Armenians and Romans unite in Little Armenia

Well, sort of. As you traverse the streets of Little Armenia in Hollywood, you’ll come across many establishments serving popular Armenian dishes. One of the most popular foods is lahmajune, also known as Armenian pizza. A great place to try this baked goodness is at Sasoun Bakery on Santa Monica Boulevard and Normandie Avenue.

Sasoun Bakery (outside 1) lahmajune (Armenian pizza)

About a year ago, just a few blocks up the same street at Santa Monica and Alexandria Avenue, an authentic Italian (Napoletana, to be exact) pizzeria, DeSano Pizza, opened shop. Our recent visit really impressed us. From the outside, you’d hardly know it was a pizza joint. When you walk in, however, you see this simple industrial layout that reveals all the inner workings of a modern pizzeria; an open floor plan that let’s you see the pizza dough being made, the imported ingredients sitting against the perimeters of the seating area, and pizzaioli preparing the pies right after you order.

DeSano Pizza (outside) DeSano Pizza (inside)

They have four large brick wood-burning ovens individually named after cities in Italy along with the patron saints that watch over those cities.

DeSano pizza ovens 1 DeSano pizza ovens 2

We ordered two pies, the margherita and the desano. They were both really tasty, with a soft chewy crust, fresh toppings, and the flavors of the burn marks on the bottoms of the pizza. Yumm.

Margherita pizza DeSano pizza

Now that we’ve found Armenian pizza and Italian pizza within a few blocks of each other, our weekends will consist of eating lahmajune for lunch and strolling over for some wood baked pizzas for dinner. The empires have finally united!

Armenia – Ancient, Yet Attractive

By Sona Movsisyan

Talking about Armenia we can’t forget about the famous phrase which is “Armenia is an open-air museum.” To visit Armenia it means to travel back in history and feel the spirit of more than 41 centuries. Armenia is rich with its historical churches, monasteries, monuments, and magnificent nature. This is the country which was the first to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Traveling to Armenia you will be surprised with the traditions, culture, religion, arts and crafts, delicious cuisine and sincere hospitality. Most of all, the warmth and friendly manner of the people will make your visit unforgettable. Once you visit Armenia, you will be think of your next visit because one visit will not be enough for you.

There are many attractions in Armenia and one of the most famous recent attractions is the Monastery of Tatev with its newly constructed rope-way. One of the unique features of the monastery is the St. Astvatsadzin 1087 which is built on the rampart and accessed by a steep flight of steps from within the complex. The monumental Saint Poghos Petros, 895/906 is the focal point of the complex and, as the main cathedral of Syunik principality. And of course the breathtaking ropeway, called Wings of Tatev, which is included in the Guinness World Records Book as the longest aerial tramway built in one section. The length of it is 5.7 kilometers and this cableway stretches between Halidzor and Tatev Monastery. It was being built nearly 3 years and now it is one of the top attractions of tourists.

Next attraction is Lover’s Park. It is located on Baghramyan Avenue. It is small but very beautiful and comfortable park. You can spend your time there with your family because it is the best place for children. There are small bridges across artificial small water pools.

Another newly constructed tourist attraction is St Grigor Lusavorich (Illuminator) church in Yerevan. The huge Cathedral is a complex consisting of three churches: the Cathedral (Main Church) with 1700 seats and the Chapels of St. King Tiridates and of Saint Ashkhen the Queen. It is one of the biggest and lightened churches in Armenia.

If you are fond of walking Northern Avenue is a great place to spend the evening. Here you will see modern buildings. It is the most visited streets in Yerevan where young people like to spend their free time. Walking along the Avenue you will see many brand shops and new cafes. If you walk up Northern Avenue you will appear in Liberty Square and see the Opera House. The building was designed by the famous Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian. If you continue walking, you will find Cascade Complex – a giant stairway in Yerevan. Inside the Cascade, underneath the exterior steps are a couple of escalators going all way long of Cascade, where you can see some amazing works of modern art. Also make sure to visit Cafesjian Center for the Arts. At the top of this huge white stairwell you can visit Victory Park which is full of attractions for your kids and you will enjoy the picturesque view of Yerevan and Mount Ararat.

If you walk down Northern Avenue, you will find yourself in the heart of Yerevan that is Republic Square where the Governmental buildings are located. And in the evenings you can enjoy the singing and colorful fountains.

Article Source: Armenia – Ancient, Yet Attractive

Travel in Argentina: Visit Plaza Armenia, Buenos Aires

By M G Gray

If you visit Buenos Aires when you travel in Argentina, you’ll quickly realise that this is a city made up of many pleasant plazas. These pleasant squares are speckled around the city, and are perfect places to relax, read the paper, drink a coffee and watch the world go by.

If you head to Palermo, the coolest neighbourhood by far, you’ll realise that this area is quite different from much of the city. Things seem more peaceful, the crowds are trendier, the streets are somehow cleaner. There are a number of plazas in Palermo, and the one that is always recommended first when you travel in Argentina is Plaza Cortaza.

