The modern town of Larissa, capital of Thessaly, administrative, commercial, industrial and cultural center of the province, straddles the river Pineios. Tradition has it that Hippocrates (460-377 BC), Father of Medicine, spent his final years and died here.
Sights: The acropolis on Aghios Achilleios hill, the Early Christian basilica in the fortress and the bishop’s palace (6th c.), the ruins of a three-aisled basilica with important mosaics and wall-paintings (late 4th-early 5th c.), the ancient theatres A and B, the Alkazar park with its 2500 seat garden theatre and refreshment room, the grove with the small theatre.
Museums - Art Galleries:
Archaeological Museum, tel.: (0410) 28.85.15
Folklore - Historical Museum, tel.: (0410) 23.94.46
Art Gallery, tel.: (0410) 62.12.05
Larissa has a permanent theatre company, the “Thessaliko Theatro”.
Places worth visiting in the prefecture:
Tsaritsani, a traditional village 38 km northwest of Larissa with stone-built mansions, tower-houses, interesting churches and old monasteries; Aghia, 37 km northeast of Larisa, with old monasteries and churches; Elassona, 42 km northwest of Larisa with the PanAghia Olympiotissa Monastery (14th c.), built on the hill of the ancient acropolis; the unexplored cave at Kefalovrysso, 14 km west of Elassona. One of the finest landscapes in Thessaly, if not in Greece as a whole, is the enchanting Valey of Tempe, a natural monument of rare beauty.
On the slopes of Mount Ossa, opposite the Valey of Tempe, is the historic village of Ambelakia, 34 km northeast of Larissa. It is a scheduled traditional settlement with interesting architecture. The famous Schwarz mansion, built in 1787, is now a house-museum, with its murals, woodcarved decoration, stained-glass skylights and elaborate fireplace. The churches of Aghios Georgios, Aghios Athanasiqs and Aghia Paraskevi also merit a visit. The women of Ambelakia have sert up a Rural Tourism Co-operative, which runs a few rooms to accommodate visitors, tel.: (04950) 93.487, (04950) 93.903.
The prefecture’s extensive beaches are ideal for swimming and sunbathing: Agiokampos, Velika, Kokkino Nero, Karitsa, Stomio and Nea Messangala.