' Sifnos '
At the Cycladic landscape civilization flourished through the daily routine,
the celebrations, the religious festivals, the whitewashing of the house
taking care of the cobbled lanes, the maintenance of the dry stone walls in
the fields, the wise cultivation of the land, the creation of works of art
for clay, the picking of the olives, the meeting with the saltiness of the
sea. The houses harmoniously woven knitted with the natural landscape even
today emphasize the need for the respect of the civilization with which they
with the passing of the centuries.
at Sifnos island, one still can find routes lined with stones, forests with cedar-trees
and oak-trees, lentisk and olives groves, sand hills and sea plants (like
little lilies) which are threatened with extinction from the Mediterranean
coasts. Today we are invited to pass into a future which is much friendlier
towards civilizations and the environments which were both created and
respected by previous generations.
Sifnos, the birthplace of perhaps the best known chef and food writer,
Tselementes, and of Markou, another highly esteemed of Greece, has a
delicious local cuisine. Make sure you try some of the local
such as revithokeftedes (chickpea-balls), manoura or mizethra (local
cheese), ambelophasoula, a local variety of beans accompanied by skordalia
(a thick spread of sauce made of garlic), chickpeas cooked in the oven,
salad with locally produced capers, and lamb cooked in mastelo (special
ceramic pot). The Sifnian home-made cookies and pastries are famous; many of
these; such as biscuits, almond cookies, little pies filled with local
cheese and the local variety of sesame snaps, you can find the traditional
bakeries and pastry shops on the island, as well as in some restaurants.
is the rampart of development and propagation of pottery in the area of the
Cyclades. The first samples of pottery art date back to the early Cycladic
period (small statues, decorative items and utensils) and this art continues
since then until today. Initially, the pottery shops were located in the
inland, near Artemonas and Ano Petali, in order to be protected from the
invasions of pirates dominating in the Aegean Sea. Later, they were
transferred to the island's bays and particularly to those protected by the
strong north winds.
The Sifnian people diffused their art all over Greece while many pottery
shops were established by Sifnians or by people having served as their
apprentices. Today there are still more than twelve pottery-making shops
throughout Sifnos, contributing in continuing the tradition of our
ancestors. So, the island's visitor may find wonderful decorative pots made
by the skilful hands of Sifnian potters, who since many centuries have been
working with craftsmanship and devotion the Sifnian soil, shaping objects of
unique beauty and art.
Equally worth mentioning is the Sifnians contribution to the sciences and
the Greek literary
tradition. As someone wrote, "if, in ancient times, Sifnos's wealth was
measured by the gold and silver it
in the last two centuries it can be measured by its cultural output."
indeed, the island can boast a large
number of Sifnians who contributed to the social development and
reconstruction of the modern Greek state: politicians, teachers, religious
leaders, journalists, lawyers and economists. And
we shouldn't neglect to mention the local literary tradition that has become
an integral part of the literary tradition in Greece, and which still
remains vibrant today.
Known as the "Poets Island", Sifnos has given birth to such poets as Ioannis
Gryparis, Cleanthis Triantaphillou (also known as Rambaya), Aristomenis
Provelengios, Stelios and Theodosios Sperantzas, Titos Patrikios , and Nikos
G. Stafilopatis, the editor of the Anthology of Sifnian Poets the collection
of folklore songs and carols which won the Greek Academy's Prize, as well as
the playwrighter Manolis Korres, the folklorist Manos Philippakis.
At the summer months the centre of nightlife is
but there are picturesquely little café and bars almost in all villages.
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