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RHODES BETWEEN HISTORY AND NATURE-September 2018


Rhodes, there magical island, there island of the knights famous since ancient times for the mythical Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the most? great of the Dodecanese. The city? old, heritage of humanity? of the UNESCO,? one of the cities? best preserved medieval d? Europe and its interior meet East and West. Outside its walls c ?? the modern part of the capital that reveals its cosmopolitan aspect among magnificent beaches, splendid sea, incredible city views, delicious dishes and an exuberant nightlife.
Our journey will be dedicated to visiting Rhodes city, an excursion to Lindos built as an amphitheater and dominated by the acropolis located on the hill overlooking the bay and another excursion to the valley of the butterflies that come here to reproduce, a surprising natural reserve unique in its generally between streams and small waterfalls.

1 day

September 15th
After the night spent in Rome as our habit, we leave Fiumicino with a Blue Panorama flight at 11.30 and land at Rhodes Diagoras airport at 15.00. We reach our Hotel Esperia in a perfect central position, on foot you can easily reach both the new and the historic area of ​​Rhodes.
We are on the fourth floor in the main wing. away from the street below which houses shops and restaurants so quite noisy. There is also a nice hall and a swimming pool ... which we certainly won't use! Once the luggage is settled, we go to the nearby office which we find closed? .. opens Monday ??. Then we turn a little in the streets near the hotel in search of a restaurant and we find one that seems captivating in Nikiforou Mandilara the? GYROS ART ? also attracted by the sympathy of the usual character who lures customers! In fact, we were not wrong and the first approach with local cuisine? really awesome!
Dinner goes on long enough and we return to the hotel for a healthy rest.





2 day

September 16th
This morning half Mandraki. IS? one of the most? loved and popular among visitors and tourists.
Walking along the breakwater we pass three medieval windmills, which were used to grind the grain brought to Rhodes by merchant ships. The port that has a very ancient history, why? here ships and boats docked 2500 years ago, and? here which, according to ancient historians and legends, towered the imposing statue of the? Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of antiquity ?. Where once stood the feet of the immense statue, so? large that the ships could pass under it, today there are two tall columns on top of which a statue of deer (a male? Elafos? and a female? Elafina? ... par condicio), symbol of the city? of Rhodes, welcomes sailors. Near c? ? Forte S. Nicola built around 1400 and strengthened in 1460 which? also a lighthouse. After the siege of Rhodes in 1480, the Grand Master d'Aubusson added a bastion around the tower, transforming it into a guard fortress on the sea. Was this the key to the defense of the city? both in the first unsuccessful siege of 1480 and in the second and final event of 1522-23. We note a notable presence of cats and a kind of refuge for them with a sign that invites them to leave donations or food.
We walk back along the pier heading towards the entrance near the Torre di S. Paolo which leads to the medieval moat. The fortifications of the city? consist of a defensive belt around the city? old composed mostly? a fortification consisting of an embankment covered in stone with ramparts, moat, counter-scarp and rampart. The part of the fortification overlooking the port? instead it consists of a simple crenellated wall, while on the piers there are defense towers and forts. The moat? immense and partly excavated in the rock, of a width between 30 and 45 meters with a depth? which varies from 15 to 20 meters and houses hundreds of stone cannonballs. Did the fortification work begin? in 1312 but we will talk about this later. We walk along the moat observing the imposing silhouette of the Grand Master's Palace and passing under the bridge that leads to the Porta d? Amboise we go up to the Porta di S. Antonio arriving at Piazza Kleovoulou on which a wall armed with cannons looms, we cross some gypsies and we leave the Porta d? Amboise and along the external road we reach Eleftherias Square where we find people waiting for a parade of cars. It seems that Ferrari is also present. The waiting? long, under a scorching sun, then the cars arrive, a few Ferraris, a few Porsches and a Mustang preceded by a procession of? Vespa? of Piaggio and? Harley Davidson ?. We expected more ?! Mah!
The paving begins in a cobblestone called? Cat's tongue ?, present in other cities? Mediterranean Europeans, dar? many sufferings at our feet! On the other hand, they often form beautiful decorations.

Before continuing some news on the Knights of Rhodes.

