Athens is a modern metropolis with a unique past. This conversation offers an introductory exploration of this fascinating city as we touch on its past, and focus on its modern-day life and charming local neighborhoods. Join a local expert as we discover this majestic Greek capital.
Athens is a modern, vibrant urban landscape with 5,000 years of history. After a very brief overview of the city’s ancient beginnings, we will travel through the vibrant contemporary city. We will dive into the puzzle pieces that make Athens so diverse: from the Acropolis area that impressed men like Lord Byron and Sigmund Freud, to historic churches and mosques; from the picturesque backstreets of the Plaka district and Greek food culture to the local markets where Athenians shop and eat; from the overwhelming street graffiti and political or historic landmarks to the must-see art museums and venues; to the Central food market, eateries and gastronomy, cozy neighborhoods and busy squares where life happens, ancient and modern, in the many pockets of the city. We’ll also share tips for activities in and around Athens.
Led by a local expert, Smaro Touloupa, this interactive seminar will explore the city of Athens. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper appreciation for the city, its roots, and its contemporary culture.
Smaro Touloupa was born in Piraeus and lives in downtown Athens. She majored in sociology, eventually found her calling in her studies to become a national qualified guide, and later went to London to complete her MA in Cultural Heritage Management. Since 1998 she has led educational and alumni tours for Stanford, Harvard, and Yale, Swan Hellenic, Abercrombie & Kent, the British Museum, the National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions, the American Institute of Archaeology, the Biblical Archaeology Society, the Smithsonian, and various specialized and academic groups, and has led private tours for Context Travel since 2013. She has published articles in British and Greek scientific journals and books on heritage interpretation and the impact of crisis and tourism on heritage. For the last ten years she has also been involved in local and international programs training qualified guides in interpretation skills. She is fascinated by human creation and adaptation in time and space and the power of cultural identity, and as a result enjoys a lot travelling, trekking, reading, and meeting people – and fish (while scuba diving)!
Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.