Piraeus (Athens), Greece
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Approximately 4 Hours
Athens's ancient agora, or marketplace, was once an eclectic mix of private housing and public spaces until Peisistratus thoroughly reorganized it in the 6th century BC. As one did in the ancient world, Peisistratus pulled rank and continued to live on the agora, but he wasted no time evicting the other residents turning the area into the epicenter of Athenian government. He also built a drainage system, fountains and a temple to the Olympian gods. Cimon later improved the agora with new buildings, trees, and temples for Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo. The law courts were also located here, and ancient custom dictated that when a court case was being heard, any citizen who happened to be passing by could be forced to serve as a juror. The Scythian Archers -- an early version of a mercenary police force -- often wandered through the agora specifically looking for jurors. Needless to say, the area was given a wide berth by those who were at all gainfully employed. Because history repeats itself, during Byzantine times, Athens' agora once again became a residential area and is now one of the city's most visited landmarks.
You will take a leisurely stroll with your guide to see the main highlights and absorb the remarkable and fascinating history, but keep an eye out for Scythian Archers!
Next, you will continue to the historical center of Athens, the Old Town area known as the Plaka. Its labyrinthine streets are full of endless fascination.
Step inside a local restaurant for a chance to sample Greek mezedes (appetizers) and the licorice-flavored ouzo liqueur (keep an open mind -- even if licorice is not top of your taste preferences, you might be surprised!) before you return to the port.
Available for Vista-class ships only. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience. Wear sturdy non-skid walking shoes.