When I trace back my memory to my childhood, I always remember the summers that I used to spend in my grandma’s house in the old city of Nafplio. I was young and curious to discover the heart of the beautiful old town. For an unexplained reason, something was dragging me every time to explore the small side streets, the blossoming balconies and the small passages that were created by the red and white bougainvilleas. I was climbing up the stairs, I was losing myself to the narrow alleys and I was trying to find my way to the Psaromachalas square. At the end, when I was finally reaching my goal, I used to sit beneath the old town fortification in order to enjoy the magical view of the fortress of Bourtzi, the spot of “the Five Brothers”, the beach, the “Banieres” (an area that formed a natural swimming pool), the Argolic gulf, the hill of Akronafplia.
Walking throughout history
Nowadays, the scenery remains almost the same. Many of the houses of the old town have small doors and windows that are dated to the years of the Ottoman Empire. If you love photography, you will be more than pleased while walking around the old city. The area of Psaromachalas is probably the oldest area of the town and the rumor has it that the name derived from the fishermen (“psaras” means fisherman in Greek) that used to live there since the Byzantine times.
When taking a tour around Nafplio, you can discover the hill of Akronafplia, the church of St. Spyridon and the Syntagma Square. It is up to you.
As a part of the Orthodox Easter celebrations, the picturesque alleys around Psaromachalas are full of people due to the liturgy of the Holy Friday, that is held partly outdoors. The magical scenery is set by the decorated Epitaph (the symbolic bier of Christ), the sound of the choir and the lit candles that everyone is carrying. If you happen to be in Nafplio these days, follow the procession of the Epitaph through the streets and you won’t regret it.
If you visit Agia Sofia, a little church hidden between the narrow alleys near Labrinidou str. (which is a Byzantine monument of the 11th century) don’t hesitate to follow the small passage on the right part of the church. As you come down, you will find Kapodistriou str. where the church of St. Spyridon is located.
How to get there
By car, as you come up from the rampart of the “Five Brothers” towards Nafplia Pallas hotel, you will reach Psaromachalas square.
Otherwise, at the end of Farmakopoulon str. you climb up the stairs. (Beware, they are a lot!)