Larissa holds a central position in the country, since it’s situated on the main transport axis of Greece, connecting Athens and Thessaloniki, while the airport of Central Greece is less than an hour away.
The Municipality of Larissa is the capital of the region of Thessaly in Central Greece. The total area of the municipality is 335.12 km². Larissa is the largest city of the region with a significant rural hinterland, and hosts many public organizations, educational and financial institutes and health institutions, while it has a considerable production infrastructure and commercial activity.
The river Pinios runs through the north part of the city and it is a meeting point for people who enjoy nature, walking, hiking and biking.
The city of Larissa has a history of 8.000 years, with two ancient theaters within its urban structure, while it also has an important current cultural history and infrastructure – the famous first regional Municipality Theatre, The Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – G.I. Katsigras Museum, with a significant art collection and art workshops for children, the Ethnographical Historical Museum of Larissa and the Archaeological & Byzantine Museum of Larissa, the Municipal Conservatory, the International Film Festival of Larissa / Artfools every spring, the Cultural Festival of Pinios in June, to name a few.
Larissa is a very youthful and live city, with many cafés, restaurants and taverns, situated by the most part in the pedestrian centre, along with a very active commercial centre and in walking distance from many of the city’s historic monuments.
It’s a city full of cultural activities and events, such as amateurish theatrical scenes, a live scene of music bands and choirs, the symphonic orchestra and the philharmonic, very active local culture associations of folklore music and dance, a well known photography club and galleries that promote the very productive local artists. The Municipality of Larissa has also a long tradition in operating District Culture Clubs for arts and crafts for both children and adults, a famous Puppet Troupe – Tiritompa – that operates the only Puppet Museum in Greece and the Municipal School of Ballet that has showcased prominent dancers.
Sports are largely supported in the city, with a significant infrastructure of sports facilities, as well as athletic events. The Municipality of Larissa has created several and fully equipped sports facilities, which are ready to accept all citizens and accommodate any kind of event. In more than 10 district sports centers the Municipality supports Sports Academies, organizes Students’ and Local Associations’ Sports Championships and hosts athletic events throughout the year (RunGreece-Larissa, the event «Run Pinios», the Half Marathon race «Tirnavos – Larissa», the «Hippocratic» swimming races, Panthessalian track events for the Disabled, etc.)
The National Sports Center of Larissa can accommodate a number of sports and events (football, basketball, wrestling, swimming, boxing, martial arts, handball, water polo, etc.), while the Sports Hall has hosted important athletic events (the World Youth Championship, the Women’s Euroleague Final-Four, the Greek Cup Final-Four, martial arts events, et.c.) and it’s also used for cultural events, such as dance festivals.
The city is in close proximity of many interesting destinations in the region (mount Olympus, mount Kissavos, Meteora, Lake Plastira, Pilio, etc) suitable for daily trips.
The area also provides several agricultural products of excellent quality, including many products with designation of origin (PDO) – Feta, Tsipouro (e.g. Tirnavou), lamb, many wines (e.g. Tsantali Rapsani) to name a few – as well as vegetables, legumes, grain, herbs, fruits, local traditional pasta (trachanas, chylopites), etc. Furthermore, during the year there are many product festivals (feta cheese festival, wine festival, chestnut festival, cherry festival, etc.) exhibiting local gastronomy and culture.
In April 2015 the City Council of Larissa has decided for the candidacy of Larissa for “European Capital of Culture 2021” and regardless of the outcome, we are interested in taking advantage of the knowledge and experience gained in incorporating the cultural capital for promoting local development. We believe that a network of cities that have either been a European Capital or been/are a candidate can provide valuable insight and benefit from different experiences.
Larissa / Thessaly / Greece