Category: Art

Travelling to Thessaloniki? Read this magazine before you go — or while you’re there

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Greece Is special Thessaloniki magazine issue

The cover of Thessaloniki, a free magazine published by the Greece Is online guide to culture, gastronomy and Greece destination experiences

 

Essential reading: A free magazine I picked up at the Athens International Airport in June, while waiting to fly home after my latest Greek holiday, has me wishing I could take a trip to Thessaloniki soon.

Entitled Thessaloniki, the 176-page glossy magazine is packed with dozens of beautiful photos and interesting articles describing the city’s fascinating history, its important cultural institutions, monuments and landmarks, its exciting arts, entertainment and food scenes, and much more.

 

 

The second-largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki is a dynamic port center and capital of the Central Macedonia region of Greece.

It’s “a cauldron of gods and heroes, civilizations and religions; a place where the old and new cohabitate fruitfully. You can sense it everywhere; during a stroll, at the markets and museums, in the architecture, food and music. It’s in the air!” says a welcome page message penned by Giros Tsiros. He’s the editor-in-chief of Greece Is, the wonderful culture and gastronomy website which has published several destination-specific magazine guides, like the one for Thessaloniki, during the past two years.

 

Thessaloniki waterfront

The historic WhiteTower and the long Thessaloniki waterfront strip are seen in a photo from the online edition of Thessaloniki magazine

 

I’m gradually working my way through the issue, learning about the city’s annual arts events and festivals, its popular port and waterfront areas, its thriving design community, its exciting  gastronomy scene, and nearby attractions like the scenic Halkidiki peninsula and the historic Mount Athos monastery. There are still many more articles for me to peruse, but already I’m amazed at the astounding variety of things to see and do in and near the city — almost overwhelmed, in fact, since there is just so much that has captured my interest. It makes me wonder why I haven’t heard more people talk about Thessaloniki, as well as ask myself why I haven’t made it a priority to go there.

But even though Thessaloniki is blessed with so many places to explore, one of the magazine’s contributors says that simply being in the city is an enchanting and enjoyable experience in itself — visitors don’t have to rush to all the tourist attractions or scour back streets for “secret” shops and restaurants and other hidden gems to discover what the place is all about.

“A great way to get to know Thessaloniki is to do nothing to ‘explore’ her, but instead just ‘be’ there. Just relax,” advises writer Rika Z. Vayianni, an Athenian who has been visiting Thessaloniki for decades. If you pause to linger and listen you will hear the city speak volumes, Rika notes in “The art of doing nothing,” the magazine’s introductory article. “Some of the things she will say, or show to you, will remain in your memory for a long, long time. Some of them will perplex you, take you out of your comfort zone. But the city does speak.”

With luck I will one day have the opportunity to listen as Thessaloniki speaks to me. In the meantime, I will be learning more about the city as I read the rest of the magazine articles over the summer.

 

Trigonian Tower in Thessaloniki

The Trigonian Tower in Thessaloniki’s Ano Poli (Upper Town) district, seen in a photo from the Greece Is website

 

If you will be travelling to Thessaloniki this year, or if you are considering the city for a future trip, be sure to pick up a copy of the magazine so you can get valuable background information, ideas and recommendations for your visit.

Thessaloniki is available at several locations in the city itself, as well as in central Athens and at the Athens airport. 

In Thessaloniki, you can obtain a copy at:

♦ the Kathimerini offices at 99 Tsimiski Street;

♦ the Archaeological Museum at 6 Manoli Andronikou Street; and

♦ the State Museum of Contemporary Art, 21 Kolokotroni St. 

In Athens, the magazine can be found at:

♦ the Kathimerini offices at 47-49 Panepistimiou Street, and

♦ the Acropolis Museum at 15 Dionysiou Areopagitou Street

Pickup locations at Athens International Airport include:

♦ Press Point

♦ Kir-Yianni Wine Bar

♦ Gate A, and

♦ the Athens Municipality information desk on the Arrivals level

If you can’t get to one of those locations, or if you’d rather read the magazine online, click here to access the collection of Thessaloniki articles on the Greece Is website.

