It is no surprise that the Greek capital should be filled with a plethora of theatres since theatre was invented in ancient Greece. But what might actually surprise you is the following theatre venue. To Treno Sto Rouf is a cultural venue in central Athens, housed entirely inside a refurbished vintage train.
To Treno Sto Rouf is managed by the Axana Arts Company, a non-profit organization, founded in 1996 under the artistic and administrative management of actress and director, Tatiana Ligari. Opened in 1997, the venue is housed in an Italian passenger wagon dating back to 1950. Though small, the stage is fully-equipped and hosts lectures, musical performances and of course, theatrical works. Plus, the wagon is equipped with a mechanism that stimulated the comforting motion of a train. Thanks to the Axana Arts Company, To Treno Sto Rouf’s agenda is rich and varied with educational programs, theatrical performances for adults and children, exhibitions and other cultural events.
Located on the platform of Rouf Railway Station, the theatre coach is part of a larger complex, consisting of nine restored wagons, including the ‘Greek Wagon’, which was an original Restaurant Wagon from the 1924 Orient Express. In fact, there is also a music stage, a foyer, a restaurant, dressing rooms, as well as utility rooms and a bar, Apovathra, which functions during the summer months and allows visitors to enjoy a drink on the platform or inside the bar wagon. The bar also hosts open-air movie screenings and live music shows.
For a unique dining experience, you can also opt for dinner in the restaurant coach, a pre-war Italian wagon. Carefully restored with attention to details, the wagon is the ideal setting for an alternative romantic dinner and features a small yet interesting menu for all tastes. For live music gigs, the music wagon, which is housed in an authentic wagon of the legendary Orient Express, is the perfect venue for concerts and musical performances. And you can even organize private events on the premises (why not have a Murder on the Orient Express-themed bachelorette party?).
This little hidden gem is located less than 10 minutes from the nightlife hub of Gazi and certainly deserves a visit. Whether you are in the mood for a play, a performance or simply a drink in an unusual venue, To Treno Sto Rouf is undeniably one of the best-kept secrets in Athens.