The island of Santorini attracts creatives from far and wide. You’ll soon realise why. It’s difficult not to be inspired by the stunning caldera views, the gleaming white buildings and the sapphire waters. Art and culture lovers should take time out from exploring the popular towns to visit the Santorini Arts Factory (SAF) in Vlychada, also known by the residents as the (Nomikos) Tomato Factory. Formerly a tomato processing plant which squished 3,500 crates of Santorini cherry tomatoes per day, it closed in 1981 when the island’s manufacturing industry plummeted. It reopened in 2014 as an industrial museum and cultural centre, and now hosts innovative exhibitions, concerts and plays.
Journey Back Into The Past…
You can journey back into the industrial past of Santorini, and find out more about the traditional methods used in tomato production. You’ll find the original machinery dating back to 1890, hand-written books, old tools and audiovisual testimonies of people who worked in the plant giving an insight into the history of the island. Kyr-Antonis, the former chief engineer of the plant (who started helping out there aged 7) occasionally acts as a guide, telling stories of the old days.
Enjoy Innovative Arts And Culture
Come and enjoy music, theatre and dance in the summer months, year-long temporary exhibitions (currently Carpe Diem by Christoforos Doulgeris) and The Orange Water Contemporary Art Festival until 8th October 2017, a cultural collaboration between Greece and Holland featuring painting, sculpture, video art and installations.
Spend some time in the modern gift shop and stock up on souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. Selling objects created exclusively from Greek and Santorinian materials, you’re sure to find something authentic and beautiful to remind you of your trip.
Find out more about the Santorini Arts Factory here