Greece Is magazine distribution stands

Look for distribution racks like the one shown above so you can pick up a copy of Thessaloniki or other special edition magazines published by Greece Is

How a cultural renaissance is reshaping Athens

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Church of Panagia Kapnikarea

Throngs of shoppers and tourists on Ermou Street pass by the 1,000-year-old Byzantine Church of Panagia Kapnikarea

 

Gritty, not pretty: After six years of agonizing economic hardship, the City of Athens and its residents appear to be “rebounding” and turning their attention “to the task of building a better future,” according to the Canadian national newspaper, The Globe and Mail.

“More and more Athenians are involved in a kind of civic infill activity, re-imagining the town, improvising social services and engaging in what Greek photographer Eirini Vourloumis calls ‘a forced renegotiation of Greek identity,’” columnist Robert Everett-Green observes in a feature article published recently in the Globe.

“Now, ambitious plans are afoot to remodel the downtown in more sustainable ways, and to add cultural capital to civic life. Innovative restorations, led by artists and arts organizations, are reclaiming rundown industrial districts. There is a feeling here that creativity is the last and best resource when other resources fail,” he notes.

 

Athens graffiti

Athens is “gritty,” not pretty, with “rampant” graffiti and street art, but arts and culture are leading the city to a “rebirth” as it recovers from the harsh economic crisis of the past six years, The Globe and Mail newspaper observes.

 

Everett-Green visited Athens last November, and the Globe published his feature story The Energy of Defeat on the front page of its weekend travel section this past Saturday (March 28 2015).

The article also was published on the newspaper’s website, where it was retitled Athens isn’t pretty, but it’s exciting: discover the city’s cultural rebirth.

Everett-Green examines how artists are playing a leading role in the revitalization of a city he describes as “gritty, restless and spontaneous.” He looks at major cultural projects and initiatives, including:

♦ the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center that will house the Greek National Opera and the National Library of Greece;

♦ the Onassis Foundation’s Rethink Athens project, which will transform the city center along Panepistimiou Street with ambitious public realm improvements and beautification;

♦ the Technopolis cultural event hub in the former premises of a coal and gas plant;

♦  the revitalization of the once-industrial Metaxourgio district; and

♦ the National Museum of Contemporary Art, which has opened in a restored brewery building.

Click here to read the full story on the Globe and Mail website.

 

Click on the arrow to view this 13-minute virtual tour of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center being built in the Kallithea district of Athens, about 4 km from the city center.

 

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

This photo shows an aerial view of construction work on the massive Kallithea site where the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is being built. Designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, the center will include a new building for the Greek National Opera, a new National Library of Greece, and an extensive landscaped park. This photo is from the SNFCC project page on the Renzo Piano Building Workshop website,.

Cultural events on Mykonos during summer 2015

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EuroBirdWatch 2015 event on Mykonos October 11 2015

For the third year, Mykonos is participating in EuroBirdWatch15, the annual European festival of birds. Theme of this year’s event is migratory birds. The Mykonos event takes place at 11 a.m. on October 11 at the Upper Meras water reservoir, where participants can observe local and migratory birds. Environmental workshops for children will follow the bird watching session at the reservoir.

 

Delos 2015 documentary film

Cine Manto will present the world premier of Delos 2015, a 25-minute documentary which aims to promote cultural elements of historic Delos island near Mykonos. Narrated by Greek actor George Corraface, the film will be screened in English in two separate shows. An 8:30 p.m. screening is by invitation only, but the 10:30 p.m. show is open to the public and admission is free.

 

Evening Shift at the Lighthouse Music Recital on Mykonos

 “Evening Shift at the Lighthouse” is a music recital scheduled for the evening of September 27 at the landmark Armenistis Lighthouse on Mykonos. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and features singer Daphne Panourgia, cellist Stelios Tahiatis, and guitarist Platon Andritsakis.  Nikos Benos-Palmer will provide a brief history of the lighthouse. The event, which is hosted by the non-profit organization KDEPPAM Mykonos,  marks the launch of local efforts to raise funds to refurbish the historic lighthouse, which was built in 1891 and now requires extensive repairs.

