28 June 2018


My Greek Salad: “Karpathos: the island that amazes you”

Going to an island for 17 years and always discovering new places is possible? Of course, at least in Karpathos. This, in fact, is my experience: arrived by chance in Karpathos in 2000 I was stunned: then it was an island out of time. As I repeat it was often my Sardinia of the seventies. The Costa Smeralda wild, made only by nature, which has remained in my heart. Getting to Karpathos 30 years later made me experience the same feelings of my childhood. The scent of rosemary, thyme, skinnos that comes to gusts, like the meltemi, to inebriate. Because Karpathos, and this is its beauty, is also wind: that wind that takes away the heat and makes you breathe, that wind that makes you dance in the middle of the halos (the case of my daughter), that wind that is Greece . But love at first sight, I admit, was not for Karpathos in its entirety but for Amoopi: beautiful, beautiful, to take your breath especially at dusk when the light turns pink and the sea is dressed in a purple hue . And you stay there and look at it, that sea, that bay, that peace out of time. Amoopi and Karpathos have changed a lot since then: more Italians, more tourism, more “casino”. But if you choose to stay a little “up” in the hills, you can still experience that magic. And for the hill, of course, I mean a small altitude that, in the car, is a couple of bends and a few minutes from the pristine waters of Amoopi. And it is from there that, even in mid-August, it is possible to savor the truest Karpathos: the one that cares about the tourists who arrive and depart; the one who knows – always and in any case – to be beautiful and restless like an elusive woman who drives men mad.


And it is right on a “hill” halfway between Amoopi and the small Amoopi that are the Silene Villas. How would I describe them? Like shy houses; timid in the best meaning of the term: almost hide themselves – at night – because they want to let the sky be as dark as possible so that the stars, those stars that those who love Greece knows well, are the only protagonists of the night. A few lights, a telescope for a house to be able to admire the sky and peace. That peace that, even in August, gives you the fact of positioning yourself just above sea level: a few hundred meters, however, that save you from August tourists who, not surprisingly, find their favorite bay in Amoopi. And you, then, you’re just a bit ‘up and you enjoy only the spectacle of that Land of Gods to which the sick of Greece can not say no.  What to say about anything else … the villas are super cared for. From the telescope to admire the sky to the small discreet pool that completes each terrace, from the privileged overlooking the bay of Amoopi carefully studied, passing through the garden that I envy (I have not yet succeeded in my home in Karpathos to grow much … .). And then there are Popi and Marianna: Popi young and stubborn, attentive and always present. His mother Marianna, however, is for me a “guardian angel”. It is she who helped me to organize the marriage on the ground of the shoe, checking, on the spot, that all the bureaucratic steps were in place. (PS: if you meet her, ask her when she chased a goat at five in the morning with a makeshift lasso). But what best describes the Silene Villas are the images that you will surely have already looked at.


I can only conclude with a final tribute to “my Karpathos”. You are the sea and the mountains: in fact, you pass from the tropical colors of Diakofti to the heights of Kali Limni (1200) where, in winter, snow falls. She is the makaruna made by the old woman in a kafenion and it is the kitchen of Poseidon that re-dresses international dishes. She is windsurfing and cycling, hiking and kite surfing. She discourages you at the beginning, trying to make you run away but then conquers you because she is too beautiful. And I, for this, I will always be grateful.


Paola – My Greek Salad @ my.greek.salad

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