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A Weekend in Athens

Enlightenment Redux

I’m pleased to report that Athens is, for probably the thousandth time, back. The Greek capital, long abused in guidebooks from Michelin to Let’s Go, is once again a stupendous, unmissable center in Europe.

The Acropolis

The bounce-back has many causes, beginning with Greece’s membership in the European Union and the serious and effective anti-pollution measures taken in the 1990s. Then came the vast urban renewal project for the 2004 Summer Olympics. That’s when star architects designed stadiums and bridges, a glam airport was erected north of the city, and an excellent tram, metro and light rail system was built, replete with mini-museums in metro stations displaying treasures unearthed during construction. Best of all, cars were finally banned from the ancient areas around the Acropolis; the resulting pedestrian zone showcases the Acropolis, the Agora, and the other greatest hits of classical Greece. And now, as of June 2009, Athens has the tourist attraction it deserves, a world-class museum celebrating the masterpieces of the Acropolis and its crowning glory, the Parthenon.

Climbing to The Acropolis

I arrived in November 2009, courtesy of the Athenaeum Athens, an Intercontinental Hotel. Being the largest hotel in Greece, the Athenaeum hosts conventions, throws parties for movie premiers, and manages Athens’ fashion week, known as Athens Exclusive. In fact there are lots of galas: the night after I checked in the ballroom was set up for 1000 revelers celebrating the Greek Shipping Awards. And because the hotel meets U.S. Department of State protocol, presidents and secretaries of state often drop by.

My view of the Parthenon was excellent, but the Athenaeum has a lot to look at on the inside, too. That’s because the lobby, the restaurants, and many of the rooms are filled with the art collection of Dakis Joannou, the Greek Cypriot industrialist who owns the hotel. The showcase for contemporary Greek art begins as you walk through the doors, only to be greeted by a transparent blue plastic blow-up of a man in mid-cartwheel. (Not everyone loves this sculpture by George Lappas.) The man New York Magazine refers to as “billionaire mega-collector Dakis Joannou” has been the subject of recent art-world gossip, for downtown’s hip New Museum has scheduled a March 2010 show of his collection, to be curated by Jeff Koons. The controversy arises because Joannou sits on the board of the New Museum and is a major collector of Koons’ work. As far as I was concerned, the dissent, like the collection, only makes the Athenaeum a cooler place to stay.

Benaki Museum

After a flight-recovery nap and lunch in the hotel’s Café Zoe, our group ventured out to the Benaki Museum, a gorgeous privately held collection in the Benakis family mansion. Directly opposite the National Gardens on Queen Sofias Avenue, also known as Embassy Row, the Benaki houses a vast array of Greek works from prehistoric to modern times, laying out in orderly fashion the glories of Greece. It was a great place to get a sense of all I’d come to see. It also included Greek treasures from around the world, including an excellent collection of Graeco-Egyptian fayoum portraits. As luck would have it, the museum shop is a souvenir gold mine, with stone, silver and gold reproductions of ancient classical and Cycladic artworks. My Christmas shopping began at once.

Café Da Capo

After the art and history infusion, I joined a few of the people who had traveled in our group for a walk up Koumbari Street into the stylish, upscale neighborhood known as Kolonaki. Seeking a café for interesting people watching, we chose Da Capo. We were later pleased to learn Café Da Capo has a reputation with the see-and-be-seen set. There we tasted the famed Greek coffee so vital to Athenians, thick as syrup and wonderfully rich. When I told natives that I’d stayed thirty minutes at Da Capo, they were aghast—apparently a date for coffee in Athens is a three-hour commitment.

So Athens has a café society, too. Still, three hours is a long time for coffee, and we had places to go. As evening fell, we met the group again for hors d’oeuvres and drinks at Tobar, one of the art-studded bars back at the Intercontinental. We were then whisked away to the Megaron Athens Concert Hall, a gorgeous neoclassical structure on Queen Sofias Avenue. There we settled in with the Athens glitterati for the opening night of “Tango Por Dos,” choreographed by tango virtuoso Miguel Angel Zotto. The sold-out performance included sexy dancing with acrobatic lifts and sways and catches that enthralled the audience, though I confess I was so jet-lagged I wished it had been edited down a bit.

