Mamma Mia the Movie takes place in Greece. But is this Greece pure fantasy or not? Separate the facts from the fluff before you go to Greece.
Mamma Mia - Don't Believe Everything You See
In the spirit of Greece-based filmmakers everywhere, Mamma Mia blithely combines locations, creating a super-island that does not exist. Kalokairi
is not only a fictional name meaning "summer", it combines several different locations. But here's the good news - so much of Greece is just as beautiful if not even more so. Those water colors? That's not something out of Photoshop - the waters of Greece really are that beautiful, the sands that golden. As I write this, I just got back from Greece. And I'm sobbing over my laptop right now, going "Why! Why did I come back!"
But in the end, Mamma Mia the Movie delivers - and now, there's even talk of a sequel, though that possibility seems to be diminishing as time goes by.
More on Mamma Mia! The movie
Mamma Mia - What About All Those Dancing Villagers?
And since Mamma Mia! is a musical
, they sing too. Well, this also isn't that far off. I've seen spontaneous singing and dancing many times in Greece. And while some of the choreography may be a little different than you'd find in most villages, it's probably easier than you'd find in most villages. I vividly remember one night dancing with a circle of twenty or thirty Greek women, from the very young to the very, very old. Every last one of them easily danced me into the dirt - they probably were trying to, since I spent much of my time between panting and gasping for breath kicking one or the other of the two women on either side of me.
Mamma Mia - All Those Sexy Greeks and Sexy Expatriates in One Small Place?
Again, this isn't that far off. Greece is a beautiful country, with sea, sun, good air, great food. It seems to attract a lot of fit, good-looking people of all ages from around the world. But your bus coach tour may not be the best place to find them - choose a more active vacation
like a yachting, kayaking, hiking or bicycling trip
to sort them out.
As for the locals? The Greeks have always celebrated the beauty of the human form - and you'll definitely find some "locals" who look like they just posed for that statue of Aphrodite or Adonis you saw in the museum this morning.
Riding a Donkey to Your Wedding? A Chapel That Picturesque?
No deception here. You can book a wedding donkey easily, though usually both the bride and the groom will arrive by donkey, instead of just the bride as it was in the Mamma Mia! movie. And that's a real chapel they used for the wedding scene - though it looked like it was going to be a Western-style ceremony. It's the chapel of Agios Ioannis perched on top of a 300-foot-high spire of rock on the Greek island of Skopelos
, where much of Mamma Mia the Movie was shot.
Find out all about getting married in Greece