AMORGOS, the easternmost island of the Greek Cyclades is a stunner,
with whitewashed houses, trestled alleyways and fiery rust sunsets ...
Kevin Raub in New York Post, 2010

Dimitris “Parvas” Kafeneion in Chora

Dimitris Kafeneion, Chora - Photo by Sylvia AlbertiWhat a nice feeling is reaching Chora from Katapola following the beautiful 3.5 kms monopati (trail) passing through silent hills, whitewashed chapels and springs. The walk takes you up at the plateia (square) where the bus from Katapola stops.
And now you deserve a relaxing place where to drink an iced cappuccino frappe and rest your body! There is a good choice of kafeneions by Chora’s bust stop but… ONE is a legend!

It’s “Dimitris Kafeneion”!

When my daughter and I noticed it we never thought we were actually stopping at THE place full of memories! I chose it because from the outside (and the inside even more) it looked very local and authentic, the menu written only in Greek and a few elderly people playing cards and sipping their coffees in a sort of good old days atmosphere. I immediately perceived a sort of nostalgic feeling looking at the many faded photos on the wall showing a pierced dark eyed man with big moustache and wearing a beret!

I thought … Who is he???

“Einai o Parvas” (he is Parvas) … someone said reading my mind!! I noticed a happy looking elderly man sitting alone who then introduced himself as Kostas. We sat with him and he started unveiling the story behind the mysterious character on the photos. His name was Dimitris Giannakos, better known as “Parvas” and before passing away, he was the owner of the kafeneion together with his wife Flora and their daughter Dina, who is nowadays running the place!

Dimitris Giannakos "Parvas"

Dimitris Giannakos "Parvas"

Parvas’ long life was spent between the solitude of his field and the cozy kafeneion and as our new friend Kostas said “he was so photogenic and gifted of a unique personality that photographers and directors discovered him and he even had a role in the film Le Grand Bleu”!

But that was only the beginning of becoming the Amorgos celebrity … later on he played himself in the poetic film “Parvas agonh grammh” by Gerasimos Rigas which shows his simple life in Amorgos day after day in a sort of journal! The film itself (only in Greek) is a real treat for anyone who loves the most authentic and real aspect of the Island!

Here is a YouTube video showing a short extract…

“Parvas, Agonh grammh” ΠΑΡΒΑΣ ΑΓΟΝΗ ΓΡΑΜΜΗ – Film Homepage

We thanked our friend Kostas, took a photo of him promising a copy and paid our bill to Dina, the daughter of the legendary Parvas and left. What a sense of a sweet nostalgia … next time you pass by it, have a coffee and if you see him there, ask friendly Mr. Kostas to tell you this story all over again…

Sylvia

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2 Comments

  1. Bradley August 1, 2011

    Sylvia, thank you! I too love that kafeneion, but I did not know its history. Your photographs are wonderful! Have you ever visited Moschoula’s traditional kafeneionjust off the upper plateia in Langada? I think you and your daughter would like it too!

  2. Author
    Sylvia August 1, 2011

    Bradley , I am very happy you liked it and if you can get hold of the DVD do get it!It is wonderful and a touching kind of documentary of Parvas daily life…I just got mine on the mail.I missed Moschoula’s kafenion while in Langada..certainly on my list for next time!
    Thanks for your hint!:o)))

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