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MONASTIRAKI- THISEIO

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An intrinsic part of the ancient town of Athens, Thiseio got its name from the temple of Hephaestus, one of the best preserved monuments in town and really worth visiting. At the end of the paved road that starts at the Temple of Olympian Zeus this is an idyllic neighborhood, favored by Athenians, for sun washed and coffee fueled promenades in the shade of the Acropolis. The area unfolds itself along charming streets with picturesque, neo-classical houses and trees and nice cafés and restaurants and nice a few art galleries. Walking along its main street, shaded by the bitter orange trees, you can see all of the architectural history of modern Athens. From the two-story neo-classical houses of the 19th century, all the way to the low-rise apartment buildings of the 20th century, all the way to the lofts of modern times. Wherever you sit, whatever the time of day, you will always find groups of people enjoying the chill vibe of this hood, away from the commercial, noisy center. So do like the Greeks around you are doing, sprawl out in the coffee shops, enjoy the view and then go for a walk past the many, open-air, hippy-chic vendors and their stalls where you can buy all sorts of handmade jewelry and accessories and even great vintage stuff. I’ve had to hold myself back from shopping here on numerous occasions.

Gathered on this square are all the historical time periods of this country. Archeological findings from Classical Greece, a Byzantine temple, a building from the Ottoman Empire, one of the oldest train stations and modern shops, endless shops. From the kebab joints of Mitropoleos Street, to souvenir shops with leather sandals and bags made from untreated leathers, to the flea markets of Plateia Avissinias, to shoe shops and clothing stores for Goths, Hippies and Heavy Metal types and others selling all sorts of 80’s memorabilia. Everything is mixed up and jumbled here in the shade of the Acropolis.

Credits. The Athens Food Guide by Ahenian Flaneur Chef Vassilis Kalidis, Patakis, 2018

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