The Art Workshop Pizzeria
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.