Presentation of the book  GREECE, The Dance of the Seas at the Athens Centre, Greece
Apr
10
6:30 PM18:30

Presentation of the book GREECE, The Dance of the Seas at the Athens Centre, Greece

I enjoyed so much the presentation of the book GREECE, The Dance of the Seas, this wonderful evening at the ATHENS CENTRE. As I revealed to the audience, I wrote the book more from my heart and less from my mind because I felt a great need to write about my country, and especially about the beauty of its islands.

I also noted that I was deeply fascinated by the two different cultures, the West and the East, that left their traces on the culture of our islands, as they were the maritime crossroads of sea trade routes since antiquity due to their strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

So, before our enchanted eyes, the dance of the Greek seas unfolded with pirates and knights, corsairs and merchants, sea battles and raids, Venetian galleys, clippers, Greek brigantines and Ottoman vessels which today are reflected in elegant yachts and beautiful sailboats.This is the image that Greece projects to the planet today, and this was the essence of my presentation. The legend of our maritimes - sometimes lit violently by the lightning of Zeus, and other times caressed by the sun of Apollo.

I warmly thank the ATHENS CENTRE for its invitation and its exquisite hospitality at the reception that followed in the charming courtyard of its premises, under the starry Athenian sky.

 Read more about the book: GREECE, The Dance of the Seas

The author enjoying a wonderful spring afternoon in Athens, Greece

The author enjoying a wonderful spring afternoon in Athens, Greece

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The Magic of Venice in an illustrious painter’s studio
Mar
22
6:00 PM18:00

The Magic of Venice in an illustrious painter’s studio

This beautiful afternoon, the painter Mina Kordalis invited her friend, travel writer Barbara Athanassiadis, to her atelier to present with images and words her book My Venice, creating an ideal match between writing and painting.

Inside the wonderful space, we appreciated the artistic evolution of the painter through her paintings, characterized by originality and artistic dynamism.  Mina Kordalis was invited to exhibit at the Palazzo Franchetti on the Grand Canal, which Barbara has often had occasion to admire from the Accademia Bridge during her walks in Venice.

With this in mind, she began to fascinate us too, offering us the possibility to travel with her to the magic of the lagoon city. The colours and shapes of the paintings were a treat for the eyes while Barbara adjusted her voice spontaneously to each image, conquering us with the theatrical verve of her personality and with the unexpected revelation of an innocence enclosed as a precious treasure. Her passion, her speech, her talent and the charming atmosphere made us travel to another world. A truly beautiful experience.

Barbara is a person of great experience and maturity, with an innate tendency to broaden her horizons.  Her kindness, her courtesy, her knowledge and her love for writing and for travel have allowed her to introduce ourselves to the hidden jewels of Venice with great craftsmanship as she has had the privilege of observing them and conquering us with her charm. The visual and acoustic stimuli were such that we were literally hanging from her lips, while I drew inspiration from the modulation of her voice, in the name of accuracy and authenticity.

Reading the book My Venice I realized that the author deserves a prominent place in the modern European travel literature, thanks to the smoothness of her writing and the way in which she addresses issues that lead to a happy outcome for the mind and spirit. The book offers much to the reader, and he becomes immersed in it like a sweet embrace. Lovers of good literature and fine travel cannot but be happy about it. The seriousness, the taste for details, the originality, the aesthetic passion and the great sensitivity of Barbara: all together for a book that transforms into a work of art.

I don’t know, maybe I was influenced by the ambience or by the emotion of the meeting. Or maybe by the oxygen that we exchanged and the words of the writer? In any case, all friends were left speechless and tried to hold back the uniqueness of those moments after they had already been transported. Because Art, in all its forms, provides a model and highlights the harmony of life itself.

Thanassis Spiliopoulos, writer, painter

Learn more: MY VENICE

The author with the painter Mina Kordalis

The author with the painter Mina Kordalis

 
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Lecture on INDIA at the PYRNA Cultural Association, Athens, Greece
Mar
6
6:30 PM18:30

Lecture on INDIA at the PYRNA Cultural Association, Athens, Greece

With India always in my heart and during a fragrant English tea at the PYRNA Cultural Association in the beautiful, verdant suburb of Kifissia, north of Athens, we enjoyed a unique journey to Rajasthan with the theme of the Maharajas, as experienced through their rich history, fabulous palaces, splendid fortresses and colourful bazaars, all combined in a wonderful mosaic of images taken from the fairy tales.

I communicated to the dearest friends of PYRNA the beauty of this magical country, seen through my eyes, and I was truly happy when, at the end of the lecture, distant INDIA entered their hearts as if they, too, had been there. It was so natural! My speech was guided by the spirit of INDIA with its ancient cultures and traditions. My words were just an expression of this.

Immersed in the delicious ambience of the villa lounge where PYRNA is housed and embraced by the meticulous care of the management, I felt at home.

A warm thank you to the ladies’ hospitality.

