Odessa’s Catacombs – a must-see during an Odessa visit

The 1500-miles labyrinth of underground tunnels. The largest in Europe. Home to smugglers, criminals and WW 2 partisans.

Odessa literally stands on a gigantic labyrinth of underground tunnels. How did the tunnels appear? In the nineteenth century, a newly founded booming town needed stone for construction. The tunnels are the mines created to get limestone to build the houses.

catacombs
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Odessa Sparkling Wine Factory Tour

Hidden behind the century old plain trees and posh residences is the historic building of Odessa’s Champagne factory. Yes, I know that the correct way is to call it Odessa’s Sparkling Wine factory, but here it’s called champagne and we’ll follow the local tradition in our blog ☺. If not for the beautiful old gates, which immediately catch the eye, the building is absolutely unnoticed from the boulevard.

odessa champagne factory

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Cosmopolitan Odessa

Italian and French architecture. Greek square and Palais Royal. Gefilte fish – one of the most traditional local dishes. A synagogue, Russian and Greek Orthodox churches, a Catholic cathedral and a Lutheran church in the historic quarter. It does not take long for Odessa’s guests to discover the city’s fascinating mix of cultures with a strong Mediterranean flavor, which makes it different from all other Ukrainian towns. What are the origins of such amazing cultural diversity?
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Italians in Odessa

The Italian story of Odessa goes back a long way, centuries before the city’s foundation. In the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Black Sea region was so familiar to the Italians that adventurers like Marco Polo in the late thirteenth century could write: “We have not spoken to you of the Black Sea or the provinces that lie around it, for there are so many who explore these waters and sail upon them every day… that everybody knows what is to be found there. Therefore I say nothing on this topic”.

A little bit of Italy in Odessa

Odessa courtyard with an Italian flavor
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Odessa: City of Unmatched Cultural Heritage

Kandinsky, Babel, Zhabotinsky, Gilels, Oistrakh. These are just a few names from an endless list of musicians, writers, painters and other Bohemian types whose lives are connected with this beautiful city. Founded on a steep deserted Black Sea cliff at the dawn of the eighteenth century, Odessa, only a hundred or so years later produced a fare share of prominent names in literature, art and music.

Odessa music and literature heritage
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Going from Odessa and Chisinau

“How to get from Odessa to the capital of Moldova, Chisinau?” – This is a frequent question we get from our guests. Of course, the best and fastest (but certainly not the cheapest ☺) way to travel to Chisinau, which is located just about 200 kilometers (124 miles) away from Odessa is by car or taxi. But if you don’t have a car and are looking for a cheaper alternative to a taxi, then a public bus is the only option. And since I’ve recently traveled to Chisinau from Odessa here’re a few tips and comments drawn on my personal experience.

a road from Odessa to Chisinau
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