advertisement

Nafplion has not escaped the invasion of mass-produced souvenirs that threatens to overwhelm Greece, but you'll also find some genuinely fine handicrafts for sale here. No shop that I recommend is more than a 5-minute walk from the central square, Plateia Syntagma. As in most Greek towns heavily dependent on tourism, some of these shops close in winter. Year-round, the weekly Saturday market occupies most of the road alongside Kolokotronis Park, from around 7am to 1pm. You can buy everything from handsaws to garlic here.

For a wide range of handcrafted jewelry, try Preludio, 2 Vas. Konstantinou just off Plateia Syntagma (tel. 27520/25-277). Almost everything here is made and designed by the helpful owners, who travel as far away as Afghanistan and Australia to find fine gemstones. Two doors away at 4 Vas. Konstantinou, Cleopatra Pomoni at Morphes sells handsome wooden chests, antique locks and keys, jewelry, and other objets d'art.

You'll know that you've found To Enotion, on Staikopoulou Street (no phone and no street number), when you see a window filled with museum-quality reproductions of characters from the Greek shadow theater -- from country bumpkins to damsels in distress. The smallest of the colorful marionettes begins at about 20€. A few doors along, Nafplio tou Nafpliou, 56A Staikopoulou (no phone), sells icons showing virtually every saint in the Greek Orthodox church.

The Komboloi Museum, 25 Staikopoulou (tel./fax 27520/21-618; www.cs-net.gr/komboloi), is on the second floor of a shop selling komboloi, usually referred to as "worry beads" (and priced from a few to many thousand euros); museum admission is 2€. Premier Jewelry, at 19 Vas. Konstantinou (tel. 27520/22-324), also has a wide selection of komboloi.

Konstantine Beselmes, 7 Ath. Siokou (tel. 27520/25-842), offers magical paintings of village scenes, sailing ships, and idyllic landscapes. Although new, the paintings are done on weathered boards, which gives each a pleasantly aged look. A few doors away, Agynthes, 10 Siokou (tel. 27520/21-704), has hand-loomed fabrics that look and feel wonderful; some are fashioned into throws, bags, and scarves.

The Odyssey, Plateia Syntagma (tel. 27520/23-4300), has a wide selection of newspapers, magazines, and books in English, as well as a startling collection of pornographic drink coasters. This is also a good place to pick up a copy of Timothy Gregory's Nafplion (Lycabettus Press); although printed in 1980, this remains the best guide to the city's history and monuments.

The Karonis Wine Shop, 5 Amalias (tel./fax 27520/24-446; www.karoniswineshop.gr), is an excellent place to head if you want to browse and learn about Greek wines and/or Cuban cigars from owner Dimitris Karonis. If your tastes run to honey, stop at Nektar and Ambrosia, 6 Pharmakopoulou (tel. 27520/43-001), for a wide selection of delicious organic honey products and herbs.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.