An oasis of art, food and entertainment connects the past, present and future of culture on Mykonos.
Hidden amidst iconic whitewashed houses and narrow alleyways, a once overgrown, almost forgotten garden has been transformed into one of the island’s favourite destinations. “It’s something you don’t expect to see in Mykonos, a secret refuge, a little corner of heaven tucked away in the heart of Chora,” says acclaimed director and cultural curator Antonis Kioukas, who took over management of the site in 2011, reimagining it as a gorgeous multipurpose space that aims to revitalise the island’s cultural life for the 21st century.
Open-air cinemas are a unique, one-of-a-kind experience of Greek summer.
Gifted to the town in the mid-20th century by Ioannis Meletopoulos, one of the era’s most influential Greeks, Meletopoulos Municipal Garden now operates as Cine Manto, celebrating art and culture in a unique and truly enchanting setting. “For foreign visitors who have never seen a Greek summer cinema before, it looks like something out of a fairy-tale, a newfound delight that feels like being on a film set,” says Kioukas of the open-air cinema that’s been hailed internationally as one of the best in the world. A quintessential Greek summer experience, it’s a haven where patrons can relax—prosecco, ice cream or souvlaki in hand—and enjoy film screenings under the starry night sky. The delightful garden also houses an all-day restaurant with al fresco seating in the cool shade of pines, palms and other native Mediterranean species, and is famously home to a towering centuries-old cactus and an old stone cistern full of koi and waterlilies.
People come back again and again because there’s nowhere in the world quite like Cine Manto.
Cine Manto regularly hosts a range of exhibitions, performances and workshops, attracting an eclectic crowd of regulars and guests that, in true Mykonian style, includes the resident clowder of friendly cats, Jean Paul Gaultier, and the one and only Petros the Pelican. The world might be rapidly changing, but inside its walls, Cine Manto is a sanctuary of the island’s inimitable spirit and culture.
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