Kar­pa­thos

An island im­bued wi­th le­gends

Avion Tourism Airport Magazine - - Contents - di | by An­na Glik

Kar­pa­thos è la per­la del Do­de­can­ne­so. Do­di­ci so­no le iso­le dell’ar­ci­pe­la­go gre­co spar­pa­glia­te nell’Egeo su­do­rien­ta­le, che dal gre­co ap­pun­to pren­de il no­me di Do­de­can­ne­so; ma ve ne so­no an­che al­tre nu­me­ro­sis­si­me pic­co­le, ognu­na con la pro­pria fi­sio­no­mia e la pro­pria sto­ria. Quel­lo che le ac­co­mu­na so­no i li­to­ra­li in­can­te­vo­li, una gran­de va­rie­tà di pae­sag­gi e monumenti di straor­di­na­ria im­por­tan­za ri­sa­len­ti, ol­tre che al pe­rio­do dell’an­ti­ca Grecia, al pe­rio­do Bi­zan­ti­no e Me­die­va­le. Se Kar­pa­thos non è tra le più fre­quen­ta­te e no­te iso­le dell’ar­ci­pe­la­go, ha sa­pu­to pro­prio per que­sto con­ser­va­re ele­men­ti del­la tra­di­zio­ne che la ren­do­no af­fa­sci­nan­te. Un’iso­la ric­ca di pas­sa­to e mi­to­lo­gia. Qui tut­to af­fon­da in un an­ti­co pas­sa­to e nel­la mi­to­lo­gia: all’iso­la ave­va ac­cen­na­to Ome­ro nell’Ilia­de, qui se­con­do il mi­to vi­ve­va Gia­pe­to, uno dei Ti­ta­ni, fi­glio di Ura­no ( Cie­lo) e Gea ( Ter­ra) e qui sem­pre se­con­do il mi­to, la dea Ate­na sa­reb­be na­ta dal­la te­sta di Zeus. Po­sta tra le più no­te Cre­ta e Ro­di, Kar­pa­thos è co­mun­que la se­con­da iso­la per gran­dez­za del Do­de­can­ne­so e mol­to ric­ca ol­tre che di mi­ti, di am­pie di­ste­se ver­di: pi­ne­te, oli­ve­ti, vi­gne­ti, frut­te­ti so­no di­ste­si qua­si ovun­que sul suo ter­ri­to­rio cir­con­da­to da un in­con­ta­mi­na­to ma­re tur­che­se e dal­le co­ste dis­se­mi­na­te di grot­te do­ve vi­ve il ra­ro esem­pla­re di fo­ca mo­na­ca me­di­ter­ra­nea ( mo­na­chus mo­na­chus).

Esplo­ra­re l’iso­la tra sug­ge­sti­vi vil­lag­gi e chie­set­te bi­zan­ti­ne

Ca­po­luo­go e por­to dell’iso­la è Pi­ga­dia, co­sì chia­ma­ta per la pre­sen­za di nu­me­ro­si poz­zi ( dal no­me gre­co pi­ga­dia), che ac­co­glie il tu­ri­sta all’en­tra­ta del por­to con un’im­po­nen­te ru­pe al­ta 23 me­tri ( Vou­nòs) con i re­sti dell’an­ti­ca acro­po­li. Sug­ge­sti­va la Grot­ta di Po­sei­do­ne, una tom­ba mo­nu­men­ta­le ri­ca­va­ta nel­la roc­cia. Mol­ti so­no i pae­si e i vil­lag­gi che cir­con­da­no la cit­tà, luo­ghi ri­ma­sti in­die­tro nel tem­po: Ape­ri ad esem­pio, a po­chi chi­lo­me­tri da Pi­ga­dia, un tem­po ca­po­luo­go e cen­tro cul­tu­ra­le dell’iso­la, co­strui­to in mo­do che non si po­tes­se ve­de­re dal ma­re e non es­se­re co­sì as­sa­li­to dai pi­ra­ti, con una col­li­na su cui si tro­va­va l’Acro­po­li di Kar­pa­thòs an­ti­ca da cui si go­de una vi­sta pa­no­ra­mi­ca; Othos, ar­roc­ca­to su un’al­ti­tu­di­ne di più di 500 me­tri, vil­lag­gio fa­mo­so per le sue sa­gre e fe­ste tra­di­zio­na­li; Le­f­kòs, con la sua straor­di­na­ria Acro­po­li; Me­so­cho­ri, al cen­tro dell’iso­la, con le ca­se dai cor­ti­li pa­vi­men­ta­ti a ciot­to­li e or­na­te di ra­ri tes­su­ti e ri­ca­mi lo­ca­li fat­ti a ma­no. Tut­ta­via mol­te per­so­ne si re­ca­no a Kar­pa­thos so­lo per vi­si­ta­re Olym­pos, uno dei più bel­li e in­te­res­san­ti vil­lag­gi di tut­ta la Grecia, co­strui­to in pie­tra na­tu­ra­le co­me di­fe­sa per­ché non po­tes­se es­se­re av­vi­sta­to dai pi­ra­ti, pe­ri­co­lo co­stan­te nel pas­sa­to: pres­so­ché uni­ca la sce­no­gra­fi­ca di­spo­si­zio­ne del­le ca­se, ad an­fi­tea­tro per non fa­re om­bra l’una all’al­tra, e da se­co­li gli abi­tan­ti non han­no cam­bia­to sti­li di vi­ta né i bel­lis­si­mi co­stu­mi tra­di­zio­na­li, un ve­ro mu­seo et­no­lo­gi­co vi­ven­te. A Olym­pos ogni fa­mi­glia ha an­co­ra, co­me ai tem­pi re­mo­ti, il suo mu­li­no e la sua chie­sa. Il Vil­lag­gio di Me­ne­tès è fa­mo­so per aver da­to i na­ta­li a mol­ti suo­na­to­ri e co­strut­to­ri del­la ti­pi­ca li­ra di Kar­pa­thòs, stru­men­to ama­to fin dall’an­ti­ca Grecia. Qui si tro­va la Chie­sa del­la Dor­mi­zio­ne del­la Ma­dre di Dio, la più fa­mo­sa dell’iso­la, e so­no da am­mi­ra­re an­che le chie­set­te bi­zan­ti­ne di Agios Ma­mas e di Agios An­to­nios.

