My wife is a jeweler and a pretty good one too. Everytime we go to Athens she
stops at Byzantino and looks in the window for half an hour, admiring their work.
"These guys are the best" she says.
What do I know?
One day she went in to meet them. I chose to go to the corner cafeneon and have an
ouzo and read the paper. She returned really excited. "The reason their pieces are so amazing is because the
owners are the artists themselves!"
"Yeah so?" I yawned.
They make their own jewelry. They don't buy it from a factory like 99% of the other
shops. And they do amazing work!"
Her idea was that by putting them on my site I would be adding to my own credibility
as someone with good taste, even though when it comes to jewelry I have no taste. I took her word for it and put
them on my site.
Now they are my best friends in Athens. George and Kosta are the nicest guys I
have ever met. Not only are they master craftsmen but they are also epicurians who know the best tavernas and we
have a wonderful time when we go out with them. (I want them to open their own restaurant). Laura is stunningly
beautiful and fun to hang out with on those slow days when nothing is happening and I stop by the store to say
hi. Kostas knows more about anything than anyone I know. From music to massage to ancient scripture, he is an expert
and when I leave, my pockets are full of diagrams and notes on whatever subject he happened to lecture me on that
day. I still don't know anything about jewelery but I love Byzantino.
Greetings. I just wanted to echo your fine write up of the folks at
Byzantino in the Plaka. Laura has been extremely helpful to me on more than
one occasion, and has educated me on the Greek Jewelry making and
differences. I have purchased several pieces from Byzantino, and have
received nothing but compliments on all. Each time I am in the Plaka, I
also stop and visit Byzantino. When in Athens, there is no other jewelry
shop for me! I was lucky to stumble across Byzantino, as I didn't research
your website first. A musuem replica of a cross caught my eye, and I walked
out of there with three pieces, a friend of mine four pieces, and another
friend, one piece. I bring all to this shop that I can, and am enclosing a
picture of a handcrafted ring that I purchased at Byzantino. You have a
I just wanted to thank you for recommending Byzantino’s Jewelry Store in the Plaka. I recently returned from my first visit to Greece and absolutely fell in love with not only the city, but with all of the beautiful jewelry and the staff at Byzantino’s. I purchased a beautiful pearl ring that I proudly wear and will cherish forever! The jewelry and the staff are all “gems”!
After visiting your website prior to my trip to the Athens, I visited
the jewelry store you recommended (don't have the name with me right
now). I did tell them I got the name of their store from your website.
I purchased a beautiful ring that is a reproduction of a museum piece.
It is unusual and I get a lot of compliments. It has been appraised
here for much more than I paid. Just want to say thanks.
My wife and I came back from Greece a couple of weeks ago. We had a
great time in Crete, Santorini, Athens and cruisng the Greek Iles. We
did go to Byzantino and we were impressed with the level of service.
Laura was gracious and patient with us. My wife has a very particular
taste in jewellry but Laura spent the time to make sure my wife got what
she wanted. She a bought a ring and necklace both at a very good
price. That alone was worth our trip.
Thanks again Matt for your website on Greece. It is one of the best if
not the best for information on Greece.
Mike and Jill Anton
First, I would like to say thank you very much for helping me in selecting
a beautiful piece of jewelry. I was in your store last Wednesday or
Thursday and purchased a pair of 22 kt gold earring with sapphires,
oval-shaped, with granulations surrounding the stone (4th Cent. B.C.
museum piece). They are quite beautiful and, I am sure, will make my
friend very happy.
Second, thank you the education about some of the aspects of jewelery
craftsmanship and distinguishing characteristics. As I wandered through
the Plaka following my visit to your store, I took a look at a number of
other jewelry stores in light of what you had told me. Even to my
untrained eye, I could see what put your jewelery in a different class
from the majority of other work that I saw. You spent an awful lot of
time with me, and it made me feel much more comfortable that my decision
was the correct one.
One of the things which has slipped from my memory was the type of
polishing that you said was used in the stones. I know you said that they
were hand polished (as opposed to the more common laser polishing), but,
if I remember correctly, you used some word to describe the type of
polishing that was used. Does this make sense? Do you know what it is I
am trying to remember?
On a bit of a side note, I tried going to your web site but ran into
difficulties. When I went to the web site, all I got was a text listing
of a directory, there was no information at all to indicate that it was
associated with your store. Is your web site not available yet? If this
is not clear and you would like more specific details, please let me know.
Again, thank you very much for your assistance and the very elegant
earrings. I am looking forward to doing more business with you all in the
future. Thanks also to Matt Barrett for posting the information on your
store and bringing you all to my attention!
