Tasteful Rhodes by Dimitri Stathopoulo

No matter how many times I have been left to the magic of its places, it is never enough and I want to go back, even for a while. The beautiful mountains, the traditional villages, the hidden Italian era buildings, the bewildering beaches and local taste never disappoint. On this trip I pass by the Road of the Knights and the Palace of the Grand Master. I stayed a bit more in this impressive Gothic-style building with the intensely Renaissance elements, once a hospital of the Knights, and today houses the Rhodes Archaeological Museum. Where five centuries ago was the hospital, today there are two ancient Greek sculptures, Kouros from ancient Kamiros. There, in the medieval narrow streets, near the Gate of Agios Athanasios, i found another reason to be left behind in the magic of the Old Town of Rhodes.
In the heart of the Rhodian vineyard. We started in the direction of Mount Attavyros, on the west side of the island, an area where one can see vines that go beyond the eye level. Rhodes had the great luck not to be afflicted by "phylloxera" and for this its vineyards are still up to now. In the back of my mind was the information about the famous Rhodian amphora with seals on both their handles. Next to Emponas, I visited wineries, "telling the story" of the modern history of Rhodian wine. Everyone should visit and taste. Apart from the wines, however, the visitor deserves to taste the Rhodian souma and the traditional Rhodian liqueur Koriandolino, with ouzo base and coriander beans, which in its bottle always contains a candied cilantro casserole to flavor it. In Apollona there is a stop for a meal at Paragas. The building that once housed the Italian officers' club, the Efthimiou family make their way out of three impressive wood-fired ovens wiht delicious food. Here we tried amazing goat with chick peas. In the Apolloniatisses Women Cooperative you will get melekouni , a local paste-bar from sesame  with a strong taste of spices, which are always offered as a treat for weddings, most often served on a lemon leaf. I spend the afternoon  in the Holy Monastery of Archangel Michael in Moni Thari  southwest of the village of Laerma, on a verdant hill, is one of the dozens of surprises that the island has to the visitor. The inland tour continued with a stop in the Asklipio. We started from the high and climbed up to the castle, which was built by the Knights of St. John in the 15th century, to control the passage but to protect against pirate raids. In the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, in the center of the village, there is the unique hagiography of the Dodecanese with snapshots of the book of Apocalypse, dating from the 17th century. Right next to it there are two spaces that are really worth visiting, although this can only be done by arrangement: the Kellia, the old storehouse of the church, where the large clay jars with oil were kept, which are saved today, and the old olive press of the village, are typical examples of the traditional architecture of the region and tell the history of local economy and gastronomy.
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