Learn more: INDIA and my Persian garden

The author in Udaipur, India

The author in Udaipur, India

 
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Presentation of the book  EGYPT, A Journey to the Nile at the Ecali Club in Athens, Greece
Feb
19
12:00 PM12:00

Presentation of the book EGYPT, A Journey to the Nile at the Ecali Club in Athens, Greece

My great love for Egypt and my many travels throughout the country inspired me to write the travel novel “A Journey to the Nile" which I had the pleasure to present at the Ecali Club. Many friends assisted in the event and we travelled together to the places where the English heroine of the book lives her many adventures. The presentation was at the same time a lecture. I colourfully narrated various stories about the archaeological sites on the banks of the Nile, stories that struck me when I had visited and which I was surprised to see my friends following with great interest.

As long as the presentation lasted, it was as if I were in the oases of the desert; on the banks of the Nile with its biblical images; in the bustling atmosphere of Cairo with its oriental bazaars, palaces and mansions; in the fields with the fellahs; in the beautiful hotels that belonged to another era and were situated along the banks of the river; and, last but not least, deep within the world of the heroes of my book.

When the lecture ended and I heard the enthusiastic applause of the friends, I realized that I was not in my beloved Egypt but in the delightful ambience of the Ecali Club, with its flawless organization regarding the event.

A warm thank you to the Club's management and to all the friends who lovingly embraced my new book: EGYPT, A Journey to the Nile, which will be translated in English in the near future.

Read more about the book : ΑΙΓΥΠΤΟΣ, Πέρασμα στον Νείλο

EGYPT, A Journey to the Nile

EGYPT, A Journey to the Nile

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Lecture on Venice at the Ecali Club, Athens, Greece
Dec
4
12:00 PM12:00

Lecture on Venice at the Ecali Club, Athens, Greece

In the wonderful atmosphere of the Ecali Club in Athens, I was invited to give a lecture on Venice “The Splendour of the Floating City”.

It was a virtual and eloquent tour comprising the Myth, History and the Beauty of its Arts, and we discovered hidden corners, walked through alleys and stopped at the charming bridges above the canals to contemplate the architecture of the Gothic palaces.

This is My Venice. Μy beloved city whose images, sounds and light are always within me. The audience was fascinated by the magic of this dream-like city, and I was so pleased to share this truly delightful experience with them through personal anecdotes and experiences.

Learn more: MY VENICE

The author in Venice, Italy

The author in Venice, Italy

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Lecture on The Knights of Malta at the ARGO Gallery, Athens, Greece
Nov
5
6:30 PM18:30

Lecture on The Knights of Malta at the ARGO Gallery, Athens, Greece

With great pleasure I gave the lecture The Voyage of the Order of the Knights of St. John in the Mediterranean to an audience that was deeply interested in the History of the Crusades and the Mediterranean Sea.  All this transpired in the elegant atmosphere of the Argo Gallery in Athens.

We wandered from Jerusalem to Syria, from Cyprus to Rhodes and the coasts of Asia Minor to Malta and Rome, embarking on an adventurous journey that followed the history of the Order of the Knights of St. John and the places where they settled.

After the lecture we were delighted to taste the amber-coloured sweet wine known as Commandaria, which the Knights loved to drink so much. The wine was produced in the vineyards around their castle in Limassol, Cyprus in the 13th century, and was exported to Europe’s royal courts. Large quantities of which were also produced to supply pilgrims en route to the Holy Land.

Panoramic view of Valletta, Malta

Panoramic view of Valletta, Malta

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Lecture on Rome at the Ecali Club, Athens, Greece
Oct
16
12:00 PM12:00

Lecture on Rome at the Ecali Club, Athens, Greece

There are some cities that charm you, and others that capture your imagination. Then there are those that remain in your heart.

Thirty years ago, I discovered Rome with a book by the French writer, Stendhal.  Walks in Rome in hand, I set about the city and observed it through his eyes, even though he had visited Rome at the beginning of the 19th century and I only began to live there in the late 20th century. The city of course had not changed all that much, but beyond what I was seeing through the eyes of Stendhal, what I held as the most precious lesson was not to waste my gaze here and there.

I focused my attention on a work of Art, on a view, on the architectural detail of a church, the interior decoration of a palace or even focused on an artistic / social event in which I was participating, with the city providing the perfect backdrop. A whole world opened before me, ready to be assimilated effortlessly, in a genteel way, and with all my sensations.

At that time I didn’t know that I would ever write a book about the city that had adopted me. This happened much later. But Stendhal’s lesson, apparently, had brought to light that magic that is so difficult to explain. As soon as I started writing, the words flew onto the blank, white page like the rushing waters of the Tiber.  It was not me who was writing, but rather Rome that spoke through me.

The audience enjoyed the lecture as we wandered through the old narrow streets, inside the spectacular palaces and around the squares with the gushing Baroque fountains of the Eternal City.

