Cool gardens of Athens
Athens does not stop at the historic city center. A little while ago, I told you a bit about Kerameikos and Gazi, the hip area of Athens, now it is time to turn our backs to the ancient city and take a look at its modern face and one of the loveliest gardens of Athens, FUGA.
Just off Syntagma square and past the Parliament, there is Kolonaki neighbourhood sitting at the foot of Mount Lycabettus with its many cafes and great shopping district and the main avenue, Vas. Sofias. I am sure you will venture up Vas.Sofias avenue, as it is dotted with museums, first Theocharakis Foundation, a great cultural center featuring both Greek and International contemporary artists from the 20th and 21st century. Then you have Benaki museum, I often call it “Greece in a nutshell” as every floor covers a different period of Greek history from Prehistoric to Modern times. The museum of Cycladic Art where you will find all your heart will ever wish to know about the ancient civilisations of the Aegean. The Byzantine museum, a treasure volt of Byzantine history adjacent to the War Museum, just in case you are in the mood of studying a more belligerent version of history, so you’d go from antiquity to modern days.
It’s true, you will not be able to cover all the museums in a day, perhaps not even in one stay in Athens. You are probably already guessing the top 2. For first timers in Athens, a visit to the Cycladic Art museum or the Benaki museum is imperative and once you are full of history, later in the day you can do something more relaxing. There is nothing better than a late afternoon drink and a hearty meal at FUGA restaurant in the gardens of Athens Concert Hall, known to locals as Megaron and, why not, grab tickets for a concert.
Athens concert Hall (Megaron) is well-known for its superb acoustics and great concerts held by both local and international conductors and composers. It goes with out saying that there is a lovely foyer for you to wait until the performance is on. What is best though: during the summer all performances go outdoors. The garden is full of leafy trees and aromatic herb plants; FUGA restaurant is just at the top of the hill and the stage is nested below it with the seats in the open air. You can enjoy a great meal or just a couple of cocktails to quench your thirst.
I really enjoyed my last visit in the heart of the summer. The garden is a true oasis in the center of Athens, as for the menu of FUGA, it lives and breathes Italian cuisine: from great Mediterranean salads to home-made pasta or a refreshing Piedmontese vitello tonnato. My personal favourite was the crispy greens salads with grilled prawns, the seafood risotto and of course the great cocktails. Go for a Gin and Tonic, it comes with super fresh herbs from the garden.
This summer there is a special offer that runs from Monday to Wednesday, you can enjoy a three course menu with a refreshing salad, a pasta main with wine and dessert for €24,00 per person. Summer in the city it is indeed. Oh, and don’t forget the cocktails! They are waiting for you at the bar.
From Athens with love,
How to get there:
Metro: stop Megaron, on the blue line
Entrance P. Kokkali 1, just a bit further up from Vas. Sofias avenue
Reservations: +30 210 7242979