This is one of 2 interviews that I conducted while visiting Greece this summer. Greek history is deep routed in many things as philosophy, democracy and culture and has laid the foundation of so much of what we know and how we live today. Today I speak with Aristotle Koskinas (@aristotlekoskin), a guide with Athens walking tours. He's one of the best guides you can find in Athens. In order to be a guide in Greece, an individual must complete a 2½ year program at the School of Tourist Guides in Greece - which is a state school under the Ministry of Development. Some of the courses in the curriculum include Ancient Greek history, Byzantine history, Prehistoric Archaeology, Mythology, Geology, history of Theater –and psychology of the tourist. Listen in for details on the history of Athens over the past 3000 years, the influence Greek culture has had across the world, and some insight on what surprises him meeting visitors from different countries.
The island of Santorini has not only has breathtaking views but also a fascinating history. Traces of its first inhabitants have been linked back to 4500 BC. In 1613 BC the most powerful volcanic event in the last 10,000 years took place – completely destroying all the islands within a 60 km radius. It has been estimated that 90 billion tons of molten rock was injected into the air, the sea swallowed the volcano, and a massive tsunami swept across the Aegean Sea. Along with the obvious devastation of nature, it is believed that the eruption also sealed the deal for the most civilized nation on the island at the time, the Minoans. Thanks to the thick layer of ash cause by the event, the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri was so well preserved that we are able to see how prosperous the area had once been with an elaborate drainage systems, multi-storied buildings, incredible wall paintings, furniture and vessels. The site has as much of a significant importance as does Pompeii. The island’s main volcanic rock, its mineral rich soil, and the amazing climate, has produced some incredibly unique wines. Santorini is known for some of the oldest vineyards in the world. And we know that wine is one of my favourite topics. On today’s podcast I speak with Panayiota Kalogeropoulou about Santorini’s wines. Panayiota is the Director at the Domaine Sigalas vineyard. Paris Sigalas, a mathematician with a goal to make his Santorini vineyard a world heritage site, focuses on grapes that thrive in Santorini (these include the Aidani, Athiri, Plantana – and the prime Greek grape Assyrtiko).