Learn more: FEELING ROME

Palazzo Colonna in Rome, Italy

Palazzo Colonna in Rome, Italy

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Lecture on INDIA at the Argo Gallery, Athens, Greece
Nov
6
6:30 PM18:30

Lecture on INDIA at the Argo Gallery, Athens, Greece

In the elegant atmosphere of the ARGO Gallery, I was delighted to give a lecture on India with the subject: “When Fantasy meets Reality”. Not only was the audience fascinated by the splendid colours, the stunning landscapes and the majestic palaces of the Maharajas, I, myself, was once again wrapped up in its seductive aura and it felt as if I was narrating a fairy tale.

My words flowed effortlessly, but it was India that spoke through me, unraveling its Arts and History and revealing its treasures. From the Mughal emperors in Old Delhi, down to Agra with its romantic mausoleum, the Taj Mahal. From its legendary medieval fortresses in Rajasthan, to the pink and blue cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur, far up in the Thar desert where caravans had once crossed, on their way from Persia and where Rajput tribes still live today, to end up in the mythical collections of the Maharajahs of Udaipur, and finally we sailed up to the peaceful, exquisite Lake Palace, which we saw being borne through the water.

Imagination and reality, dream and life, all mingled within us. Step by step, we let India give us its splendid lesson through its great contradictions and exaggerations, and we completed the lecture at the buffet with a delicious pilaf curry with tiny shrimps to get a last, lingering taste.

Learn more: INDIA and my Persian garden

The author at the lecture on INDIA in Athens, Greece

The author at the lecture on INDIA in Athens, Greece

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Lecture on Venice in Patmos, Greece
Jul
13
7:00 PM19:00

Lecture on Venice in Patmos, Greece

Subsequent to the gracious invitation of the Cultural Association TEXNH ART PATMOS, where I have the honour of being a member, I was delighted to give a lecture on Venice to the international set of friends that spend summers in their beautiful, old mansions in Chora - the capital of the island.

Sure that many of them had visited Venice, the theme of the lecture was specific: the birth of the city emerging from the waters, its ties to the Byzantine Empire that strengthened it in order to expand its possessions of the Greek islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas and, finally, its stormy rapport with the Ottoman Empire. All these factors influenced the Serenissima so much that many scholar-travellers said that the Orient actually began in Venice.

The lecture was held in the charming garden of a dear Italian friend overlooking the picturesque harbour, with the moon sending its silvery light onto the sea to illuminate the sailboats that were peacefully anchored there.

Learn more: MY VENICE

The author in the island of Patmos, Greece

The author in the island of Patmos, Greece

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Presentation of the book MY VENICE
Nov
13
5:00 PM17:00

Presentation of the book MY VENICE

at the Circolo Italo-Britannico in Venice, Italy


In early November, invited to the Circolo Italo-Britannico of Venice, I presented the book MY VENICE  in an unusual way. Rather than talk about the beauties of Venice, which the audience knew extremely well, I talked about the beauties of Greece and Constantinople.

The members of the club, English and lovers of the Serenissima, showed great interest in seeing images of the fortresses left by the Venetians on the islands of the Aegean Sea or the Ottoman palaces of Istanbul on the shores of the Bosporus combined with pictures of the palazzi of the noble-merchants on the Grand Canal.

It was a singular presentation because in the book MY VENICE I convey the colours of the East due to my cultural background.

Learn more: MY VENICE

The author at the Circolo Italo-Britannico, Venice, Italy

The author at the Circolo Italo-Britannico, Venice, Italy

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Interview on the book A Year In Tuscany
Sep
14
4:30 PM16:30

Interview on the book A Year In Tuscany

in Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany, Italy


“Colours of a Book” paint the picturesque village of Bagno Vignoni in the Orcia Valley in Tuscany where I was charmed by the warmth of its inhabitants and the hospitality of the organizers. The day was splendid, people arrived from the surroundings and Michele Taddei with his extremely nice colleague interviewed me in a soft way.

There was also a book fair where the thirty exponents proposed old books on their stands  around the famous pool with thermal water. Emotionally touched to return toTuscany, that I deeply love, I retain the best memory.

Learn more:  A YEAR IN TUSCANY

The author at the interview in Bagno Vignoni in Tuscany, Italy

The author at the interview in Bagno Vignoni in Tuscany, Italy

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Presentation  of the book A Year in Tuscany
May
13
12:00 PM12:00

Presentation of the book A Year in Tuscany

at the Castello dell’Olgiata, Rome


The first presentation of A Year in Tuscany was held at the Castello dell’Olgiata in Rome, where I wrote the book surrounded by the beauty and serenity of the landscape. Immersed in the Castello’s magical atmosphere and surrounded by all my friends and acquaintances. The event was particularly felt and appreciated. 

Certainly, I was moved because it was my first presentation in Italy and I was able to transfer my deep love for the country that has adopted me to my guests. I know that I have described the spirit and the idea of my book with all the enthusiasm that accompanies my writing. It was a beautiful spring Sunday and I received many good wishes and compliments, something that further cheered and touched me.

Read more: A Year in Tuscany

 

The author at the Castello dell’ Olgiata in Rome, Italy

The author at the Castello dell’ Olgiata in Rome, Italy

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