Visit to Vergina and Guided Tour of the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai 
 

Vergina is a small town located 75 km from Thessaloniki. It has enjoyed worldwide renown in the past few decades, owing to the discovery there of the ancient city of Aigai, the ancient capital of the Macedonian kings, and their cemetery. Of particular note are the tombs of the royal dynasty, most notably King Philip II and a young prince who is identified as Alexander IV, and a cist grave. The royal tombs were discovered in 1977-8 by the archaeologist Manolis Andronikos, Professor at Aristotle University.

Tour of Thessaloniki
 

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city with a population of more than 1 million inhabitants. Founded by the Greek Macedonian King Cassander, the city was named after his wife who was also the half-sister of Alexander the Great. During the Roman period, it was the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia, while during the Middle Ages it was the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire, a fact that accounts for its significant archaeological sites and Byzantine churches. For 400 years it was part of the Ottoman Empire, until it was freed in 1912. The peaceful co-existence of various populations, such as Greeks, Turks, Jews, and Armenians, among others, made it an important hub of multiculturalism. Influences in architecture, music and gastronomy are still felt and appreciated in the contemporary, forward- looking version of the city.

Trip to Ioannina
 

“Unseen is Yanina, though not remote,
Veil’d by the screen of hills”

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto II, stanza 52

Tracing Lord Byron’s routes, the conference offers an additional trip to the city of Ioannina in Western Greece on 4-5 July 2020. Ioannina was Ali-Pasha’s capital visited by Byron in 1809. Surrounded by the majestic mountains of Epirus, Ioannina is located near lake Pamvotis, often compared to a “pupil of an eye” due to its vital importance to the city. The city’s cosmopolitanism is still evident in the castle, churches and minaret that adorn it. In our quest for a memorable and nostalgic adventure, we are going to visit the Byzantine Museum and the Museum of Ali-Pasha, which is located on the island of the lake.