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HCR Team

Meet our team

Vasilis Stathakis

HCR Founder & President

Born in Chania, Crete, Greece, Vasilis Stathakis is the Founder and President of the Historic Cafes Route and the host of the iconic Historic Café “Kipos” in Chania.  He is a cultural heritage admirer and in 1988 he became owner of the business and took over the Historic Café “Kipos”, an important reference point of the city, established in 1870. Vasilis has been operating in the food and drink sector for 50 years. In 2015 he contcacted Mr. Stefano Dominioni for the first time, in order to design his strategy for the Historic Cafes Route. 

Being a visionary and pioneer, Vasilis founded the European Historic Cafes Association (2014) which evolved to the Historic Cafes Route (2020). He has been honored to host the upcoming “Cultural Routes” international forum of the Council of Europe in Chania, in 2022. On February 7th 2018 he submitted a proposal to the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggesting the establishment of the 8th of April as the International Day of Historic Cafes and has been working on this project ever since. In February 2018 he submitted a proposal to the Hellenic Ministries of Culture and Development, to promote the creation of a specific cultural sector in the Regions and Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Greece, to further enhance cultural development. In 2021 Vasilis submitted his proposals about the cultural and touristic betterment of the city of Chania. He has constantly been participating in cultural routes fora since 2015 and was keynote speaker on the occasion of the anniversary event for the Historic Cafe Calcinha, in Loule (2019).  He was keynote speaker at the joint meeting, under the Hellenic Presidency, of the BSEC Working Groups on Culture and on Cooperation in Tourism which was held (2019) in Istanbul and saw the participation of representatives from BSEC Member States. He was keynote speaker at the inauguration of the Italian Association for the Protection of Historic Literary Cafes in Trieste (2018), and a keynote speaker at the “Historic Cafes: Cultural Heritage throughout time” International Conference held in Santiago de Compostela (2018), and at “The contribution of the Historic Cafes to the European Cultural Heritage” forum held in Coimbra (2018).  He also attended the 66th Meeting of the UNWTO (2021).

In 2022 Vasilis achieved the inclusion of the element “Historic Cafes” in the national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by order of Mrs. Lina Mendoni, Greek Minister of Culture and Sports. This is an official acknowledgement of the efforts made by “Historic Cafes Route ” to defend, preserve, highlight and promote the intangible cultural heritage of Historic Cafes, which have always been the custodians of the tradition of Cafes and of their culture. The inclusion in the national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage is the first step for the inscription on the International List, considering there are already countries that, together with Greece, are interested to submit an application for international registration. The application for inscription on the International List has been Vasilis’s idea and an initiative put forward by Greece. 

George Loverdos

HCR Route Manager

George Loverdos, born in Athens, has a varied, insightful background in European traditions and culture, being fluent in Greek, English, French and Spanish. George’s academic studies in political science and defense resulted in a postgraduate degree (DEA) from the University of Strasbourg. His attendance at seminars, combined with his experience both as a journalist and photographer, further deepen his insight and understanding of the European worldview. Currently, as the Manager of the Historic Cafes Route, George strongly believes that culture should unite people, not divide them. 

Maria Mystakidou

HCR Communication Officer

Passionate about journalism, she is following this path with dedication and solid principles; She is working for the Historic Cafes Route since 2017 acknowledging the importance of culture, heritage and the exchange of ideas and approaches for the maintenance of the European principles and spirit; She has a degree in European Civilization from the Open University of Greece and she is a candidate for Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the same institution. Her professional background is mainly encompassed in “Eleftherotypia” one of Greece’s most renowned newspapers. She maintained a daily column, as well as a weekly one, and she was chief in editor at the website of the newspaper; she has worked as a communication officer & events organizer for the unique Typography museum in Chania. During her time the museum gained international recognition and was nominated for one of the best museums in Europe (2016); she has translated books from French to Greek and she was a freelance journalist during the 2004 Olympic games for the AFP (Agence France Presse). Her love for journalism is constant, undeniable and rooted deep in her lifestyle, as such she maintains two dedicated columns weekly at “Chaniotika Nea” newspaper; she has a continuous interest in culture, arts and literature. She speaks English and French and her mother tongue is Greek.

Raffaela Caria

HCR Ambassador in Italy

Born in Acqui Terme, Italy, she covered the role of Executive Secretary of the European Historical Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), a Cultural Route certified by the Council of Europe from 2010 to 2019, where she acquired an important knowledge in managing cultural and tourist resources in terms of cultural projects and developed an important network in that field. She’s currently the referent and spokesperson for EHTTA with the Italian Ministry of Culture in the framework of the Cultural Routes Programme. She has always shown a particular interest in culture, history and arts in a European dimension. This European approach to life influenced her studies and allowed her to travel at the discovery of the old continent and its diverse cultures.

Vitor de Sá Marques

HCR Ambassador in Portugal

He is President of the Portuguese Historic Cafés Association and member of the fiscal council of the RUAS Association (University of Coimbra and Municipality of Coimbra). Since 2005 he is also the manager of the iconic Café Santa Cruz in Coimbra (Portugal).
From 2015 he is the official Ambassador for Historic Cafes Route in Portugal. He has a degree in economics from the University of Coimbra (1995) and postgraduate in tourism management from E.S.E.C. – Institute Polytechnic of Coimbra (2012). He organized the European meeting “Historic Cafés as Cultural Heritage”, in Coimbra (April 2018). He was responsible for the editorial conception of many books as well as speaker and teacher to many seminars and conventions, regarding tourism, culture, alimentation, and tradition. He has recently participated in the 2nd Lisbon Coffee Fest, Lisbon, with the communications: The Historic Cafés Route in Portugal and The Historic Cafés as Cultural Heritage: The Example of Café Santa Cruz (Coimbra) (March 2022). He has been awarded in 2020 by the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN), with the 1st prize in the category of “Transnational Thematic Tourism Products” with the project: The Historic Cafés in the Iberian Peninsula

Fernando Franjo Franjo

HCR Ambassador in Spain

Fernando Franjo Franjo is a journalist and a cultural promoter. He has a degree in History from the University of Santiago de Compostela and a master’s degree in tourism journalism. Specialist in the study of Historic Cafés, he has written in the media and has participated in events in different European countries. He is the author of the books “Fifty Historic Cafes in Spain and Portugal and Memorias do Café Derby”. In 2018 he organized the international “Os Cafés, patrimonio Cultural a través do Tempo” meeting in Santiago de Compostela, the first event to be held in Spain on Cafés and Heritage. In 2020 he obtained, in a joint candidacy with the Portuguese Association of Cafés with History, the prize of the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) for the proposal of a network of Historical Cafés in the Iberian Peninsula.

Alexandros Delithanassis

HCR Official Representative in Trieste

Alexandros Delithanassis was born in Trieste in 1979 from Greek father and Italian mother.After studying economics, he worked with his father in the family publishing house. Together with his father in 2006 they also open a bookstore until 2013 when Alexandros takes over the Antico Caffè San Marco of 1914 and moved the bookstore inside, making it immediately a place of great tourist and cultural attraction.He is the official Representative of Historic Cafes Route in Trieste.

Under the support of:

Region of Crete

Under the Αuspices of:

Regional Unit of Chania


Municipality of Chania


Chania Chamber of commerce & Industry


Historical Archive of Crete

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