a starter. Then I would suggest you order one of the handmade pies and the tenderloin with katiki (a soft cheese) and dried tomatoes, it is my favorite! All the dishes and appetizers are tasty and valued for money. The service is very friendly.

The terrace has view toward Ardittos Hill and it is the idyllic place to get some cool air during the long, hot summer nights. But in the winter the terrace is covered so that you can still have that outdoor feeling indoors …

Ep’ Avli  Around € 15 person
14 Archimidous | Pagrati| +30-210-701-4836
From 13:00 daily

Discover Authentic Athens… on and off the beaten path

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