The Art Work­shop Pizze­ria

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The piz­zas served at the Art Work­shop Pizze­ria at 31 Ayias Fi­lax­eos Street Li­mas­sol are very spe­cial. The pastry is thin and crisp and all in­gre­di­ents are of the high­est qual­ity – Ital­ian pro­sciutto and moz­zarella, the right flour for the dough, fresh toma­toes and the finest lo­cal olive oil.

This is ba­si­cally a take-away pizze­ria, but for max­i­mum ap­pre­ci­a­tion of a freshly made pizza, one can eat on the spot. There are a cou­ple of ta­bles in­side for win­ter use and a cou­ple out­side on the wide pave­ment for warm weather.

There are cur­rently 19 piz­zas on the menu, amaz­ingly priced at be­tween 3 and 7 eu­ros. My favourite, af­ter half a dozen vis­its, is called Mara, which has a top­ping of toma­toes, an­chovies, capers and, of course, gar­lic!

The Art Work­shop Pizze­ria which opened in June 2013 is staffed by a merry band of vol­un­teers who work un­der the pro­fes­sional guid­ance of Ste­fano Paci. Most of the piz­zas are named af­ter the vol­un­teers who helped to “de­sign” the make-up of each one. How come this tiny bit of Italy should ex­ist on a busy Li­mas­sol street? The ini­tia­tive for the pizze­ria comes from Ste­fano. He has been a res­i­dent of Cyprus for 13 years and hails from Fano, a small town on the east coast of Italy. He is an em­ployee of the Theotokos Foun­da­tion and is the founder and man­ager of the Art Work­shop ad­join­ing the pizze­ria. All prof­its from the pizze­ria con­trib­ute to the fund­ing of the work­shop to sus­tain its in­struc­tional and ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties.

The work­shop pro­vides a happy at­mos­phere for the Theotokos Foun­da­tion res­i­dents with “spe­cial abil­i­ties”. Here they are helped and guided by a qual­i­fied de­sign team to de­velop and ap­ply their la­tent artis­tic skills. The work­shop also acts as a fo­cal point for oth­ers work­ing in the same field and as a venue for sum­mer school and in­ter­ac­tive art work­shops through­out the school sea­son. It also has a suc­cess­ful commercial side, mar­ket­ing a wide range of at­trac­tive ob­jects made by the stu­dents – cards, coast­ers, vases, per­son­alised gifts and or­na­ments for cor­po­rate events, chris­ten­ings, wed­dings, etc. Ex­ports to EU and US are also ex­pand­ing nicely.

The Theotokos Foun­da­tion was founded over 40 years ago through the in­spi­ra­tion of Dr Ameri­cos Ar­gyriou with the aim of pro­vid­ing ba­sic care and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to people with se­vere men­tal disability. The scope of the Foun­da­tion has been vastly ex­panded over the years to in­clude additional res­i­den­tial ac­com­mo­da­tion, day care, in­te­grated hous­ing units and a child de­vel­op­ment cen­tre “To Alma” – Early Child­hood In­ter­ven­tion Cen­tre.

Ste­fano, his art de­sign team, the pizze­ria and its vol­un­teers are all a part of an in­cred­i­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion. It brings sup­port and a new mean­ing to the lives of many who were born dis­ad­van­taged.

Sug­ges­tion: Go and have a tasty pizza and, while you wait (not long!), view the fas­ci­nat­ing out­put of this wor­thy and in­cred­i­ble en­ter­prise.

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