My wife and I just returned a month ago from a cruise to the Black Sea to see the total eclipse. We started
in Athens with a couple of days there before boarding the Marco Polo. In getting ready for the trip I found
your web page, and particularly your recommendation of the BYZANTINO jewelery store. It took us a while,
but we found it and bought a 5th century BC reproduction ring that is now my wife's favorite. The clerk (Laura
Bray) was very helpful and spoke highly of you and the work that your wife does.
Thanks for steering us to this great store.
New Wilmington, PA
I have enjoyed your site very much, and to think I found it by accident!
My husband and I (who are both Greek-Americans) went to Greece (The 4th time for not of us) in May on
We knew that we (or should I say I) wanted to buy some jewelry, and I always enjoy shopping for it in Plaka,
because of the number of stores. (and even if the shop owners think that they are ripping off tourists, the prices
and quality are still far superior to most of what I have seen here at home)
We had not yet made a purchase, when we happened on to Byzantino, an experience that would change forever the
way I looked at gold. Laura greeted us, and led us in had Greek coffee brought in for us, and an ashtray fro my
husband. We proceeded to talk for three hours about everything from gold, to diamonds to raising children, and
the difference in Greek and American culture. We completely enjoyed ourselves, and even though it was obvious that
Laura was an excellent saleswomen, we did not feel that she was misleading us or being phony at all.
We ended up purchasing a 22K necklace, that appear to look very much like one that is pictured on your site!
To look at the picture of the store window on your site, on the 2nd page, it appears to be the necklace closed
to the right of the window (looking at it from the "street"). It is absolutely beautiful full of the
weaving, and woven disks and granulations. And the price seemed to be at least half of what we would pay in America
for something of the same weight and hand craftsmanship, if we could find it.
In short - our trip to Byzantino was one of the highlights of our trip, not just for the fact that we bought
an heirloom quality piece of jewelry, but also for the company and knowledge that we took away with us.
And I was able to relive all the wonders of Athens thanks to your site. Athens seems to be so overlooked by
tourists, I tell people that maybe because I have family there, I am able to see a side of Athens that the average
tourist may not. Hopefully after happening upon your site, no tourist to Greece will be "average"
Keep up the good work!!
from Boston, MA
....We also stopped to see Laura at Byzantino and left about $1,000 lighter. Beth
bought a 22K hammered gold bracelet, hand made, Museum copy 5th century,
with Small sapphire, ruby and emerald stones. Absolutely beautiful.She is ecstatic.
Thanks again, Matt, for making our trip more enjoyable.
Jack & Beth Mannion
Thanks you! your web-site greatly enhanced our stay..AND depleted my pocket book! Your are right the
jewellery at Bizantino's is exquisite and Laura was delightful. the other comments etc helped us settle very
quickly into Athens and have a great time.. until next time
We went to the Plaka and visited Byzantino. Boy is that place
dangerous!! George was great about this too. He got us as close as he could
by car and then called the store on his cell phone and had them send someone
to take us the rest of the way. He couldn't leave the car, but we got an
escort in both directions. Such VIP treatment! Anyway, by the time we got
out of there we had done our bit to bolster the Greek economy, believe me!
The workmanship, as you had said, was outstanding. It was impossible not to
buy something. I wound up getting three pairs of 22k earrings for gifts. One
of the girls bought a gorgeous ring, and another bought a ring and a couple
of gold charms. The people there were very gracious and attentive and I
think they gave us some good deals also. They said that they always extend
an additional discount to customers that you refer to them, so thank you.
I cannot tell you how helpful your guide was on my recent trip to Greece. I came
back on Saturday, and miss it already. I loved it!! Your suggestions were so informative, from changing money to
the best Ouzo. I went with my mother and she stated how helpful your walking tour guide was. We stayed at The Divani
Palace, not too far from the plaka. We took your suggestion and went to Byzantino, what an experience. The jewelry
is beautiful. We nearly left broke going crazy buying so much. One particular man, Kostos was extremly helpful,
he even took us out to a traditional Greek restaurant for dinner. It was great. He told us all about your wife
and how talented she is. I now feel I have a friend in Greece, I cannot wait to return. I would like to know if
your wife has a catalogue of her work, as I am interested in getting more 22k jewelry, specifically a bracelet
and ring. Let me know if there is a s/h fee and so forth. Once again, I truly appreciate the time, effort and quality
you put into your site, it's greatly loved.
