One of the most beautiful towns in the area of Argolis (in eastern Peloponnese) as well as one of the most romantic cities all over Greece, Nafplio was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834.
According to mythology, the town was founded by Nafplios, 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.
The most photographed spot of Nafplio –and its point of reference as well– is Bourtzi, the Venetian small fortress standing on the rocky islet of Agioi Theodoroi. During the Venetian rule it was connected to Akronafplia through a huge metal chain that secured the port against enemy ship attacks. At the beginning of 1860 in Bourtzi used to live the executioners of Palamidi prisoners. In the summer you can reach the fortress by boat departing regularly from the port. If you are lucky enough you may even be able to attend one of the fascinating festivals taking place on the islet!
Follow a dream trail to discover Náfplio’s precious gems starting from the medieval Old Town, the narrow cobblestone alleys, the neoclassical well preserved mansions with the Bougainvillea trees adorning their yards and balconies and the Turkish fountains. In the very heart of the city stands the Italianate Syntagma Square where you can admire important historic buildings and monuments. Two Turkish mosques (the first used to house the first “Mutual Learning” School and now operates as a cinema/theatre whereas the second was home to the first Greek Parliament), the Archaeological Museum with important artifacts from the Prehistoric and Mycenaean Era and the Municipal Gallery are among the buildings that stand out. Very close to the modern city stand the church of Agios Spyridonas, in front of which Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated, and the church of Agios Georgios boasting important murals such as a copy of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci work “The secret Dinner”.
In the summer, take an invigorating swim on the beaches of Arvanitia, Karathonas, Nea Kios, Miloi and Kiveri. You will also find a nice beach offering all kinds of facilities in Tolo, only 15 min away from the town.
At sunset take a romantic stroll around the so-called “Arvanitia Promenade”, the most popular walk in town (1 km in length) dominated by the rocky landscape of Akronafplia/ use the tourist trains to enjoy a leisurely tour around the town/ buy some souvenirs from the Old Town’s souvenir shops, certainly “komboloyia” (a circular chain with beads, usually made of amber used by Greeks to keep hands occupied and ease stress) for the production of which Nafplio is particularly famous/ enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious meal in Syntagma Square/ sip a drink at the port taking in the amazing view of Bourtzi – always lit up at night.
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