Day 2

It takes a city tour to begin to get the scale of Athens. Amid predictions of rain, we set out for the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Once the largest temple in Greece, the original had 104 Corinthian columns, each 56 feet high and 6 feet across; only fifteen remain. That is enough to get a sense of the incredible enterprise. (Aristotle used the building of the temple as an example of how tyrannies force people to work so hard that they have no energy left to rebel.) Building began in the 6th century BCE, with more construction done in the 3rd century BCE, the project wasn’t finished until the Roman emperor Hadrian came into power in the 2nd century AD. Hadrian was a “philhellene,” or fan of all things Greek, and he shored up many ruins around Athens; the town rewarded him with Hadrian’s Gate at the opposite end of the park from Zeus’ temple. Like most of the ancient ruins we were to see, the Temple of Zeus was built of pentelic marble, mined from Mount Pentelus north of Athens. Also like the rest of the classical ruins, the site was surrounded by bits and chunks of marble that we could touch or, in some cases, trip over, but the monument itself was roped off and guarded against vandals.

New Acropolis Museum

Our next stop was the Panathenaic Stadium, an elegant, three-sided structure built on the ruins of the Ancient Stadium of Athens. The Greeks actually call it Kallimarmaro, for beautiful marble, and its simple grandeur and beautiful stone became a symbol of the revival of the Olympics in 1896. We went on to see more from the man who paid for the stadium and who was the driving force behind the modern Olympics. At the Zappeion Megaron, just across the street from the stadium and right in the heart of Athens, the head of Evangelos Zappas is interred in one of the columns. (This seems to have been a 19th century fad, for we’d seen the markers for a similar head at the Benaki Museum and were again told that the body was buried elsewhere.) The Megaron, or palace, was built in 1888 in classical style with an open air rotunda surrounded by a two-story colonnade, the whole painted in the same rust and ochre shades used in several ancient Greek buildings. A key government building, Greece joined the EU here, prime ministers receive official word of their election here, and visiting royalty throw parties here, too. That morning, Vergos Auctions was in the midst of a four-day auction, so the galleries were full of art.

The Megaron sits amid the 35-acre Zappeion Garden which backs into the National Garden, offering a peaceful stretch of green amid the noise and traffic of central Athens. You find peacocks, a playground and a small zoo, and the walkways are lined with the charming bitter-orange trees that pop up all over Athens. The trees, trimmed to perfect green circles like lollipops on a stick, are dotted with cheery orange fruit, which we all fell for but were warned not to eat. (Every day I had a reminder of why not—on a sidewalk beneath a tree, I’d spot the barely excavated innards of a bitter orange that, I assume, had been hurled down in disgust.)

Zappeion Megaron

We hurried on to Syntagma Square, the bustling center of Athens. It, like much of modern Athens, flows from the Greek Parliament, a neoclassical building with grand Doric columns. Built in the 1830s, the Parliament was actually a palace until 1924, when the monarchy was abolished. (The building has also served as makeshift hospital and museum through Greece’s many government changes, including the brief restoration of the monarchy and the military junta that followed in the late 60s and 70s.) We were encouraged to photograph the Parliament Guards, who seemed prepared for our cameras but definitely did not break a smile.

Our next stop was thoroughly Athenian: a Greek café. At Patisserie Xatzis (pronounced had-zees) just off Syntagma Square we enjoyed a dose of that thick black syrup that seems to keep the capital going. Greek coffee is everywhere in Athens, and drunk with serious pride. The beloved frappe iced coffee is the other specialty here, along with the yummy baklava, a honey-and-nut delicacy which turns out to be a holdover from Byzantine times. Our stop was no three-hour stretch but was absolutely necessary, for we would need some sustenance to meet the heart of Western civilization.

The Magic of the Acropolis

Whenever I see the phrase “Western civilization,” I can’t help but recall Gandhi. Asked for his thoughts on the topic, the Indian political and spiritual leader said, “I think it would be a good idea.” Only now I wonder: had he seen the Acropolis?

Most Greek city-states had an acropolis, or “high place.” These usually functioned as military fortresses, since they had good views of invaders, and held the government treasury while also being sacred spaces, with temples to the city’s patron god or gods. The one in Athens had been in use from at least 2800 BCE, with evidence of a monumental fortification protecting the temple-palace of Mycenaean priest-kings from 1600-1100 BCE. Most all of that is gone now, except for a few traces visible only to archeologists.

