My husband and I will be traveling to Greece for 10 days in late August with our two college age sons. We will on a sailboat cruise for a week and then have 3 nights/4 days to explore. I have been told that Plata is a fun neighborhood in Athens and close to the Acropolis ( should I buy tx before hand and any restaurant reservations recommended?) We especially like Italian. How about nightlife suggestions with enough English to have us understanding what is going on? Any shopping markets worth checking out? I heard that Plata is a funky neighborhood with lots of great restaurants and shops. I am looking at the Electra Metropolis Hotel. Any other suggestions? I know that it will likely be very hot out trekking around. I am thinking of renting a car and driving to Sparta for an overnight at a local hotel and fun area. Any suggestions? My kids love playing basketball if anyone knows if there are indoor or outdoor courts any place that they could access? We won't last with ruins sightseeing for long due to the heat but want to know must sees in Athens and Sparta. Is it a nice drive to Sparta from Athens? Any safe fun neighborhood and hotel suggestion in Sparta too? Any sports events in late August in Athens or Sparta? All suggestions extremely appreciated!