? That of the Knights Hospitallers, born as Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, then known as the Knights of Cyprus, then as the Knights of Rhodes and later as the Knights of Malta,? a tradition that begins as a hospital order around the first half? of the eleventh century in Jerusalem. The monastic state of the Knights of Rhodes was an entity? territorial sovereignty of the Knights Hospitallers who settled on the island of Rhodes and remained there for 217 years (1305-1522). They came from Palestine and Cyprus, where they did not exercise temporal power: the first Grand Master was the French Foulques de Villaret (1305-1319).
source Wikipedia

Continuing we arrive at Piazza Symis where the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite and the Albergo della Lingua d? Auvergne are located (The residences or hotels are the representative palaces of the various languages ​​in which the knights were divided according to their nationality. established in 1319 by the Grand Master Elione di Villeneuve and were originally 7 in number: Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon, Alemagna, England - with Scotland and Ireland). In 1462 Castile and Portugal separated from the Aragonese language and formed the eighth)
Pi? ahead is the Argirokastrou square with a fountain in the center composed of a baptismal font and a column and on one side the old hospital built around the middle of the fourteenth century. by Grand Master Roger de Pins, of which? the coat of arms is visible on a plate embedded in the facade. The Ottomans used it as an Armory. We are cheered by the music of an elegant flutist! Beyond an arch we find on the left the church of Nostra Signora del Castello and the Archaeological Museum which we will visit on other days, while on the right the Via dei Cavalieri opens up (Od? S Ippot? N) a road 200 meters long where the inhabitants lived and worked. Knights. The high walls on both sides are framed by carved stone codes. On the right side we first find the residence of the knights of Italy, completed in 1519. Inside a carinated arch, between the windows of the upper floor, you can see the weapons of the Grand Master Ilario del Carretto. Continuing, always on the right side, is the Residence of the Knights of France. Then the church of SS. Trinit? which dates back to the time of the Grand Master Beranger (1365-1374). On the corner a canopy with a statue of Mary. Above the portal, surmounted by an ogival arch, the coat of arms of the knights of England and France and the papal coat of arms. Other coats of arms are on the facades of the residences.
The street ends with a loggia placed sideways (th century) which led to the remains of the church of S. Giovanni Battista in Collachium, a basilica with three naves with a trussed roof and vaults innervated by ribs on the transept and on the apse. Built in the fourteenth century. it was the main church of the Order.

We enter the Turkish quarter and see the remains of the Islamic School on which the Torre dell? Clock built on the foundations of a previous Byzantine tower in 1852 by a Pasci? of the Ottoman Empire. It is the point pi? high of the city? of Rhodes and allows a wonderful 360 degree view of the city? old town and its ancient walls. You reach the top of the tower via a narrow and steep spiral staircase, but the effort? amply rewarded by the breathtaking panorama not to be missed. We will visit it on another day.
Near c ?? the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent also known as the Red Mosques from the color of its walls was built in 1522 in honor of the sultan's victory over the Knights. Restored in 1808 with original materials of the time, it remains one of the most spectacular attractions of the city with its slender minaret. We set out for Od? S Socratus a? bustling shopping street overlooked by numerous shops and the Mehmet Aga mosque and we stop at Socratus Garden, a secluded café-garden full of greenery and fountains located at the top of the street. A cup of excellent ice cream for Bianca and a banana split for me! Then here are the Turkish Baths, the Sultan Mustaf Mosque? and that of Rejab Pasha and going up Via Pitagora you get to Piazza Platonos where there are three music bars for the more tourists? young people and where fashion and trends seem de rigueur. Continue to Piazza Ippocrate where the "Castellania" building overlooks, built by the Grand Master of Amboise in the early th century, also known as the Loggia dei Mercanti, restored in the Italian era. A staircase leads to a large terrace, the window? shared by a cross decorated with the lilies of France. To his left arms of d? Amboise. In the architrave of the entrance door an angel holds the arms of the order and of the Grand Master, on the left those of Villiers de l? Isle d? Adam. On the southern side three gargoyles in the shape of an animal. Today the external staircase leading to the upper floor? meeting place for tourists who relax while observing the lively square whose center? adorned with a small fountain from the Ottoman era.
Another important square in the Turkish quarter? Platia Evreon Marytron, with a small fountain with bronze seahorse statues and surrounded by numerous restaurants and bars. Nell? nearby flowerbed a stele remembers the? massacre of Jews in 1944. A few parrots on his perch!
Through the Porta Marina we go out of the old center and we find ourselves on the seafront with the Naillac pier at the bottom east of the Porta di San Paolo with its Tower built between 1396 and 1421 by the Grand Master Philibert de Naillac. It was used as a watchtower.
Let's go back to the hotel and then after a? Fish-pedicure? at Bianca's feet we go to dinner in the usual restaurant. To digest a night walk in Mandraki.