 

Mykonos Canceer Association benefit program at Mykonos Gym & Bowling

On September 27, the Mykonos Gym & Bowling Center will host a special fundraising benefit for the Mykonos Cancer Association.  The event will feature demonstrations of Latin dancing, kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do, as well as live music performances. Participants include the Perseus Athletic Association Mykonos, the Shall We Dance Academy of Mykonos, Quartetto Tropicale, the Veronis Brothers rock band and the Pole Dancing Penguins. Proceeds will be donated to the Mykonos Cancer Association for the support of cancer survivors and their families, and for community education programs. 

 

Cuban Night at Natura Restaurant

September 26 is Cuban Night at Natura Restaurant in the Leto Hotel Garden. The event features live music by the Latin band Quartets Tropicale and singer Ramon Soto Abreu

 

 Gastronomy Project at Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge Mykonos

Jacques Pourcel of the 3 Michelin stars Le Jardin des Sens restaurant in Montpelier is the featured guest chef for the September 8 Gastronomy Project dining event at Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Ark of the World defence association for children’s rights. 

 

Concert at Delos island August 28 2015

A free concert featuring Greek singer Gerasimos Andreatos and the Mykonos Choir will take place at Delos island on the evening of August 28

 

Acrylic & Mosaic Exhibition on Mykonos

An Acrylic & Mosaic Exhibition will be held at the Mykonos Municipal Gallery on Matogianni Street from August 22 to 31

 

mykonos-bazzar-ano-mera-15-aygoustos-daily-press-news-syllogos-gynaikon-mykonou-anomeritisses9d

From August 14 to 23, the Cultural and Folklore Association of Women of Mykonos is hosting a handicrafts bazaar and exhibition of regional products in the municipal hall at Ano Mera town square. The bazaar spotlights products ranging from “books to traditional homemade dishes, dolls and textiles, jewelery and other artefacts crafted with love and care by locals,” mykonosdaily.gr reported. (The photo above appeared with the mykonosdaily.gr article.)

 

Cigar Rolling Event at the Mykonian K Hotels in Mykonos

On August 20, the Myconian K Hotels in Mykonos Town will host a cigar rolling event from noon until 2 p.m. Master cigar roller Regla Tolon Calderon, who trained at the El Laguito factory in Cuba, will demonstrate the old-fashioned and traditional art of cigar hand rolling.

 

Maria Rampa photography exhibition on Mykonos August 2015

From August 11-20, the Municipal Art Gallery of Mykonos hosts “Between 2 islands (Mykonos – Great Britain),” an exhibition of photos by Maria Rampia

 

Cooking classes at JackieO Beach Mykonos August 2015

The JackieO’ Beach club at Super Paradise is presenting “Introduction to Cycladic Cuisine,” a series of cooking classes led by Chef Christoforos Peskias. Classes run from August 10 to 20, starting at 10 a.m. each day.

 

Mykonos exhibition of artwork by Alexis Akrithakis

An exhibition of artwork by the late Alexis Akrithakis is being presented from August 21 to September 5. The show is being held at the School of Fine Arts from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. daily.

 

Celebrity Chef Ossama Kutaini at Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos

From August 3 to 8, Ossama Kutaini will be guest Celebrity Chef at Buddha-Bar Beach in the Santa Marina Resort at Ornos

 

Nobu Food Festival 2015

Internationally acclaimed Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is back on Mykonos for the 12th annual Nobu Food Festival, taking place July 29 to August 1 at Matsuhisa Mykonos in the Belvedere Hotel

 

Full Moon concert on Delos

Imagine attending a live concert the stars, surrounded by the world heritage monuments of Delos island. You can do it on August 1! This year’s Full Moon concert on Delos features Dimitris Papadimitriou & Fotini Darra, who will perform from 9.30 to 11.30 pm. Tickets cost 25 Euros per person and include the return ferry trip to Delos. (Ferry departs Mykonos at 7.30 pm). Tickets are available at Cine Manto, the Foreign Press Stand, and Passaji restaurant.