What remains is the best-known Acropolis in the world, the one built in the city-state of Athens during a wildly fortuitous thirty-year period 2500 years ago. This little bubble of time, from 461-429 BCE, falls under the leadership of a man who was not a king but the foremost statesman of Athens, and is sometimes known as the Age of Pericles. It was Pericles who basically ripped off the treasury, taking money meant for the defense of Athens to build the Parthenon and the other structures now found on the Acropolis. It was Pericles who hired a sculptor-architect to design the site and who encouraged the people to build it during an economic downturn, creating full employment for all citizens. Meanwhile, Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides were producing their plays in a theater a hundred yards down the road, Herodotus was writing his histories and Socrates was a boy strolling the Agora, on the verge of inventing western philosophy for the edification of us all (even of Gandhi, I’d venture). And all the while they were trying out this crazy and totally new idea known as democracy.

Theater of Dionysus

You can’t help but feel that, a bit of it, as you climb the majestic, if dusty, road uphill. An easy walk along Dionysiou Areopagitou Street (coming from Hadrian’s Arch) takes you directly to the Theater of Dionysus, where the plays of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides had their opening nights. A few steps ahead you stand before the Sanctuary of Asclepius, a jumble of ancient marble chunks that really requires a leap of the imagination to visualize. A healing mecca, the sanctuary had a sacred spring that has long since dried up. Pilgrims came, bathed in its waters, then chewed a few herbs and fell into a long sleep in which Asclepius would supposedly appear. (Sounds like a spa to me.) When they woke, dream-priests would meet to interpret the dreams and tell them how to cure whatever ailed them. Just below this is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a theater built in 161 CE in use today by the likes of the Bolshoi Ballet, Yanni, and Depeche Mode.

Here the well-marked path begins a sharper incline. The main attraction begins at the six Doric columns that form the Propylaea, where the tour guides stop their groups to begin the lectures. Watch out for the steep and sometimes slippery steps at this impressive gateway structure, and watch out for tourists looking at their cameras and not at the path. To your left will be the Temple of Athena Nike, the altar for sacrifices—animal, we were told, and I didn’t want to pry. (Some historians believe Athens was named not for the virgin goddess Athena but for all the virgin sacrifices the town offered.) It’s completely blocked off now, as the government works on its restoration. Just past the gates, to the left is the Erechtheion, a temple almost as recognizable as the Acropolis, built on the legendary site of a competition between Athena and Poseidon for the sponsorship of the city of Athens. (According to legend, Poseidon offered victory at sea, striking a spring of salt water in the ground, but Athena’s olive branch of peace won out.) The six support columns on the south side are carved in the shape of young maidens, called caryatids. But you won’t be able to look too closely, at least not at first, not with the Parthenon just to your right.


Parthenon means virgin, or maiden, and the Parthenon was basically a temple to Athena, with a 45’ high statue of the goddess herself in the midst of it. The long-gone statue was of ivory and gold, with marble and wood for structure. Like many Greek temples, this was used as a treasury and as a safe for the most important people of Athens. Even in ruins, it remains a breathtaking structure. Mathematically and geometrically contrived harmony was revered by the Greeks, who felt strongly that beauty in the arts and architecture set them apart from the barbarians around them. With each line and column precisely curved so as to appear straight to onlookers, the result is a façade of pure order and strength. As T. E. Lawrence famously wrote, the Parthenon is “the world’s most right building.”

No wonder people have wanted to be around it since it was built. After the Greeks fell away, the Romans used it for their own temples and as a garrison. In the 6th century, the Christianized Greeks made it a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Later the Turks turned it into a mosque, and by the 17th century it was also their munitions safe. This was sadly disastrous in 1687, when Venetians bombarded the Turkish-held Parthenon. The cache of gunpowder exploded, devastating the site and destroying most of its sculptures. If that weren’t bad enough, one hundred and twenty years later, an art-loving Scot arrived on an innocent mission to draw the remnants of classical Greece and bring his pictures back home.

But more on Lord Elgin later.

After circling the monuments we went to lunch at Dionysos Restaurant, directly across the way and with an excellent view of the Parthenon. Though the food was tasty, I wished we’d brought a picnic to the Acropolis and simply sat around on the ancient rock.

