GEROSKIPOU, although a separate municipality southeast of Pafos, is now virtually a suburb of the larger town. Yet its handsome square, dominated by the church of Agia Paraskevi and its fame as a centre of loukoumia production, give it a character all of its own. The name Geroskipou derives from the Greek for “Holy Garden”, a reference to the nearby temple of Aphrodite in Palaipafos.
Clearly signposted on the left as you enter Geroskipou on the old Lemesos road, just before you get to the main square, is the town’s Folk Art Museum, one of the best on the island. Its location, the “House of Hadjismith”, is a listed building once owned by one Andreas Zoumboulakis, the British Vice Consul from 1800 to 1864. In fact much of the enjoyment of this museum lies in its setting – shady paved courtyards, wooden shutters and balconies, flagged rooms and rustic stone walls. The eclectic collection features everything from ceremonial “wedding breads” (glistarkes) of stunning intricacy and traditional waistcoats and scarves to musical instruments and even children’s swimming floats made from gourds. Look out too for the tapatsia, a basket which was slung from the ceiling on a rope to keep bread out of the reach of vermin. Everything is clearly labelled in Greek and English, with occasional sketches showing how things worked.