From Italy to Paros with Love

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We’ve all encountered at some stage in our lives people who adore Greece but aren’t Greek themselves. Whether it’s passion for our culture or food, our language and history, and of course the love of Greece as a holiday destination. Since Lord Byron, the most notable Philhellene in modern history, people all around the world have been falling in love with Greece.

Italian Francesca Ambrosini is no exception. She fell in love with Greece from the first time she visited and more specifically Paros. Her passion for the island led her to create her website Living Paros, which is filled with breathtaking imagery so vivid in capturing the true essence of the island you feel like you are right there. There are also detailed tips and articles on everything the island has to offer including places to eat and explore, all accompanied by gorgeous photographs.

She also has over 10,000 followers on Instagram who are regularly treated to picturesque posts about Paros’s perfection, with Francesca recently announcing she will soon begin interviewing Italian visitors to the island about their lives and holiday experiences.

GCT had a quick chat to Francesca about her love of Paros, her gorgeous website, and her favourite holiday experience! 

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When was the first time you went to Greece?

My parents have always travelled a lot and they had already visited Greece in the 1970s. My first time there was in 1986, at the age of 11 years old, travelling all around the Peloponnese but also up to Meteora.  For me, it was love at first sight. I also have a very curious story from this trip. I used to collect small stones from the beach and in Tolo, I found one with a word written on it: Πάρος. That was more than 20 years ago.

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What made you fall in love with Paros?

I’ve been going there for the last 6 years. In Paros, you can have everything you wish- relaxation, nature, sport. Everyone may find their own ‘heaven on earth’ also in mid-August. It’s perfect for singles, young people and for those with kids, like myself.

How did the idea for creating a blog Living Paros come about? What is your goal for this blog?

Every year, as I came back from Paros, all my friends (especially the ones who are mums) started to ask me how to get there, so I would plan holidays for everybody. Italians on the island are always increasing. The purpose of my blog is to give them all the information they need, to put them in touch with local people but I also want to provide them with an amazing experience and for the holiday to exceed their expectations, like hiking or yoga sessions. It’s not only beaches, not only the seaside. If they ask: “what can I find in Paros?” I can tell them here you are: Livingparos is the answer!

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In your opinion, what are the top three things visitors to Paros should see or do?

Apart from the sea and beach life, it would be visiting Naoussa, strolling around Lefkes, and hiking to the lighthouse from Monastiri at sunset with a bottle of Moraitis in a backpack.

What is your favourite thing about Paros?

Everything I have mentioned, but the ‘aperitivo to the lighthouse’ is my favourite experience.

Making the Most of Your Time in Pretty Paros

Gina Mamouzelos

Gina Mamouzelos is a second generation Greek Australian who grew up immersed in her Greek heritage, including the language, traditions, culture and listening to her grandparent’ mesmerising tales about life in Greece. Passionate about ensuring the Greek language is not forgotten among the younger generations, in 2002 she became a panel member on the SBS Greek radio show ‘Let’s Talk Openly.' She graduated with a Media and Communications degree from the University of Sydney and has put her lifelong passion for writing to use working in social media, public relations and advertising. Gina now joins GCT's team as a writer.