Lovely, Lively Nafplio!

My Lonely Planet guidebook had it right in saying, “For better or worse, the secret is out about Nafplio, one of Greece’s prettiest and most romantic towns.” Though increasing in popularity at an alarming rate, it’s easy to see why; Nafplio is the kind of town one could easily get sucked into, to meander through eternity on its narrow winding streets, gelato in hand.

One of the more touristy, but still lovely, streets in Nafplio.

These bright red flowers were EVERYWHERE in Nafplio! I just loved them!

Taken off of a square in Nafplio.

Pretty much everything about this town is charming. The main tourist drags get a little obnoxious, but they’re definitely avoidable, and it’s not hard to find an authentic experience elsewhere in town.

Another square in Nafplio, with the amazing Palamidi fortress looming in the background.

A perfect way to spend an afternoon at the waterfront in Nafplio! Baldwin's "Another Country" is so searingly good I can barely put it down.

The small island castle of Bourtzi, illuminated by what I like to call "Jesus rays."

There’s also a distinctly funky, artsy vibe to much of Nafplio. Boutiques selling fun jewelry and cute dresses line the streets, and the place I was staying gave me a purple room with green decor.

It also featured a mirror with three panels to it, which I naturally used for the sole purpose of making three times as many funny faces at myself.

Indeed, Nafplio does have an Italian tinge to it. Gelato joints are everywhere you look, and one in particular is quite famous. It’s called “Antica Gelateria di Roma,” and is just that. It’s real, Italian-style gelato, and it’s the best I’ve had outside Italy. I got half pistachio and half coconut, and didn’t object to the dollop of real whipped cream served on top. It was so good I went back again my second night, and got a traditional cream flavor instead, which was equally delightful. But it’s not just the gelato that gives off this vibe—Italian restaurants are all over the place, and even those that don’t market themselves as “Italian” have more pasta dishes than most regular Greek restaurants.

Paradise!

Though Italian food was prevalent, I opted for the Greek classics since I only have a month and a half left to do so. The stuffed grape leaves in this region seem to be served differently from those in Thessaloniki. Here, they're much bigger, and they come served in a salty broth.

A towering rendition of classic Greek salad!

The little alley taverna where I had the dolmades and Greek salad.

And if gelato’s not your cup of tea (who are you?!), then you can get… CUPCAKES! I kid you not. After nine months of ghastly withdrawals, I finally got my cupcake fix. On 25 Martiou street, near the Palamidi fortress,there’s a little cafe called Liz’s Cupcakes. I did a double take when I found out it existed, as cupcakes haven’t quite hit the Greek dessert scene yet, to say the least. Peeking in the window, I saw a cute and thoroughly pink cafe with cupcakes in an old-fashioned glass counter display. Score! I purchased two kinds: Bailey’s flavored, and classic chocolate with vanilla frosting. And it’s not just the cupcakes that are lovely; the owners are too! Next time I’m in Nafplio, I’m going back for the BIG box.

Meet Alex, from Liz's cupcakes! I was so happy to see the cupcakes I wanted to hug him, but I settled for taking his picture instead.

Alex took this shot of me in the store and posted it on their facebook page, in an album entitled "Happy Customers." Indeed!

I also stumbled upon the street market, and was delighted to see some new produce hitting the stands. Greek food is all about seasonal produce. If it’s not in season, you won’t see it on the plate in most Greek households (which I love!). Two newcomers I noticed were zucchini blossoms and artichokes.

"But honey, I don't have enough money to buy ALL the zucchini blossoms..."

If you think they LOOK good, you'd love the smell! Mmmm!

Grape leaves! Otherwise known as future dolmadakia. Mmm. Dolmadakia.

This produce vendor had strawberries strung up like Christmas lights across the front of his stand.

When I asked if I could take a picture of this stand of zucchini blossoms...

...The vendors laughed, stood one of the zucchinis on end in the middle, and promptly engaged in two of Greece's very favorite pastimes.

To sum up Nafplio in a word, I’d pick… delightful. It’s simple, pretty, and traveler-friendly… and did I mention it has cupcakes?! Nafplio is a must on any trip to the Peloponnese.

(Wrap Me in Phyllo Dough is not liable for any eternities actually spent wandering Nafplio’s narrow winding streets, gelato in hand.)

Με αγάπη,

Kate

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About wrap me in phyllo dough

travel addict. greece-obsessed. grad student. bottomless pit.
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14 Responses to Lovely, Lively Nafplio!

  1. AJ says:

    Jerry and I had some lovely pink grapefruit sorbetto the other evening- so incredibly yummy that I actually regretted getting chocolate! And you know how I feel about chocolate…

  2. Alex says:

    Be our photographer at Liz’s Cupcakes™. Please! 😉

  3. Liz says:

    Not to mention that the guy who owns the cupcake place is particularly handsome!!! 😛

  4. Gorgeous photos! Good for you for eating all the Greek food you can–always a great plan.

  5. Gorgeous photos! This place looks amazing. And the food. How do you say mama mia in Greek?

    • k8peterson says:

      Thank you! I just drooled over your artichoke post, as I am a total artichoke junkie. I’m planning to write a post soon about a dish called artichokes & rice, which is cooked in the Mani region of the Peloponnese. It’s a killer dish, and if you’re a fan of artichokes, you’ll love it!

  6. Alex says:

    Haha! It’s «Μάμα-μία». Greek for erm… “Mama-mia” !

  7. Pingback: Lovely, Lively Nafplio! » Greece on WEB

  8. You have been to Liz’s cupcakes!!! I loved them! 🙂
    Great post!!

  9. Vicki de Polo says:

    Great Article !! I am also a huge fan of Liz and her cupcakes ! And even though you did not join us for a meal.. you managed to get a great shot of our little place.. THANX … Hope that you will be able to join us again in Nafplio !!
    Popeye Cafe XXX

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