Town and Family

Green-grocer’s markets aren’t the only markets around. When you want to find amazing deals and little trinkets of history, where do you go? The flea market.

Situated in Monastiraki (little chapel), it sits right under the Parthenon, a constant reminder of the rich history Athens has. It also gave them the opportunity to put their Greek skills to the test!

After some bartering, and a few tavli (backgammon) sets later, the group had light lunch at Falafel House. From there, it was a walking distance via Thisseio and Kerameikos cemetery, the resting site of ancient Athens, to the buses, which took them to the Foundation of the Hellenic World, whose mission is “the preservation and dissemination of Hellenic history and tradition, the creation of an awareness of the universal dimension of Hellenism and the promotion of its contribution to cultural evolution.” Participants were taken to “Tholos”, a dome-shaped Virtual Reality theatre, where they were taken on a digital, interactive tour of Athens.

Having spent some time downtown, taking in as much of Athens as they possibly could, it was time to spend the evening with family. Peers and staff opened up their homes, showcasing what true Greek “φιλοξενία” (hospitality) is all about. It was a touching night, as participants bonded with their hosts.

Trifonas Asproulis was a peer who embraced the idea of a host family dinner. For Clare Clifford, “I feel like I am family. I feel like I am home. I am so happy I had an opportunity to experience a true Greek homemade dinner with these amazing people.”

Sharing the sentiment, Amara Grubor said, “I feel so lucky to have had this dinner and experience. The food, love and hospitality were incredible. It’s amazing how our culture breeds us to make strangers feel like family.”

For Marcel Isper, it was a familiar environment. “This dinner reminds me of the dinners I have at home, where my Dad sings and we just sit around the table having dinner, just like we did today. I felt welcomed the second I stepped through the door and I definitely felt like I was a part of the family.”

Stefi Trivyza was another of this year’s peers that graciously held a dinner, for no less than 6 participants! Kalli Vellis was very enthusiastic. “Stefi was a great host. I loved meeting her family and friends! By far, it’s my been my favorite night of the program.”

Kristen Vrionis chimed in and agreed. “I loved going to Stefi’s home and meeting her family and friends. We all had a great time eating souvlaki, ice cream and drinking Greek wine. It was one of my favorite nights of the program!”

Michael Taormina loved the social aspect of the dinner. “I love to meet new people. Not only did we get to meet her family and her friends, but they were also very nice and friendly.”

Alexis Grias enthusiastically complimented Stefi on her hosting. “Not only is Stefi a great peer, but she is also a great hostess! Herself, her family and friends were so fun and it was great to meet other Greek people and just drink and socialize with good food for hours.”

Lucas Bennett echoed the sentiment. “Stefi was a great hostess. She showed us a really cute kitten that she rescued and then gave us a delicious meal. She also introduced us to her family and some of her local friends, and everyone was super nice and welcoming.”

Getting to know others over food is a staple Greek experience. Sophia Callanan was happy to be part of the host dinner. “It was so nice being able to spend a night with Stefi’s family and friends. We had so much fun getting to know each other over delicious souvlaki. This experience is definitely going to be a night to remember!”

Noah Duclos thoroughly enjoyed and understood the value of the host family dinner. “I really enjoyed having dinner and exploring the local suburb with our host family. It went a long way toward continuing to feel integrated in the local community, especially in a context away from the program at large.”

A night to remember for all involved, new families were made, friendships that will last for life. This is what Heritage Greece is all about.


Monastiraki square! From left to right, the old mosque, the Acropolis, Metro station.


Exploring ancient Athens in an interactive experience at Hellenic World.


Host family dinner with Art Dimopoulos!

Host-family-dinner-with-VP-Dimitrios- Andreou-and-Vassia-Comis!

Host family dinner with VP Dimitrios Andreou and Vassia Comis!


Host family dinner with Ariadne Koutitsa!


Host family dinner with Stefi Trivyza!


Host family dinner with Trifonas Asproulis!

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