Pia­ce­vo­le tem­po li­be­ro da tra­scor­re­re tra spiag­ge, sport e de­gu­sta­zio­ni

Il Vil­lag­gio di Ma­kris Gia­los at­ti­ra in­ve­ce i sur­fers per le sue spiag­ge e i ven­ti fa­vo­re­vo­li ( non a ca­so in epo­ca ome­ri­ca Kar­pa­thòs era co­no­sciu­ta co­me Ane­moes­sa ( sfer­za­ta dai ven­ti, tra i qua­li fa­mo­so il Mel­te­mi, so­prat­tut­to nei me­si esti­vi). A Kar­pa­thòs un tem­po era uni­ta Sa­ria, una pic­co­la iso­la og­gi di­sa­bi­ta­ta, do­ve ades­so tro­va­no ri­pa­ro un gran nu­me­ro di uc­cel­li ra­pa­ci, ol­tre al­la fo­ca mo­na­ca me­di­ter­ra­nea. E do­po una gi­ta sot­to il co­cen­te so­le me­di­ter­ra­neo, non re­sta che se­der­si a uno dei tan­ti ti­pi­ci caf­fè per sor­bi­re, ma­ga­ri as­sie­me agli abi­tan­ti lo­ca­li, una taz­za di caf­fè gre­co o un bic­chie­re di re­tsi­na, il ti­pi­co vi­no bian­co aro­ma­tiz­za­to con re­si­na o un ou­zo, il li­quo­re di ani­ce dif­fu­so in tut­ta la Grecia, ser­vi­to con ghiac­cio.

Kar­pa­thos is the pearl of the Do­de­ca­ne­se. The­re are twel­ve Greek islands scat­te­red in the sou­th- ea­stern Ae­gean Sea, whi­ch are kno­wn as the Do­de­ca­ne­se; but the­re are al­so nu­me­rous other small ones in the area, ea­ch wi­th their own cha­rac­ter and hi­sto­ry. They all ha­ve in com­mon en­chan­ting bea­ches, a wi­de va­rie­ty of land­sca­pes and mo­nu­men­ts of ex­traor­di­na­ry im­por­tan­ce that da­te back not on­ly to the era of An­cient Greece, but al­so the By­zan­ti­ne and Me­die­val pe­riods. Kar­pa­thos may not be one of the mo­st po­pu­lar and well- kno­wn islands of the ar­chi­pe­la­go, but, pre­ci­se­ly for this rea­son, it has been able to pre­ser­ve tra­di­tio­nal ele­men­ts that gi­ve it its charm. An island ri­ch in pa­st and my­tho­lo­gy. He­re eve­ry­thing is im­mer­sed in an an­cient pa­st and in my­tho­lo­gy: Ho­mer men­tio­ned the island in the Iliad, ac­cor­ding to le­gend Ia­pe­tus, one of the Ti­tans and son of Ura­nus ( Sky) and Gaea ( Ear­th), li­ved he­re and, again ac­cor­ding to le­gend, the god­dess Athe­na was born he­re from the head of Zeus. Po­si­tio­ned bet­ween the bet­ter kno­wn islands of Cre­te and Rho­des, Kar­pa­thos is ho­we­ver the se­cond lar­ge­st of the Duo­de­ca­ne­se islands and is ri­ch not on­ly in le­gends, but al­so in ex­ten­si­ve

ver­dant areas of pi­ne fo­rests, oli­ve gro­ves, vi­neyards and or­chards. It is al­so sur­roun­ded by an un­spoilt tur­quoi­se- blue sea and a coa­stli­ne scat­te­red wi­th ca­ves whe­re the ra­re Me­di­ter­ra­nean monk seals li­ve ( mo­na­chus mo­na­chus).