Our final stop of the day was at the New Acropolis Museum. In a town that contains over 130 museums, a town that is itself a museum, this is the one you cannot miss. A few friends had raved so about it that I figured it would disappoint. Fortunately, the $200 million, state-of-the-art museum is so simply and helpfully laid out, its ancient objects so vital and present that I’m not sure that it can disappoint.

Designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the building and concept have already won prizes and accolades from every corner. It’s sparked a bit of debate, too, though I’m beginning to understand that it wouldn’t be Greece if there wasn’t debate. (As Tschumi points out in interviews, polemic is a Greek word.) Primarily the architecture is so modern that it is considered to be out of place; a New York Times journalist compared it, from some angles, to New York’s Port Authority (fighting words, in architecture realms). Meanwhile, others believe the building itself is the strongest argument for the city’s eminence in (here’s that phrase again) Western civilization.

Greek Coffee

On the first level, which has been open for years, exquisite glass floors offer a view of the 6th century BCE thanks to careful pre-construction excavation below. The level itself is similarly populated with finds from the slopes of the Acropolis, dusted off, dated and explained. The second floor, called the Archaic gallery, is populated with the statues known as kouri and kore, large, figurative sculptures of young men and women dating from the 7th to the 5th century BCE (pre-classical, or archaic Greece). Also here are the Propylaia (the entrance gate to the Acropolis); parts of the Temple of Nike Athena; and the famous Caryatid figures from the Erechtheion (it turns out that the ones now standing and seeming to hold up the temple are reproductions); these last are from the fifth century BC, from that miraculous 30-year bubble.

The third floor is the museum’s reason for being. Known as the Parthenon Gallery, the entire floor is turned at an angle so that it is exactly parallel to the Parthenon itself, which stands 1000 feet above and visible out the capacious glass windows. The gallery itself offers something that has been impossible for centuries: a view of the entire frieze that once adorned the Parthenon. It comes in sections, and some of the sections are exactly as they were carved in the age of Pericles. Or almost exactly.

This brings us back to Lord Elgin, the visitor to the Acropolis who’d come to make some drawings, so as to edify the folks back home. When he saw the chaos that reigned up on the Acropolis, and understood how little the Turks cared about the treasures thereon, he got an idea. A really bad idea. It took a year or so to carry out, and it made him bankrupt, but Lord Elgin and his staff carted off 247 feet of the 524-foot frieze that surrounded the Parthenon. They sit in the British Museum now and are known to the world as the Elgin Marbles.

So, at the new Acropolis Museum, the magnificent honey-colored Pentelic marble sections are set beside the plaster casts of those parts of the frieze that remain in London. The weathered and battered and pollution-damaged originals intersperse with the pasty white copies, the sections almost evenly divided. Below each section is a description and a section number and an abbreviation, either Acr. or BM. And that’s all it says.

How better to make the case that the Greek government has long argued? The museum does the job with very few words. As Tschumi has said, “It has to convince you that the Elgin Marbles should come back.” (Of course, museum insiders the world over are praying this doesn’t happen.) Everyone I spoke to or overheard was certainly convinced, and many were angry at the absence of the originals. What’s certain is that the old British argument against the return of the marbles, that the Greeks have nowhere to display them, is just as dead as Lord Elgin.

Day 3

Excursions from Athens

The anticipated rains arrived in earnest on the day we hit the road. We headed north, to the Nasioutzik Museum of Orthodox Christian Art, with its glowing displays of icons, liturgical vestments, chalices and illuminated manuscripts from Greece as well as Orthodox communities in Iran and India. Built in 1970, founder George Nasioutzik was well ahead of these eco times: the walls are composed of the stone frame of a dismantled factory from down the road. It has two party and reception sites with dramatic views of the Grecian hills and stunning gardens with (my favorite) a collection of 1500-year-old olive trees transplanted from the nearby countryside. The trees are still bearing fruit, big fat black olives that roll over the grounds.

View of the New Acropolis Museum

The Vorres Museum sits on an idyllic old estate in Peania near the new Athens Airport, with a special addition designed by Michalis Photiades, the Greek architect who worked with Bernard Schumi on the new Acropolis Museum. Started by Ian Vorres and still run by his family, the museum houses two collections. The first is a comprehensive survey of contemporary Greek painting and sculpture, with works from Dimitris Mytaras, Dimos Skoulakis, and Dimitri Hadzi. The second part is clashingly dissimilar: a folk art collection that spans some 3000 years. Set in four traditional village houses, it includes lintels from Tinos, Greek carpets, an old wine press, and even an anchor thought to be from 480 B.C.E. The gardens and courtyards contain over 800 spectacularly arranged flowering trees and bushes. Vorres, too, is available for parties and receptions.