3 day

September 17th
Palace of the Grand Master
The original building went? destroyed in the earthquake of 1856 and what do we see today? a reconstruction of 1940. It was born as a fortress in the fourteenth century and then rebuilt during the Italian occupation and intended to accommodate Vittorio Emanuele III and Mussolini but none of them went? never in Rhodes; the restoration, however, was completed? only in 1940, a few years after the Treaty of Paris. Inside, precious mosaics from the island of Kos embellish the rooms that house magnificent Japanese vases, gifts from Emperor Hirohito to the Duce.
Inside it has a large porticoed courtyard, paved with stones from the Odeon of Kos.
The interiors are decorated with artifacts coming mainly from Rhodes and Kos and with Italian furniture. The first hall has sixteenth-century choir stalls and a late Hellenistic mosaic on the floor. Similar ? the second salon.
In the Laocoon room there is a copy of the homonymous sculpture, the original of which (in the Vatican) was probably sculpted in Rhodes. The adjoining Sala della Medusa has a Hellenic mosaic with the gorgon's head, Chinese and Islamic vases. The second transverse vaulted room, already? governor's office,? paved with a th century early Christian mosaic from Kos.
The largest room great ? called "dei Colonnati", from the two rows of arches resting on columns that support the ceiling, each on a different ancient bare capital; there are early Christian mosaics from the 1522th century. The mosaic pi? precious ? perhaps that of the Nine Muses, in the hall of the same name. After the Turks conquered the island in , the palace was used as a prison, the hat became a stable and the church a mosque. The Knights moved to nearby Malta given to them by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and since then they have been called Knights of Malta.
With the addition of 2 euros you buy the ticket to access the path on the ancient walls. Backbreaking hours: from 12.00 to 15.00?. Under a scorching sun?. Poor us!
Near c ?? the clock tower as mentioned previously, the point pi? high of the city? of Rhodes and allows a wonderful 360 degree view of the city? old town and its ancient walls. The top of the tower is reached via a narrow and steep spiral staircase. On the ticket? including a drink at the bar all? open place already? all? entrance to the site which also houses an ancient clock machine and a model of the area in special showcases. From here you can see the Suleiman Mosque very well. Note that l? last part of the tower? a little pending ?.
Reassured us the tiring tour of the walls awaits us? .. about 1200 meters!


The fortifications consist of a defensive belt around the city? old and were built by the Knights Hospitallers of San Giovanni by expanding the pre-existing Byzantine walls starting from 1309, the year in which they took possession of the island after three years of military actions to conquer the island. Like most of the defensive walls, they were built with the sack masonry technique that allows for a large mass capable of resisting the cannon and smooth outer walls to prevent it from climbing. The panorama over the city? rewards our effort.
We leave the Porta Akandia and crossing a small park we arrive at the church of S. Maria del Borgo, or rather what remains, probably destroyed during the siege of 1522. Only the three apses and a side chapel on the south side remain standing. . It was a basilica with three naves of which the central one had cross vaults and three pentagonal apses with half domes. The bases of the four columns that divided it from the lateral ones are visible.

We return to the seafront admiring the Gate of the Virgin Mary and that of Arnauld overlooking the Kolona Port and skirting the Port of Mandraki we arrive at the Murad Reis Mosque of 1522, surrounded by a grove of eucalyptus and palm trees that houses tombs of Turkish dignitaries all strictly facing east . The various marble stems are characterized by a pine cone for women and a turban for men. VI? Murad Reis, commander of the Saladin fleet, is buried. Does Bianca find it a bit dismal as a visit ?.
Nearby c ?? the Government Palace and the monument dedicated to the Colossus of Rhodes and a kind of sound box but in masonry.
We visit the Cathedral of? Annunciation that rises on the foundations of the Church of San Giovanni dei Cavalieri which went? completely destroyed in 1856 when the gunpowder depot housed in the basement exploded. When it was rebuilt it became the Catholic cathedral of the Archdiocese of Rhodes, but in 1947 it was converted into a Greek Orthodox church. The square-shaped bell tower houses 6 bells, one of which, the most? large, it was donated by the Navy. The sunset light that penetrates through the windows produces particular plays of light on the crystal chandeliers.
Are we going back to the hotel very tired? .Then to dinner. Full and tiring day!