Ex­plo­re the island among char­ming vil­la­ges and By­zan­ti­ne chur­ches

The chief to­wn and port of the island is Pi­ga­dia, whi­ch took its na­me from the ma­ny wells ( from the Greek pi­ga­dia) found in the area. It wel­co­mes tou­rists wi­th an im­po­sing 23- me­tre cliff ( Vou­nos) at the en­tran­ce of the port and the re­mains of an an­cient acro­po­lis. A stri­king at­trac­tion is Po­sei­don’s Ca­ve, a mo­nu­men­tal tomb dug out of the rock. The­re are ma­ny to­wns and vil­la­ges that sur­round the ci­ty, pla­ces that ha­ve been fro­zen in ti­me: Ape­ri, for exam­ple, a few ki­lo­me­tres from Pi­ga­dia, on­ce chief to­wn and cul­tu­ral cen­tre of the island, built so that it couldn’t be seen from the sea and the­re­fo­re at­tac­ked by pi­ra­tes, wi­th a near­by hill on whi­ch the an­cient and pa­no­ra­mic Acro­po­lis of Kar­pa­thos is si­tua­ted; Othos, per­ched at an al­ti­tu­de of over 500 me­tres and a vil­la­ge fa­mous for its tra­di­tio­nal feasts and fe­sti­vals; Le­f­kòs, wi­th its ex­traor­di­na­ry acro­po­lis; Me­so­cho­ri, in the cen­tre of the island, wi­th hou­ses that ha­ve cob­bled cour­tyards and are de­co­ra­ted wi­th ra­re fa­brics and lo­cal hand- ma­de em­broi­de­ry. Ho­we­ver ma­ny peo­ple co­me to Kar­pa­thos ju­st to vi­sit Olym­pos, one of the mo­st beau­ti­ful and in­te­re­sting vil­la­ges in all of Greece, whi­ch was built in na­tu­ral sto­ne as a de­fen­ce so that it couldn’t be seen by pi­ra­tes - a con­stant dan­ger in the pa­st. The spec­ta­cu­lar lay­out of the hou­ses - in the sha­pe of an am­phi­thea­tre so as not to ca­st sha­do­ws on other buil­dings - is prac­ti­cal­ly uni­que, and the way of li­fe and beau­ti­ful tra­di­tio­nal co­stu­mes of the in­ha­bi­tan­ts ha­ve re­mai­ned the sa­me for cen­tu­ries, ma­king it a li­ving mu­seum. Ea­ch fa­mi­ly in Olym­pos still has their own mill and chur­ch as they ha­ve had for cen­tu­ries. The Vil­la­ge of Me­ne­tès is fa­mous for being the bir­th­pla­ce of ma­ny players and con­struc­tors of the Kar­pa­thos ly­re, an in­stru­ment mu­ch lo­ved sin­ce the ti­mes of an­cient Greece. He­re, the Chur­ch of the Dor­mi­tion of the Mo­ther of God, the mo­st fa­mous of the island, can be found, as well as the small By­zan­ti­ne chur­ches of Agios Ma­mas and Agios An­to­nios.

Plea­sant free ti­me to spend bet­ween bea­ches, sports and ta­stings

The Vil­la­ge of Ma­kris Gia­los in­stead at­trac­ts sur­fers be­cau­se of its bea­ches and fa­vou­ra­ble winds ( in Ho­mer’s era Kar­pa­thos was kno­wn as Ane­moes­sa mea­ning gusts from the winds, in­clu­ding the Mel­te­mi, espe­cial­ly du­ring the sum­mer mon­ths). Kar­pa­thos was on­ce joi­ned to Sa­ria, a small uni­n­ha­bi­ted island and to­day a good pla­ce for spot­ting nu­me­rous birds of prey, as well as the Me­di­ter­ra­nean monk seal. Af­ter a trip un­der the scor­ching Me­di­ter­ra­nean sun, all that re­mains is to sit at one of ma­ny ty­pi­cal ca­fe­te­rias to sip, pe­rhaps wi­th a few lo­cals, a cup of Greek cof­fee, a glass of re­tsi­na, the lo­cal whi­te wi­ne fla­vou­red wi­th pi­ne re­sin, or an ou­zo, an ani­seed li­queur wi­de­ly found th­rou­ghout Greece, ser­ved wi­th ice.

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