Most people lump all Greek wines with the nail-polish-removing retsina, but a new generation of vintners is making excellent, fruity chardonnays and robust reds aged in American and French oak. We visited Kellari Papachristou, a boutique winery whose merlot-cabernet blend is a top seller in Greece and the U.K. The owner brought us to the cellar (kellari) to taste all we wanted, and taught us the Greek word for cheers: Diamas!

Finally we headed south to Sounion, a port town mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. Sounion is home of the Temple of Poseidon, which seemed somehow fitting as the rains gathered intensity. It was a difficult but beautiful drive along the Aegean coast, with occasional breaks in the clouds and a stop for late lunch (Greek lunches seem to be always late) at a seaside fish restaurant. One problem? Old Poseidon, god of the sea, foiled our plans. The storms grew so bad that the driver couldn’t see two feet in front of him, and the site was closed by the time we reached it. The magnificent lighting gave us a good view, and the food hit the spot.

Day 4

The tour was over on Day 4, but I stayed on because I couldn’t bear to leave. Sundays are slow days in Athens; more than anywhere else in Europe they stick to the tradition of closing businesses for church and family time. I didn’t mind, for I had only two goals, and one of them could best be accomplished on a Sunday.

Kapnikaria Church

The Byzantine Golden Age occurred in the 11th and 12th centuries, and as a result there are a half-dozen 1000-year-old churches and monasteries dotting the city and suburbs of Athens. The churches have been in use since medieval times, replete with their ancient music and sacred chant. I chose to visit one built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Athena or Demeter. Kapnikarea is a Byzantine-domed, cruciform church redolent of incense and dank with icons on every available wall or column. Set on Ermou Street, Kapnikarea really is in the middle of the famous street more than on it, and was once slated for destruction because of its inconvenient locale. Fortunately, the authorities decided to make Ermou a pedestrian road instead, and the little church, believed to have been built in 1050, survives.

After my climb up the Acropolis, and all the wandering I could hope for around the Parthenon, it was time for English tea at the Hotel Grande Bretagne. I’d heard they make the scones when you order them, and serve generous portions of clotted cream and little sandwiches and fresh desserts, and it was true. Tea, I realize, is not very Greek, but the tea room in the hotel lobby was full of Greeks, and outside there were student protests (which everyone assured me was just as Greek as the Acropolis), and I’m already planning my next trip back.

Call me Philhellene.


The Attica Metro

The Attica Metro, or Athens subway, is a must-see, whether or not you plan to travel underground. The super-clean, marble-floored system required years of stop-and-go building, partly because of Greek politics but mostly because the construction workers kept finding statues from 463 BC where they were trying to lay subway platforms. The line is almost one hundred feet deep in spots to avoid harming the archeological treasures of Athens, and is at the same time a wonderful repository of these very treasures, for the stations are filled with museum quality displays of treasures uncovered during the dig. Not surprisingly, one of the best metro stops is at the Acropolis Museum Metro. And if you descend at Syntagma Square Metro, just opposite Parliament, you seem to enter yet another museum. Other stations were designed by leading Greek artists, including New York-based artist Stephen Antonakos, whose neon installation is at Evangelismos.

Intercontinental Hotel

Guiding Lights

Though most of the signs in Athens are in both Greek and English, a guide is still indispensible, at least part of the time. The Intercontinental concierge provided us with several experts who gave great city tours and led us through the Benaki and Acropolis Museums. Depending on your level of interest, you might not want a guide for the Acropolis itself. There is nothing quite like wandering the well-worn paths past ancient marble on your own, and the didactics are quite extensively and clearly written in both English and Greek. The sense of place is so powerful that being there at all requires your best attention, and I found listening to the dates of the Persian invasions (there were two) and which year the Venetians blew up the arsenal stored in the Parthenon (it was 1687) more confusing than helpful.

All said, our favorite guide was Kassandra Porioti (kassy-p@otenet.gr; mobile 697 271 95 04); the Intercontinental and most of the larger hotels can furnish you with other recommendations. All guides are licensed by the state which gives them the right to take your money as well as (and this flabbergasted me) the right to touch the marbles.