4 day

September 18th
Even today a tiring day: the tour of the walls done externally before for? a? coffee? Greek? at the Socratus Garden then a visit to the church of S. Maria del Castello. Originally with a cruciform plan and covered by a dome, it dates back to the th-th century but? It was heavily remodeled by the knights and today has marked Gothic features.
Under the Grand Master H? Lion de Villeneuve (1319-1346) it was in fact transformed into a three-nave basilica with a transept, the dome and barrel vaults were replaced by cross vaults innervated by ribs and assumed the role of cathedral of the Latin rite . In the western part of the central nave there are still visible frescoes, those in the best condition depict St. Lucia which clearly recalls the Sienese school of the fourteenth century. and it was probably executed in 1320 by an Italian artist and Maria with the Child combining Byzantine and Frankish elements. There are also very interesting paintings on display. The annexed Byzantine art museum? unfortunately closed ... We retrace the Via dei Cavalieri and passing through the Porta di S. Antonio we exit through the Porta D? Amboise and entering the external road that runs along the walls.
The sequence of ramparts and doors begins.

BASTION OF S. GIORGIO
Pentagonal in shape,? one of the examples of the transformation of a gate into a bastion through subsequent modifications that took place until the final siege of 1522.

TOWER OF SPAIN AND SOIL OF SPAIN
Located in the southwestern area of ​​the walls next to the gate of Sant'Atanasio, it was entrusted to the knights of the Spanish language.

GATE OF S. ATANASIO
It takes its name from the church that is located inside the walls.
D? Aubusson had it closed in 1501, so the gate shows a lower level of fortification. IS? the one from which he entered? Suleiman after the fall of the city? making it reopen for the occasion and then having it bricked up again. On the outside the coat of arms of d? Aubusson inside the coat of arms of the Savoy and of the governor Alessandro De Bosdari. Through the door we enter the city? to see a very small church, that of St. Athanasius, different from all, with a narrow and rectangular nave with a barrel vault. Inside there is practically nothing in terms of benches or chairs or windows, it looks like a bunker; on the bottom you can see a kind of diagonal altar with a masonry niche that was in fact the Mihrab which, inside a mosque or building, indicates the direction (qibla) of Mecca and a wooden altar with the usual candles and ancient sacred images. Very interesting in its simplicity.


TOWER OF THE VIRGIN MARY
Built in 1441 by Jean de Lastic, whose weapons are carved next to those of the order under a bas-relief depicting the Virgin embedded in the outer wall,? reinforced by a bastion with mouths for artillery.

PORTA DI ARNALDO
IS? a small and double door dating back to 1391 which gives? access to the hospital of San Giovanni, today the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes.

LAND OF ENGLAND
Located on the south side of the walls between the gates of Sant'Atanasio and San Giovanni, the embankment of England was entrusted to the knights of the English language.


PORTA DI S. GIOVANNI also known as Porta Rossa
Above the door, next to those of the order, the coat of arms of d'Aubusson. It was defended by four rectangular towers and a strong outer bastion. A double dam overhangs the walls on both sides of the gate.
The Italian troops entered through this door in 1912. On the left a plaque, now removed but whose collection? still visible, he remembered the event.

BASTION OF THE CART
Also known as the Bastion of Italy, it was severely damaged during the siege of 1480 and entirely rebuilt between 1515 and 1517 according to the indications of the Vicentine military engineer Basilio della Scola and dedicated to the then Grand Master. A massive keep? protected by a grandiose circular bastion (15 meters in diameter) on which? embedded the coat of arms of Fabrizio del Carretto.

PORT OF AKANDIA
It was opened in 1935 by the Italian administration to connect the commercial port to the southeast area of ​​Rhodes beyond the city. medieval.

