Guide to Nafplio

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First stop in a visit to the Peloponnese is Nafplio. The region is full of charming little ports, most of which – like Yithio in the Mani or Pylos at the far reach of the region, overlooking the sea where the Battle of Navarino was fought in 1827 – remain pretty undisturbed by anyone except Greeks. Nafplio is more cosmopolitan, but is still an enchanting town. Greek towns have a happy talent for visual harmony, think of all those blue and white Cycladic towns, and Nafplio has a wonderful faded elegance. It’s a popular town, but delightfully so, and in the early evening it puts on a wonderful display as the town turns out to parade up and down, and stand and gossip in the main square while children start impromptu football matches. The ambitious scale of the square is surprising; however as it turns out, Nafplio, for a very brief period after the declaration of the modern Greek nation, was the capital, with a royal palace and real power. They’ve been living off their glory days for nearly two centuries in a mood of decaying nostalgia. The most celebrated and visited places here are, naturally, the ancient Greek remains.