Lacemaking is a tradition said to have begun with the noblewomen of Lusignan and Venetian times. It is rumoured that in 1481, Leonardo da Vinci bought an altercloth made in Lefkara village for the Milan Cathedral. In 1869 a local lace school was opened and Lefkara lace regained much of its ancient renown.
Lefkara is therefore renowned for its lacemaking. The village takes its name from the white of its silica and limestone. The word lefkara comes from the combination of the word “lefka” meaning white in Greek and “ori” meaning mountains or hills. Lefkara has been listed as one of the thirty most beautiful villages in Europe.
In the summer, the women work outdoors in groups producing the intricate laceworks called lefkaritika, as they have been doing for centuries. It is a delicate skill which takes patience and creativity. In Pano Lefkara there is the Traditional Museum of Embroidery and Silver Smithing, where these two skills can be viewed. Lefkara is divided into two villages and upper or Pano Lefkara in the more popular because of its lacemaking. The village is traditionally picturesque. The streets are narrow and the houses have balconies and courtyards in Italianate style. If you are lucky, you will catch a lacemaker demonstrating her craft and delicate skill, a skill which has been famous for centuries.
Lefkara is also renowned for its famous ‘Tavas,’ a stew made with lamb, potatoes, rice and onions cooked slowly in the oven. There are many tavernas in the village where you can try this traditional dish and other Cypriot dishes, sitting cozily by the fire with a local wine. You can easily combine the day exploring the village and its famous lacemaking and try the local food.