A Greek island presentation for Mr. Vasilios, 4/24/14
This is a city in the southern Peloponnese islands. It stands between the Mediterranean and the endless silvery grove that produces Kalamata's famous tear-drop olives.
For decades, it was chiefly known as the gateway to the western Mani, but since the mid 90s there have been many reasons to linger:
1. The annual International Dance Festival (held in the third week of July)
-most performances take place in the courtyard theatre of the medieval castle built by French Crusaders on Mycenaean foundations. The castle overlooks the old town with its elegant neo-classical buildings, lively main square and tempting, traditional food shops.
2. The Archaeological Museum
-conjures up a civilisation at perennial odds with its aggressive neighbour, Sparta.
3. Folklore Museum
-depicts Kalamata's gentility two centuries ago and its declaration of independence from the Ottomans in 1821, two days before the rest of Greece.
4. The town's long, clean beach
-lined with medium-sized hotels and good tavernas
5. Explore the Mani
6. A trip to explore Ancient Messene.
7. The site, 19 miles north of Kalamata on Mt Ithomi, is one of the most impressive in the Peloponnese.
-On-going excavations have laid bare the major buildings of this fourth-century BC city and dozens of beautiful sculptures.