GATE OF S. CATERINA
Also known as Porta dei Mulini, it allowed the passage from the commercial area of ​​the city? to the grain mills on the harbor quay.


PORTA MARINA
Was it the main access to the city? from the port. Its defensive towers have a bigger task. of representation and defense, given the small space between the stretch of water and the port, no army would ever have been able to launch an attack from this side of the walls.

PORTA DELL? ARSENAL
It was built in the 14th century by the Grand Master Juan Fernadez de Heredia as evidenced by the coat of arms above it. In 1908 the Ottoman administration had the two side towers demolished to widen the access road to the port of Kolona. Today thanks to the direct connection with the Gate of freedom? also allows the rapid transit of vehicles between the port of Kolona and the city? new.


GATE OF S. PAOLO
Built in the middle? of the fifteenth century allowed access to both the city? fortified than at the port of Kolona. The Porta was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War and was rebuilt together with the Porta Marina in 1951.



DOOR OF FREEDOM?
It was opened by the Italians in 1924 who gave it the name feeling they were liberators of the island from the Turks. ? the main gateway to the port of Kolona and connecting the ports of Kolona and Mandraki. While being modern? built respecting in outline the architectural canons of the medieval doors. The road that crosses it continues through the Porta dell'Arsenale.
Along the way white makes friends with a kitten!
Is that enough for today? Tomorrow excursion to Lindos a suggestive place? along the east coast of Rhodes situated on a cliff boasting its own Acropolis.

5 day

September 19th
The embarkation pier is located in front of the heptagonal building Nea Agor? which housed what was once the fish market. Under the arcades that run along the side overlooking the harbor, there are cafes? and various shops.
At 9 we embark on the waterjet Discovery to go to Lindos which we will reach in about two hours, stopping for a swim in this splendid sea. We occupy two seats on the upper deck to fully enjoy the journey. In truth? the coast? fairly barren, almost no greenery, but its wild appearance has a certain charm. Stop in the green emerald green waters of Anthony Quinn's bay, original set of the film? The cannons of Navarone? From 1961, which was filmed right on this beach which, at the end of filming, was purchased by the main protagonist: Anthony Quinn, in fact . In 1990 the same actor returned? the beach at? island, what for? has kept its name. The bay lies between two ridges rich in Mediterranean vegetation. The green ? finally present! A mirror of sea with iridescent colors in blue, turquoise and green, a small beach of sand and pebbles, some groups of rocks and rocks smoothed by the wind and the sea, all set in a natural setting of great scenographic effect, with high surrounding hills green with pine trees and Mediterranean scrub. We are almost excited, we do not take a bath since our stay in Crete in 2011 or rather we bathed in Cuba in 2017 but without enthusiasm because as on the Romagna coast you had to travel a few hundred meters to find a little deep sea. I change the wet swimsuit and spread it out in the sun and wear shorts but a gust of wind makes it fly away, leaving so? a memory of mine in this beautiful sea! Still sailing towards Lindos where we arrive around 11.30.
From the sea the view? spectacular! White houses built as an amphitheater on the slopes of the hill on the top of which the Acropolis stands out at a height of about one hundred meters. The slope gradually rises from north to south and? interspersed with four plateaus. Gi? on the first we take a breath and enjoy the beautiful panoramic view. The most? tiresome ? the climb to the Castle of the Knights of Jerusalem. At the top we cross the entrance door and down we feel immersed in antiquity! Altars, pedestals, a wall on which 26 restored columns rest all represent the remains of the? Sto ?? Hellenistic. L? imposing Doric temple dedicated to Athena Lindia stands on the fourth plateau and stands out against a clear blue sky. On a stone I see two fossil remains. In front of us there is a magnificent panorama over the rooftops of Lindos and the bay of St. Paul. Small fall on the archaeological remains? .. but without consequences for me and for the photographic equipment, only peeling on the knees and bruising on the right little finger. M? went well! Lindos has 800 inhabitants and there are no cars in its historic center! For the descent we opt for a congenial means of transport in the? island: the donkey! The journey is pleasant but I make a small mistake, I pronounce the Greek word? PAME? what does it mean? donkey starts to accelerate! Luckily his master stops him in time! Suddenly we do it on foot and we see the small church of S. Giorgio all white.
The motorboat leaves at 14.30pm and we have plenty of time for a light breakfast as we will make another stop for a swim. A look at the Church of the Panagia full of interesting frescoes and with a beautiful bell tower and then we head towards the pier where a hostess carefully washes the feet of travelers so as not to smear the decks with sand.
We resume navigation and make another stop at Anthony Quinn's bay for a second swim. Enjoyment to the fullest! Finally it still gets on the skin!
We continue along the Tsambika beach characterized by a very wide coastline nestled between two imposing rocky promontories and the thermal baths of Kallithea which contrary to what can? to suggest the name, I'm not a Spa n? a spa. The denomination? Terme? derives from the fact that in ancient times? here thermal waters gushed out, but at the moment there are no establishments that exploit them
We arrive in Rhodes around 18.00 fully satisfied. We just have a nice shower and then dinner. Near the restaurant there is the orthodox church of S. Maria Vergine. This Orthodox church, even if in reality? arose on a previous Catholic basis,? practically a gospel painted with in pi? the various saints pi? popular with the Greek people. Recently restored it shows a truly surprising richness