 

Petros Papavassiliou art exhibition on Mykonos

From August 11 to 20, the Municipal Gallery of Mykonos will hold “Petros,” a retrospective exhibition of paintings by the late Petros (Peter) Papavassiliou.  The show includes works that the artist donated to the Municipality of Mykonos in 1994. The show will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., and from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.

 

Kivotos Art Projects

The contemporary art gallery space at the luxury Kivotos Hotel at Ornos is hosting the Kivotos Art Projects again this summer in collaboration with the Aegeanale international platform for art & culture. From June 1 until October 18 the gallery features painting, sculpture, photography, video, and multimedia works by a variety of established artists. The show is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event’s inauguration celebration takes place at 8 p.m. on August 1.

 

Marina Vernicos photo exhibition at Skoufa gallery

Skoufa gallery presents “Sea Through II,” an exhibition of seascape photography by  Marina Vernicos. The show opens July 25 and continues until August 6.

 

Cocktail experience week at Buddha-Bar Beach

Buddha-Bar Beach is throwing another “Cocktail Experience Week” event, this time from July 29 to 31

 

George Giotsas White View art exhibition on Mykonos July 2015

The Municipal Gallery of Mykonos at 45 Matogianni Street is hosting an exhibition of 33 new mixed media paintings by George Giotsas from July 21 to 31. The show is open daily from noon to 2.30 p.m., and from 9 to 11 p.m.

 

Luis Orozco painting exhibition Mykonos 2015

From July 17 to September 30, Cine Manto hosts Beyond Mykonos, an exhibition of works by Luis Orozco. The artist was born in Mexico City but has lived on Mykonos for the past 55 years, drawing inspiration from the architecture, landscapes, people and even the winds for which Mykonos is notorious.

 

Mykonos Biennial 2015

The biggest arts and culture event of the summer is Mykonos Biennale 2015, which opens with an art, video and short film festival July 3 to 7 and continues throughout the summer with contemporary art exhibitions, live performances and other events.  This year’s theme is “Antidote.”

As explained on the event’s website, “The Mykonos Biennale is a cult event which brings together artists from all over the world to create something new, to break the borders of their own art, using the telluric energy and hermetic beauty of this cosmopolitan island. The international multicultural events will interact with the local memories, traditions and historical spaces creating a unique experimental event. The art exhibitions, the installations, and performances of the artists, the musicians and dance group will spread through out the monasteries, the museums, the old houses, the ancient island of Delos, the windmills and other monumental buildings, like a treasure map of the old island. The heart of the festival is the Cine Mando which will host the first open air video film festival.” See the Mykonos Biennale Facebook page for extensive information about event times, locations and participating artists.

 

Antigone performances on Mykonos summer 2015

Looking to experience some arts & culture while visiting Mykonos? Take in one of the performances of Antigone, showing every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night at 9.15 p.m. until August 30. Performances are in English, and are held at the KDEPPAM Central Hall in Mykonos Town.

 

Mykonos gastronomy event July 2015

The Mykonos Gastronomy Club presents Η κουζίνα είναι καράβι που ταξιδεύει, (The kitchen’s ship travelling) from July 11 to 20. The 10-day event promises some tasty surprises for food lovers, and includes an exhibit of photography by Στεφανίας Ρουγγέρη.

 

George Hadoulis art exhibition

Skoufa Gallery in Mykonos Town presents an exhibition of works by George Hadoulis from July 11 to 23

 

Mr Pug restaurant Mykonos July 13 2015 event featuring Domaines d'Ott

On July 13, Mr Pug restaurant will be hosting a special dining event featuring dishes of its exquisite Siamese cuisine paired with wines from Les Domaines d’Ott. Tickets are €90 per person.

