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. This is THE place to experience the arts in Santorini. (You can also discover amazing ceramics and art on the island)
Journey Back Into The Past…
Imagine a busy 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 has since hosted innovative exhibitions, concerts and plays. 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. There’s also hand-written books, old tools and audiovisual testimonies of people who worked in the plant. These objecs give 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 In Santorini
Finally spend some time in the modern gift shop and stock up on souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. All objects on sale are created exclusively from Greek and Santorinian materials. As a result, you’re sure to find something authentic and beautiful to remind you of your trip.
Tripadvisor reviewers have a lot of positive things to say about the Arts Factory:
“We were lucky to stop in here and find a group show going on. The work that was on display was fantastic. Browsing through their past shows, it becomes obvious that this space hosts great artists and artwork. Great gallery layout, beautiful location right by the beach. Finally don’t forget to also check out the Tomato Factory in the same area.” (Manny N)
“Must see for Art and History lovers but also for all visitors to understand the economy of the previous decades and social aspects of Santorini! Amazing concerts and events during summer. Conveniently situated to one of the best beaches – Vlychada. Cool staff.” (Frank S)
Find out more about the arts in Santorini and Santorini Arts Factory here