6 day

September 20th
Excursion to the Valley of the Butterflies.
Unique in the world, the Valley of the Butterflies owes its name to the huge number of butterflies that flock to the Petaloudes area in the summer, from the Greek meaning of butterfly, 27 kilometers from Rhodes city? and 5 kilometers southeast of Theologos village, in the western part of the island between streams and waterfalls.
This Valley? among the most? attractions of the island and allows you to walk among streams, waterfalls and rich vegetation. The huge number of butterflies, millions,? recalled in the summer, especially in August. They belong to the species of? Panaxia quadripunctuaria ?, they are mainly nocturnal and for this reason they rest during the day and thanks to the humidity? and the vegetation present in the area mate and are forced to emigrate twice a year and often have to cover long distances which requires a lot of energy. Considering that in the period spent in the valley they do not feed, we understand how the quantity? of energy available to them is very limited, that's why? we will see many standing on the trees to rest. A brochure given to us at the entrance invites us to avoid all sorts of noise and to speak in a low voice so as not to disturb them. A small river, called Pelecanos, flows downhill. through a narrow valley, which ends with a waterfall that falls into a green pool. The zitia forest, a kind of tree, expels an aromatic grape that is said to attract butterflies. The valley covers an area of ​​about 60 hectares and? part of the protected area that takes the name Natura 2000.
We leave by bus at 9.30 and after an hour we are at the entrance of the 1,3 km long path that leads uphill, through paths and bridges, to the monastery of Panagia Kalopetra at an altitude of 370 meters. Stroll along the verdant gorge among small waterfalls, ponds and butterflies? pleasant even if quite tiring. Last 300 meters and we are at the monastery. Built in 1780 in the same location as the original one which dated back to 13? century. It was founded by Alexandros Ypsilantis during his exile in Rhodes. Ypsilantis was a Greek prince, ruler of Wallachia and Moldavia, engaged in various wars against the Ottomans. The church ? very simple single nave with 2 blue painted domes with white stars, the walls are plain, the chandelier gold plated? unique, the silver hanging lamps and bronze candlesticks are very beautiful, the iconostasis? in carved wood and beautiful are the various icons and paintings scattered on the walls. In the center of the square a beautiful orange. From here, we can enjoy a magnificent view over the valley, the coasts of Rhodes and some of the islands of the Dodecanese. like on the Turkish coast. In truth? the descent we prefer to do it with the little train that connects to the bus station which, in perfect time, takes us back to Rhodes at 15.30.
A nice bucking! We prefer to rest in the hotel after a quick breakfast. Regained the strength we go around to buy souvenirs to take to Italy and then c? we walk along the coast towards the area north of the city? or the extreme tip of? island. Many bathing establishments and a lot of wind! A glimpse of the casino? definitely retro? and then we head towards l? Aquarium that we will not visit since I informed myself and not? not interesting at all. We have seen better ones! Initially born as a marine biological institute,? a Greek aquarium, established in 1930 in the city? of Rhodes, under the domination of the Kingdom of Italy, built by the architect Armando Bernabiti.
Instead we are curious to see the sculpture dedicated to Diagora the famous Greek boxer of which I found historical notes.
? Diagora of Rhodes was the son of Damagetes. He belonged to the very noble Eratidai family, which occupied an important role in the political and social life of Rhodes. He was famous for his formidable physical strength and athletic talent, which allowed him the exceptional feat of winning in all four Panhellenic games, as well as in numerous local competitions.
His biggest undertaking? famous was however the victory in the boxing competition of the Olympic games of 464 BC, following which the VII Olympiad of Pindar was dedicated to him, he was celebrated as a hero in Rhodes and a statue was erected in Olympia.
Was it an athlete who got rich? enormously with the participation and victory of an incredible number of competitions. In addition to the victories in Delphi, Corinth, Olympia and Nemea, his prestigious curriculum included prizes from many other competitions, including those of Athens, Argos, Thebes, Aegina and Megara. Of course, he wasn't the only one who took advantage of the opportunities? offered at the time. It would be enough to go back to the many epigraphs found or to the literary sources to get an idea of ​​the dimension of the phenomenon.
Diagora had three sons, who on the same day won the Olympics, one in boxing, one in pancrazio and one in wrestling. According to Aulus Gellius, Diagora's joy for the triumphs of her children was such that after receiving their hugs she died. Diagora also had a daughter, Callipatera, famous for having transgressed the prohibition of female participation in the Olympic games: discovery, she was pardoned in honor of her father, giving rise to the regulation of nudity? Olympic.?
SOURCE WIKIPEDIA
The waves break on the dock in front of us. Inattentive tourist takes an unexpected bath!

