Under the protection of the gods

Western civilisation was born at the foot of the Acropolis. The future of civilisation perhaps too, as Athenian creativity reaches towards tomorrow.

Athens, the city of the gods. Officially founded in 800 BC, it is one of the oldest cities in the world, although men, charmed by the beauty of this site like no other, began to leave their marks here in the Neolithic age, several thousands of years ago.

During the past century, travellers have tended to use it only as a stopover. Few have had the good taste to stay, other than for two or three days. They reproached it for its sweltering heat and incessant din. But now all of that is in the past. In the space of ten years, the city has been transformed completely.

The streets at the foot of the Acropolis, by becoming pedestrian, have become real promenades, among the most beautiful in Europe. As for the Parthenon—literally ‘the abode of virgins'—its magnificence has never shone so much upon the rest of the city, which has made it its absolute symbol.

The past inspires the present, not as nostalgia but as a source of national pride. Athens lives, Athens vibrates, Athens creates. Athens is being reborn. Its very creative designers are brilliant and recognised internationally. They invent the restaurants, hotels, houses, furniture, clothes, and objects that the rest of the world observes with envy.

If all roads lead to Rome, then all eyes turn to Athens, magnetised by a capital that shines with an almost supernatural light, born from the union of the sun and the Mediterranean. Wherever they are cast, these glances and gazes are struck by the consistency, the link that this Greek youthfulness is renewing with the gods of its past—even if this youthful outlook has not been spared, in recent years, from social and economic crises.

Here, more than elsewhere, the flamboyance of yesterday becomes the strength of today—and also tomorrow.

Insight video - Discover Athens and surroundings
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