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There is no way I visit the island of Kea without passing from Ioulida, the capital of the Cycladic island known also as Tzia.
In the past I used to stop to the taverna of Rolando. Rolando came to Kea from Corfu. He has left his restaurant at Benitses to his children and has followed his wife Chryssoula to her native island. They work side by side from spring to winter. Rolando has brought to Kea a cosmopolitan air sustained by a smiling face and a warm handshake. He speaks English fluently.
The menu includes local cuisine and house specialties from Corfu: Pastisada rooster, Beef sofrito, Bourdeto.
I used to visit Rolando’s balcony for lunch. While eating I would enjoy the passage of locals stopping by to exchange a greeting with my hosts. Sometimes, from the neighbouring tables the chairs would come closer to participate in the discussion, while Rolando continued his coming and going to look after us. Apart from his cooking, it is his way that wins his clients, his his personal stamp.
Rolando gives me the feeling that he has sprang out of a page of fiction, from an era when travelers used to stop at the inns when they were traveling on horseback or on foot.
Three decades after his installation in the island Rolando in 2015 moved his restaurant to the port of Kea, Korissia. He continues to welcome us with his usual good spirit surrounded by his friendly family and staff.
The central square of Ioulida continues to house tables from the nearby tavernas.
The neoclassical building of the Town Hall dominates in the square. It was built in 1902 at the time of Gregory Ieromnimon. The services of the Town Hall have moved elsewhere and a Music School is installed there. The roof of the neoclassical mansion, ex Town Hall, decorate statues and the stairs flower pots.
Here in the square, on the Good Friday before the Orthodox Easter, is the meeting point for the four epitaphs, flower decorated tombs, coming from the four churches of Ioulida. The procession followed by the lit candles of the community marks a moment of spiritual and collective uplifting.
“The square is considered to be the south end of the historical centre because from there stand the more recent parts of the settlement. Up to this point, we meet a few middle class houses sparsely interspersed between the popular Cycladic houses, above and below the central road (house of I.Gleoudis, the group of houses of the Ieromnimon family, Rediadion). This therefore confirms the idea that Katochori was inhabited by the upper and middle class trade and craftsmen. The Cathedral of Ioulis, Dimotikia (annunciation of Virgin Mary) dominates Katochori.”
Tassos Anastassiou, Kea, History Sightseeing, guide book, Hermoupolis 2007, p. 79
Walking downhill I make a stop at the lilliputian church in which one person barely fits.
Whoever visits the Archaeological Museum at Chora has the privilege of a unique voyage in time and art. Get informed about the opening hours to avoid the unpleasant experience of a closed door.
If you do not make it to the Museum you may visit my corresponding blog post.
The Museum houses the Kores found at the archaeological site of Agia Irini. https://urbantraveltales.com/2012/08/08/the-daughters-of-kea-and-ayia-irini-οι-κόρες-της-κέας-και-η-αγία-ειρή/?preview=true&pr
In the autumn and in winter, when the coasts are not a priority, you may grasp the opportunity to walk and photograph, to explore inland. The paths of Chora, the trails that lead to the Lion and much more. You may navigate my blog for ideas.
If all of the above fail to seduce you, there is still the sunset.
Updated October 10, 2017
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