7 day

September 21th
Let's go and Elli Beach for a nice swim. Unfortunately we do not find the sand but many, many pebbles! What a suffering! Not that we love sand but we just can't stand pebbles! In spite of ourselves we adapt to take a nice swim in this sea which, even off the coast,? however splendid! Factory equipped in an exemplary way!
Back to the hotel for a shower then a hearty snack and we go to the Archaeological Museum housed in the former hospital of the Knights of St. John located at the beginning of the Via dei Cavalieri. Built in the 40th century but completed after years thanks to the arrival of the Grand Master D? Aubusson,? a rather simple building with a large arcaded courtyard and spread over three floors. Eight simple arches support the external facade with a single central element that breaks this rigor: a recessed decorative Gothic arch. In the courtyard is a statue of a lion with a bull's head between his paws. Inside the building there is a large collection of epitaphs from the post-Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Knights of St. John period as well as a huge number of interesting statues including two Kouros and two Aphrodite (the smaller of which I century BC is known as Aphrodite of Rhodes) and a large collection of urns and vases. A th century funerary stele depicts two women (probably mother and daughter) whose names according to the inscription on the stone were Krito and Timarista. There are artifacts from ancient Ilyssos and Kamiros, sculptures from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, as well as mosaics from the age? Hellenistic of the city. In the large patient room, carved tombstones of Knights, knightly emblems and a Roman sarcophagus used for the tomb of the Grand Master Kornegian are exhibited. A part ? dedicated to the reconstruction of a medieval house.
Dinner tonight? also a farewell from our friends of the restaurant: Manolis, Giorgio, Spiros, the owner and Marianna with whom we make a short video.
Tomorrow we return to Italy.

8 day

September 22th
Preparing for the trip and waiting for the taxi to take us to the airport we do a nice fish-pedicure in an elegant restaurant near the hotel. Given the martyrdom caused at my feet by the kilometers traveled on the cobblestones of Rhodes, the cleaning fish will have something to eat!
Run to the airport but? ... there plane is three hours late! No comment?.

PURELY PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS ABOUT RHODES
Trip wanted mainly to visit the city? ancient with the really interesting medieval old town. Lindos and the Valley of the Butterflies were a winning combination. Make a judgment on Rhodes mi? difficult...? beautiful, sometimes very beautiful, but something is missing to be beautiful. The multitude of shops and restaurants around you are unnerving, even too many, but then I realized that chaos is part of Rhodes. I did not appreciate the lack of attention to the urban environment such as the poorly maintained streets and sidewalks. But the crystal clear and clean sea, the breathtaking views have partially filled these gaps.

Audio Video RHODES BETWEEN HISTORY AND NATURE-September 2018
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