Many things can be told about the history, the municipal organization, the landmarks and the entertainment in Athens. We don’t like to deliver old news. So here’s a fresh look.
If Athens was a color, it would be crimson red. The same red you see on the “akrokerama”, the traditional roof tiles that stand out beautifully against the blue sky. The red of melting iron in a forge. Athens is brewing with life, constantly transforming, forging a contemporary identity in a time of many changes. Is boiling, sometimes because of the weather, but more often because of the citizen movements, the protests, the debates, the latest political news. It is a city with an opinion.
If Athens was a shape it would be a triangle. It always looks up towards the sun, with it’s hills, it’s ancient temples, it’s rooftop gardens. It’s heart s also a triangle: the city center between Omonia, Monastiraki and Sintagma squares contains most of the commercial traffic. Even the narrow alleys and cobbled streets that crisscross each other in the older districts form small triangular islands of neoclassical mansions full of unusual shops.
If Athens was a flavor it would be cinnamon. A strong aroma, coming from the east, but so deeply mixed with the western culture, you cannot tell them apart anymore. A spice well loved in the greek cuisine, especially after the arrival of the refugees from Asia Minor in early 20th century, who doubled the urban population and the gastronomic delights. Sweet yet strong, that is how Athens’ temperament is best described.
If Athens was a type of coffee, it would be a freddo capuccino – a greek twist on the italian tradition. It’s more than a beverage: an opportunity for connecting, a great companion on a walk in the historical center, a little something to brighten the routine. Can be either refined and hip or simple and fun, depending on the location and the occasion.
If Athens wasn’t a city, it could be a lot of things. However, it would always be a unique experience. Just Athens.
- Athens is old. 5.000 years old. One of the oldest cities in the world.
- The “s” in Athens is intentional. It´s plural. Many small settlements formed the conglomeration that nowadays is known as the greek capital.
- Athens’ harbor is Pireus. In ancient Greece, Pireus was a separate settlement, connected to Athens via the Long Walls. It was also their escape route in case of siege or attack.
- Athens does not have a timetable. A good night out goes on until at least 6a.m., whereas during the midday siesta some of the shops remain closed.
Athens is built on at least 7 hills. Try the Areios Pagos hill (Vrachakia) in the evening for an unforgettable picture of the cityscape and send it at “[email protected]”.