However, pleasant as Plaza Cortaza may be, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Plaza Armenia as well.

Plaza Armenia, Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Visit During the Week

Situated where the two streets Armenia and Costa Rica join together, this small and attractive square is the perfect place to visit during the week when you travel in Argentina, when all you’ll find are a few locals enjoying the peace and quiet.

If you’re a fan of people watching then this is the ideal place to stop by and engage in this favourite past time, as you can sit back and watch Argentinian daily life play out in front of you.

If you don’t fancy sitting in the plaza itself, head to one of the bars or cafes around the edges. Many of these have roof terraces from which you can sit with a beer and watch the world go by below.

Weekend Craft Market

Head to Plaza Armenia on the weekend, however, and things are quite different. This is a hotspot for residents of Palermo, and if the sun is shining you can bet that the square will crowd out as everyone has the same idea.

A busy market selling homemade arts and crafts springs up out of nowhere, the atmosphere becomes more intense, and you’ll be lucky to find a seat in any of the cafes, let alone on one of the terraces.

Explore the Area

In the near vicinity, you can also take a stroll down Armenia to enjoy some of the Armenian culture of Buenos Aires. There are a number of Armenian restaurants, so if you’ve had enough steak during your time in Buenos Aires then this could be a good antidote.

Visit Plaza Armenia

Definitely take the time to visit Plaza Armenia the next time you travel in Argentina. It’s nothing sensational, but for a good place to enjoy watching the locals in a pleasant, authentic setting then it can’t be beaten.

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Article Source: Travel in Argentina: Visit Plaza Armenia, Buenos Aires

10 Essential Things To Do When You Visit Armenia

By Jonathan Williams

Armenia is a land of both the old and the new. As the first Christian country of Europe and after more than 600 years of bondage to foreign powers, it is indeed one of the most exiting places to be aside from being one of the most historically rich countries in Europe. So if you want a vacation filled with culture, history, relaxation and fun, here are the ten most essential things to do in Armenia:

1.) Ughtasar

How to get to this ancient fortress is even more daunting than its name as only a 4×4 combined with the summer climate can take tourists through the top of the mountainous plateau where it is located. Upon reaching the site, you will see more than 2000 petroglyphs left behind by ancient people depicting scenes of the hunt, ancient rituals and culture. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the view from this site is also terrific.

2.) Erebuni Fortress

The Fortress of Erebuni also holds a treasure trove of artifacts. These artifacts date back to the millennium before Christ. The fortress has been converted into a museum and here you will find around 12,000 items belonging to the ancient civilization that thrived on the land.

3.) Zvartnots Temple

This temple stands testament to Armenia as having the oldest national church in the world. This temple dates back more than 1700 years in the past and has only been recently excavated by a team of archaeologists. On the grounds, you will see not only the ancient church but a museum, cathedral and seminary as well. This place serves as the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

4.) National Gallery

The national gallery serves to hold national treasures such as art from classical to modern times. Not only does it contain Armenian art but western art as well. It was founded on 1919 and has since served as the repository for the country’s cultural items.

5.) Old Dilijan

This quaint country town as situated in the heart of the northern Armenian forest. The town boasts of having been the home of many famous artists, musicians, composers and others. This popular destination attracts tourists because of its early 20th century architecture and its displays of musical instruments and handicrafts.

6.) Ararat Cognac Factory

This serves as the home base for the producer of the most famous brandy maker in the country. The brandy made from this place has become the favorite of people all around the world including the famous Winston Churchill. It is a must-see place.

7.) Matenadaran Institute

It is located at the heart of Yerevan. The Matenadaran Institute houses an impressive collection of handwritten books. It is an imposing edifice guarded by the silent statues of famous Armenian intellectuals such as Mesrp Mashtots, Mkhitar Gosh, Anania Shirakatsi, Toros Roslin, etc.

8.) Gaghard Cathedral

A Church made famous by the fact that it is literally hollowed out of solid rock, the Cathedral of Gaghard is indeed an example of this countries exemplary architecture. The name Geghard literally translates into spear. It is because of the fact that it has housed the spear that has pierced the body of Jesus during His crucifixion.

9.) Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries

Located in the region of Lori and along the banks of river of Debed, these two famous monasteries are some of the World Heritage Sites of Unesco. These two sites serve to remind not just tourists but the people of the country itself of their rich cultural heritage and intellectual achievements. The two sites’ were constructed during the 10th century and has taken hundreds of years to finish.

10.) The Garni Temple

Adorned by two dozen of Ionic columns, this temple stands as a reminder of the countries Hellenistic past. It was constructed as part of a fortress during the third century BC. Protected naturally on three sides by a rocky cliffs and a deep canyon but destroyed several times during the course of history nonetheless, it is likened to the national Spirit of Armenia which inspires its entire people to rebuild.

Jonathan Williams is the travel writer for Destination Guide TV

Article Source: 10 Essential Things To Do When You Visit Armenia