My love Note to Ioannina
I’m getting emotional whenever I have to say something about Ioannina . It’s the city that I was born and it’s the city that “hypnotizes” the visitors from the very first glance.
Ioannina’s great history comes to the visitor’s eyes from the first moment. The castle is standing in the city center and its gates welcome everyone who wants to explore a part of this place.
Its Kale is one of them. It forms essentially a separate fortress within the old town. Traditionally its establishment has been ascribed to the occupation of the city by Bohemond in 1082, and the main Byzantine relic of the period, the large circular tower in the center of the citadel which is known as the Tower of Bohemond.
In this area you will find Gunpowder store, the Palace Kitchens, the ruins of Ali Pasha’s palace, the so called Treasury and the church of the Holy Unmercenaries, the Fethiye Mosque, the Byzantine Museum and finally the glam Silversmithing Museum.
But Ioannina has other beauties as well. One of the most notable attractions is its lake. I’m so sure that this lake is the one and only in the whole world that “knows” all the secrets of everyone who visits or lives in Ioannina. All time of the year is crowded of people who stroll around or enjoy the magnificent view or just enjoy a coffee or drink.
The island that is standing almost in the center of the lake is very worthy visiting since it has its own history. Known as “Nisos Ioanninon”, passengers are ferried back and forth from the mainland to the island. In case of visit don’t miss the monastery of Agios Panteleimon which has been converted into a museum containing information and paintings, as well as re-creations of Ali Pasha's lounging and living quarters.
The Island Museum is not the only attraction on the island: there are many gift-shops, tavernas, churches and bakeries on the island's winding streets. Some of the people of Ioannina even choose to make the tiny island their yearlong home, with simple rowboats moored outside their homes, or in small marinas, in the event they need to get to Ioannina proper when the motorboats are not running.
Finally, in case of visit, don’t miss the Vrelli’s museum. His love of art, his admiration to the heroes of the pre – revolution and the war of Independence of 1821, made him to work with wax and compose figures and events that will stay alive. One more place that should be in your plans of visit is Cave of Perama. It has been created by nature in the Goritsa hill which is located in the picturesque village of Perama.
To make your stay easier and more pleasant, don’t miss to walk around the city. It’s modern life will surprise you.
Where to eat? Frontzu Politia is a magnificent place with great city view. Metsovitiki Folia should be in your list, as well as Balsamico restaurant. Stoa Louli is another place for gastronomic experiences.
What to buy? Of course silver objects and jewelries, which you will find everywhere within the city.
*All photos featured are taken by me