Santorini, an erupted fragmentation of what used to be Strongili, is now one of the most beautiful islands among the Greek Cyclades. The simplistic architecture of white and blue domed houses adorns the steep cliffs encircling the caldera. Also famous for being the world’s largest caldera, it provides for the most impressive views when prime real estate is situated nearly four hundred meters above sea level. As a word of advice- don’t expect any family member to believe the picture on the postcard.
One feature will stand out right away, and that is the practically uniform blue and white paint. So why, might you ask, are the colors blue and white so pervasive across the islands? To the surprise of many, there is an answer.
During the plague that scorched Europe five hundred years ago, powdered lime was frequently spread over dead bodies in an effort to contain the disease. While most European countries distributed the powder form, the Greeks relied on a liquid variation. Consequently, they used it to paint their houses as a precautionary/sanitary measure. Lime, in addition to supposedly combating the plague’s spread, was reasonably priced enough for the majority of Greeks to use in large quantities. The affordability of lime more than anything explains its wide popularity; however, as an added (and possibly unintentional) benefit, the white color reflects the penetrating rays of the sun. This way, most stark white homes can be kept relatively cool during the hot summer months.
Why then does blue accent the doors and windows in a sea of stark white property? Due to the blinding aspect of islands painted entirely in white, another color was needed to break up an otherwise monochromatic fiasco. And for many of the same reasons white was used, blue quickly became the standby hue. While lime is a very inexpensive mineral suitable for paint, so is cobalt blue. Because of the cost factor, blue paint is used most often by the spendthrift residents of Greece. Unlike the typical American Home Depot addict, Greeks typically don’t have much expendable cash for home decoration and repair.
Aside from its rich historical background, Santorini is an excellent destination for sightseeing. Traveling between Santorini’s thirteen villages is easily accomplished by 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sedan rental car, although the public bus system is highly efficient as well. The seaside village of Fira has great shopping and dining opportunities as well as providing some of the island’s most stunning views. No matter which town you visit, there are sure to be plenty of street venders insisting you try their free samples. Coming from experience, it seems there’s never a bad offer.
Considering the landscape, architecture, and delectable eats, what more could a place have to offer? If you’re looking for a relaxing environment inhabited by friendly people this summer, pick Santorini as your ultimate vacation destination.
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