When I began my blog of “little known places” I intended to write not only about places I have visited but also to record my research into places I hope to visit in the future. In the very near future – on September 11 and 12 – I’ll be touring the Pelopennesia peninsula of Greece and overnighting in the delightful city called Naplio. Soon I’ll be posting my own photographs of Naplio, but for now I’ve “borrowed” one from Wikipedia (above). And I’ll be telling you my impressions of this small city (population about 15,000). For now I’ll share a few paragraphs found elsewhere on the `net and some links I like.
Nafplio is the prettiest and most lovable city I’ve seen in Greece. The setting of the red-roofed Old Town, on the Bay of Argolis, backed by the rocky heights of Acronauplia and even higher Palamidi, is spectacular. For centuries, Venetians and Turks took turns ruling Nafplio, leaving behind palpable layers of elegance and exoticism. At one end of the immense, marble-paved piazza, Constitution Square, is an arcaded brick building constructed by the Venetians in the 18th century (now the Archaeological Museum); at the other end is a converted Turkish mosque. Bougainvillea grows through the wrought-iron balconies of many neo-Classical mansions and spills overhead on narrow streets. In the evenings, tavernas put out tables and chairs in these alleys, so you can eat and drink beneath the stars and flowers. (Greece at Its Most Greek, from the New York Times)
And for a bit of the history of this ancient place I’ll also borrow this paragraph:
According to mythology, the town was founded by Náfplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus (Danaida) Anymone. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War alike. The town declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings mesmerize the visitor with their unique architecture and beauty.” (From the site of the Greek National Tourism Organisation.
As we travel from Athens to Naplio, we will be stopping at these most interesting places:
Our first stop will be at the Corinth Canal where we’ll have a view of this deep, narrow waterway that’s less than four miles long. Little used today, it was an important short cut to Athens when it was built in the 19th century.
Far older, Mycenae, is one of the most important archeological sites in the country. Mycenae was one of the major centers of Greek civilization in the second millennium BC. It was a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. At its height in 1350 BC the citadel and the lower town had a population of at least 30,000 people. Highlights still visible today include the Lion’s Gate and the Tomb of King Agamemnon.
As we approach Nafplio we’ll go to the fortress of Palamidi, built by the Venetians in the 18th century. Located on a small mountain, today it’s best known for its views over Nafpoli and the sea.
Our tour of Greece has been planned by Lori Messina of Windmills Travel and Tourism in Mykonos. (Tel. +30 (22890) 23877; Lori@windmills-travel.com). Lori, an American who has lived in Greece for a number of years, has been a pleasure to work with. She’s created a terrific tour for us.