Hidden alongside the town of "Mavromati"translated means Black Eye, lies Ancient Messini which is in the southern Peloponnese and apx 25 klms from the major city of Kalamata.You may have heard of the famous Greek Kalamata olives which come from this region. As it is not well advertised very few tourist visit the ancient city. For just a few Euro, you can take hours to walk through the entire city or just rest sitting in the ancient theater.You may even be lucky enough to catch a play in the open air theater during the summer months .As you enter the ancient city you can see the Acardian gate ( a wall that circles the city which is still in good shape). Here it is said that Alexander The Great Horse left his hoop print in the granite entrance to the gate. True or Mythology? you be the judge.
After your trek to the ruins you can enjoy a wonderful meal at cafe Ithomi, which is owned by Niko Kountouris. From his external verandah which sits high above the ruins you obtain a full view of the ancient city whilst enjoying a cold beer of a glass of local wine. Niko speaks excellent English and serves up quality meals for very little money.As you leave Mavromati and still have the energy to explore why not visit the ancient monastery on the top of the mountain which is apx 2 kilometers from the town and is rarely visited by tourists. Even the local's only get there once a year around easter time. It dates back to apx 740AD and is still in reasonable condition. From there you can see the Kalamata bay and an uninterrupted 360 degree view of the area.In addition you can explore the Monastry in Valira (the neighboring town) which still has 2 monks and is full of history without the tourist trade.
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