we have just returned from a great fortnight in Lesvos, the result of finding your website. You'll be pleased
to know that we liked it as much as you!! We stayed in Petra which we found still very charming and quiet
with very traditional tavernas once you get off the main seafront. We tried your recommendation of the Avlaki
taverna, and frequently went for lunch off the very tranquil beach, and also one evening and found the food to
be excellent. We would also recommend the vrahos taverna, right under the rock, it has a wonderful atmosphere
- you may not get what you thought you ordered, the special tends to look like most other dishes! and the lady
of the house is prone to spontaneous dancing later on. The Mezes come complimentary, if the lady of the house
will give you a free dessert if she's cooing and generally it is a wonderful experience! There is another
great taverna a fair bit further up that street near the baker, on the rooftop garden. Very cheap, very friendly,
very family run, get there early or you go in the kitchen and there's nothing left. Generally we were charmed
with Petra, out and about the roads seem to be having a lot of work done on them as several we tried shown as untarmac
on the map have just been finished. So thanks for the website, it was very helpful. We also took your
recommendation and got the birding book which is available via WH Smith online, and also a small volume of walks
in North Lesvos also from there.
Best wishes Sue and Peter Baxter
My girlfriend and I have just returned from a wonderful holiday on Lesvos. Just before leaving my girlfriend printed
all the pages from your site and we took them with us. We followed just about all your recommendations and you
never let us down! We saw every major town and even went to the restaurants you recommended...and showed them all
your notes and recommendations ( ended up leaving most of them with them too!). The boat builder in Scala Kalloni
was especially pleased and got someone to translate it for him - we left him that copy too!
We found your guide informative and made our stay much more enjoyable than it would have been had we not had them
Thank you very much
....We also bought tons and tons of stuff. As you said, leather goods were unbelievably inexpensive, and
we visited that WONDERFUL jewelry store, Byzantino. I mentioned to the lady that was helping us about your
guide, and she knew who you were immediately. She was terrific - Laura Bray. In fact, we bought a lot
of jewelry from them. Laura mentioned that one necklace we bought was the first piece that your wife ever
bought from them. She was great - she walked all around the Plaka with us trying to find an ATM that was
working (she wanted cash for our purchases), and I ended up riding on the back of another guy's moped (from the
store) to our hotel to get my checkbook. I never caught his name, but when he found out my wife and I both
have Master's degrees in Psychology, he started going on and on about Freud and Adler and the psychological differences
between American and Greek work ethics. It was a very surreal experience riding on the back of this scooter
on the sidewalk as people dived out of the way while waxing philosophic about world cultures. It was one
of my favorite parts of the trip, though. I don't know why, but knowing that you recommended the store made
us feel even more at home.
Tim & Sandra Kopania
Hi Matt! Wasn't sure how to add a post to your site but wanted to say MANY THANKS! We visited Greece
in September and found every service you recommended exactly as you said we would - wonderful and worthwhile.
Travel Phone - we bought one and could not have done without
it. Unfortunately we were in Greece when the 9/11 event occurred. We received a call from our families
within 15 minutes of the bombings. We were able to call our families and they us when others couldn't get
through on hotel lines or other land lines. We loaned our phone to 3 other families and it worked out wonderfully. I also had lost luggage and a few other glitches and the phone was perfect. Truly the best money we spent!!!!!!!
We visited Byzantino and left some money there as well. Laura was wonderful. I bought a bracelet
for my husband and should have taken a picture of Laura as well! He would have like that even better!
Again, our thanks Matt - keep up the great work!
Melissa DeLisio and Mary Carroll, Columbus, Ohio
No need to reply as I am sure you are very busy. Just back from the weekend in Athens and Rafina. Absolutely
perfect. Unable to use George the famous taxi driver as our friends ferried us around. However, thanks to your
recommendation we did find Byantino and....yes, the jewellry is gorgeous and ....yes the ring sitting on my finger
as I type is beautiful and Laura was very helpful! All finished off with a fish meal at the harbour in Rafina
with our friends.
Will try to pass your website and recommendations to other friends.
To A Wonderful Group of People,
I spoke with my mother this morning and I had to write and thank you all for the wonderful service you gave to my mother. My mother, made some purchases from your store. Not only did you have what sounds like gorgeous jewelry(some is a gift for lucky me!!) but you took my mother and aunt to a wonderful restaurant.
They could not stop talking of how wonderful you all were. I think Laura was the person who helped them with the dinner(they loved the food and everything else) Thank you all again for being so kind to 2 travelers, you made their day and night brighter and provided special memories for them always.
I can't wait to see the jewelry!!!