 

Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos hosts celebrity chef Weng Wong

Buddha-Bar Beach hosts Celebrity Chef Weng Wong June 30 to July 4

 

Handcrafted jewellery exhibition on Mykonos June 26 to 30 2015

An exhibition of jewellery handcrafted by Athina Christou Villalobos takes place June 26 to 30 at Cine Manto

 

Apostolos Chantzaras exhibition at Skoufa Gallery

Skoufa Gallery presents “Sea Rhythm,” a special exhibition of works by Apostolos Chantzaras

 

Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos cocktail experience event

It’s “Cocktail Experience Week” at the new Buddha-Bar Beach club at the Santa Marina Resort & Villas. From June 25 to 27, Yanni Kiskini will be hosting the event, which features signature designer cocktails from Buddha-Bar clubs around the world. This “cocktail experience show” was created by Matthias Giroud, executive chef barman for all the Buddha-Bar clubs.

Naxos calendar packed with arts, culture, food, music, party & sports events for August

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Dimitria Festival 2014

A promotional poster for Dimitria 2014, the 3rd annual Agrotourism Exhibition in Sangri village. The festival includes a variety of cultural events, including: photography, painting, knitwear and traditional antique shows.

 

 Month full of fun: On any given summer day, there’s plenty to see and do on Naxos — as I’ve described in numerous posts, including my comprehensive January 6 2014 report on Our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos.

But if you happen to be travelling to Naxos during August this year, you’re going to be spoiled for choice even more — the island’s calendar is packed with special celebrations and activities appealing to visitors of all ages, backgrounds and interests.

Events include painting, sculpture and photography shows; food festivals; religious feasts and celebrations; live music concerts and performances; live theatre; entertainment for kids; movie screenings; sporting tournaments and nightclub parties.

I outlined a few of the island’s special events, including those held as part of the annual Naxos Festival, in my July 3 post, Cyclades islands celebrate summer with festivals for food & wine, arts & literature, culture & sports.

 Website listings for all Naxos events in August

Further details about many more August celebrations and festivities can be found on the following Naxos information websites:

♦ The Domus Festival page on the Naxos Festival website contains a chart listing the performers that will be appearing at the Venetian Castle in Naxos Town;

♦  The Bazeos Tower website contains a listing of all exhibitions and live performances being held at the 17th-Century monument, which is situated 12 km from Naxos Town;

♦  The What’s On section of the naxos-web.com portal has a chart showing dates and venues for most of the events taking place on the island in August; and

♦ The Naxos and Small Cyclades website includes a detailed day-by-day list of events and activities not just on Naxos, but also on the nearby islands of Schinoussa, Koufonissia, Donoussa, and Iraklia; and

♦ the Naxos Festival Facebook page contains a wealth of photos and informational posts about the festival lineup.

Since most events take place during the evening or at night, Naxos visitors will have plenty of time to enjoy the island’s fabulous beaches and scenic towns and villages before taking in the entertainment.

On page 2, I have posted dozens of promotional posters providing information about many the August events. Click on the link below to continue reading.

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Cyclades islands celebrate summer with festivals for food & wine, arts & literature, culture & sports

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International Festival of the Aegean

A promotional poster for the 10th Annual International Festival of the Aegean taking place July 6 to 19 in Ermoupoli on Syros island.

 

Food & culture fests: I love travelling to Greek islands during low season, particularly in the spring, but that means I always miss out on major cultural and gastronomical celebrations that are held only during the summer.

Just in the Cyclades group of islands this month alone, a wide variety of food & wine festivals, painting & photography shows, arts & literature events and fun sport competitions will be taking place on Antiparos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Schinoussa, Serifos and Syros.

(Cultural events abound in other island groups, too, and of course there are scores of religious festivals throughout the country, many of which take place during the summer. But those are topics I’ll cover in future posts.)

Below is an outline of just a few of the festivities you can check out if you happen to be island hopping in the Cyclades between this weekend and the end of September. You’re in for a big surprise if you thought the Greek islands were only about picturesque villages, beautiful sandy beaches and gorgeous scenery!

 Click on the 2 in the link below to continue reading about activities on Antiparos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Schinoussa, Syros, Serifos and Mykonos.

 

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