Argolis, on Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula, is a land of legends. Hear the stories of Agamemnon and Asclepius come to life in Mycenae and Epidaurus. Nearby Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, links the ancient past to the present day in a picturesque setting along the Aegean Sea. In this seminar, we will trace the history of Argolis and enjoy its scenic beauty.
Join us in a journey through the land that has defined the beginnings of Greek history with myths such as the story of Hercules and Perseus, the tragic and heroic dynasty of Agamemnon who led the Greeks against Troy, or of the relatively unknown founder of the greatest healing center of the ancient Greek world, namely Apollo’s son Asclepius. Argolis also defined the birth of the modern Greek state during the War of Independence, when the National Assembly voted for a constitution and the first governor who ruled from the first capital of Greece, picturesque Nafplio, which lies in the region.
We will explore two UNESCO World Heritage sites. First, we will marvel at golden Mycenae with its cyclopean walls, excavated by the controversial antiquarian Heinrich Schliemann, determined to discover Agamemnon’s kingdom. Next, lush Epidaurus with the best-preserved classical theatre in the world, where the ancient medicine god Asclepius would offer miraculous healing with his sacred snakes. The true gem in the region is the enchanting city of Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, which is dominated by no less than three forts with ancient, Frankish, and Venetian walls. Situated on the Aegean coast and well preserved because of its historical importance, it offers museums, art shops, countless restaurants and is the ideal base for exploring this historically rich region. Many tips will be offered for more attractions to explore.
Led by an expert on Greek history and cultural heritage, Smaro Touloupa, this interactive seminar will offer a rich introduction to Argolis and its protagonistic role in ancient and modern Greece. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased sense of place and understanding of this historically rich area.
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 five 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.