Alternative shopping - Embroideries, matia and more

Hidden in Kolokotroni arcade, off Kolokotroni square, is the Society for the Education of Greek Women (3 Kolokotroni, Syntagma, 2103239693), a jewel
of a store that sells Greek handmade embroidery. The Society was founded in 1872 to educate young girls and provide employment to destitute women.
Tablecloths and napkins made by top quality white and beige linen are knitted with detailed floral motifs and vivid colours. The store is one of the last
preserving the quickly disappearing art of embroidery and is a must for those looking for original items. In the flea markets and stores of Monastiraki
and Thisio you find all sorts of oddities, one of which is matia, used as protection against the evil eye. Added in key chains, necklaces, lucky charms, or
sold separately, the blue “eye” is a perky little gift appreciated by superstitious friends and folkl art lovers alike. If spending time in Athens has made you
a bouzouki fan, head to Mousika Organa (36 Efestos, Monastiraki), makers of Greek hand made musical instruments. Practise on the traditional bouzouki
and ask to see the small baglamadaki, with its unique sound. Another Greek classic, worry beads or komboloi, made of amber, beads or coral, is sold in
Kombologaki (6 Koumbari, Kolonaki, 210 3624267). Ask them to show you how to play with them.