Tourism is one of the major industries in the Greek economy, and Athens offers lots and lots of consumer opportunity.

Bitter Orange Tree

The Plaka, a car-free old neighborhood of picturesque winding streets in the shadow of the Acropolis, is chock-a-block with shops that sell “traditional” Greek handicrafts. Wandering its ancient streets you are one of hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit every year and you might well feel it; olive oil soaps and Greek honey bottles and evil eye amulets stare you down every three yards, while restaurant after restaurant advertises souvlaki, mousaka, pastitsio and lobster over and over again. But Greek honey is excellent as are the bitter orange preserves, and the prices are among the lowest in Europe.

My favorite Plaka shop was the Byzantino Jewelry Store, where the hand-made gold jewelry has been internationally acclaimed for its excellent replica work. I’m still thinking about a pair of gold Minoan-replica earrings I did not buy. And while there are many excellent Greek designers with boutiques in the more glamorous Kolonaki area, I fell for the fashions of Kourbela Ioanna, where the salesgirl said, “We play with clothes.” Indeed they do, having designed a line of post-modern toga wear that harkens back to classical days. There are also a couple of excellent grocery stores for the fabulous olive oils and marmalades made from the oranges that line the streets of Athens. I liked Elia, which is just at the Acropolis Museum end of the Plaka, where they bubble-wrapped the honeys and jams I bought. Mesogio, at the corner of Nikis and Kydatheneon, has won prizes as the best grocery in town.

For truly Greek crafts, check out government-run Oikotexnia. This has beautiful locally made crafts that follow artisanal guidelines. For the very best replicas of Greek artifacts, go to the Benaki Museum Gift Shop and the shop at the New Acropolis Museum.

Monastiraki Square is home to a flea market on Sundays that can offer some wonderful antiques and collectibles. There’s also a less interesting daily market.

For the same Greek sandals worn by the Beatles and Jackie O, visit Melissinos Art, opposite Monastiraki Square.

My favorite shopping excursion of all was to Korres on Pangrati in Kolonaki. Known in the US for luscious body lotions and a Wild Rose skin care line, Korres offers a much broader line of products in Greece, where it originated. George Korres started small in Athens’ oldest homeopathic pharmacy and has become a major player in the international sustainable cosmetics market. A rigorous infusion of science with yummy-smelling ingredients is largely based on Greek favorites such as thyme honey, yogurt, olive oil, sugar and guava. Organic teas and homeopathic compound creams and over five hundred more natural and organic products, most not available at your local Sephora, make the store another great souvenir destination.

Where to Stay

Athenaeum Intercontinental Athens
89-93 Syngrou Avenue
117 45 Athens Greece
+30 210 920 6000

Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens
Constitution Square
Athens 10564 Greece
Phone: +30 210 3330000


Acropolis Museum
15 Dionysiou Aeropagitou
+30 210 9000 900

National Archaeological Museum
Patission 44.
011-30-210-821-7717, http://www.culture.gr. 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. 6 euros ($7.50).

Benaki Museum
corner of Vas. Sofias and Koumbari. 011-30-210-367-1000, http://www.benaki.gr. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m.- midnight Thursday; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 6 euros ($7.50).

Cycladic Museum
corner of Vas. Sofias and Neofytou Douka. 011-30-210-722- 8321, http://www.cycladic.gr. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p. m. Saturday. 3.50 euros ($4.50).

Vorres Museum
1 Parodos Diadochou Constantinou St., Peania, Attica
Tel:+30 2106642520 Email: mvorres@otenet.gr
Saturday & Sunday:10:00-14:00 or by appointment


Benaki Museum Gift Shop
See above
No charge for visiting the gift shop.

Byzantino Jewelry
120, Adrianou str., Plaka,
10558 Athens, Greece

Ilias LaLaounis Jewelry Museum
Karyatidon-Kallisperi, 12 Acropolis
(The museum is okay, but the shop offers selections and reproductions from over 7000 pieces designed by Lalaounis.)

Plaka Filellinon 14
210 325 0240

Ivikou 8 (corner Eratosthenous Pangrati)
210 756 0600

Elia Wines and Traditional Greek Products
17 Vironos Street
210 324 0134

Mesogia Grocery
52 Nikis

--Alexis Quinlan
Winter, 2010