Dr IoannaBatsialou, a specialist in mesotherapy, aestheticsandanti-agingmedicine, alsospecialist inphysicalmedicineandrehabilitation, was born in Athens, but her home for almost 30 years has been the Serbian capital. She fell in lovewithBelgrade the instant she arrived in Serbia in 1990 to study medicine, andthis love, shesays, hasgrown ever stronger with the years. “I planned to go to Prague or Budapest, butmy father,whoworked intheMinistry of Defence, had a friend in Belgrade, an attaché at the Greek Embassy, and he managed to persuade me to change my decision. Belgrade seemed grey and dark compared toAthens tomeback then, with people wearing dark colours, but the energy of the Serbian capital and the people living there made me feel at home after just a few days. I soon realised that Serbs and Greeks are very similar people. Every Greekwho’s lived inSerbiawants to return.” She learnt Serbian during her rst year in Belgrade, then in 1991 received a student’s transcript index for the Medical Faculty. “It somehowhappenedthat itwasprecisely at that time that thewar brokeout in Croatia. I consideredpackingasuitcaseand returningtoAthens,but I changedmymind. I told myself: I will not go back, what hapspiteeverythingthey’vegonethroughover thepastseveraldecades. I loveSerbianmonasteriesandchurches, Serbianpatronsaints’ days, my ‘godmotherships’. I have 33 godmotherships – that’s howmany times Iwas a godmother/maid of honour at baptisms andweddings inSerbia. I’min lovewith the Drina, Uvac, Fruška Gora, Zlatibor, Palić... Shesaysthat thefoodinSerbiaissimilar toGreek food, and that‘ćevapi’, Karađorđe’s schnitzel, meatballs and llet in cream are her favouritedishes. ShealsoadoresSerbian folk music, especially Serbian ‘kolo’music. “My daughter Teofanija, who’s now ve years old, is already going to folklore dance. I support Red Star, and Novak Đoković is my favourite athlete, because he is the most powerful proof of what one person can achieve in life through their own work, e ort and energy. I’ve toured the whole world, and if I could choose again I’d live in Belgrade. pens topeople inSerbiawill happen tome. I missed my family, so in 1993 I convinced my brother and sister to come to Belgrade to study. When I graduated from college, I again considered that it was time to pack my bags, but then my brother and sister persuaded me to stay.” She earned her doctorate in 2003, packed her things again, gave up her at and decided to throw a farewell party before leaving Serbia. “And at that very celebration I meet Dragan, my future husband. I didn’t think loveat rst sight existed; that thatonlyhappens in lms. And then it happened tome. I enrolled to study sub-specialisation inhyperbaric medicine, then began my great work in the eld of mesotherapy and anti-aging, I travelled constantly, and slowly gainedpatients. I planned to return toAthens withmy brother, sister and Dragan after thewedding and toopen a clinic there, to work there as a family.” All plans halt with death of her brotherGeorgie. She remains inBelgrade, opens her clinic and nally realises that her life in Serbia is complete. “Here I most love the people, their ghtingspirit, joy for life, and the fact that they have not lost their spirit and faith, de- TOP IOANNIN IZBOR JOANNA’S CHOICE VRAČAR Ovde živim već 26 godina. Poznajem i volim svaki vračarski ćošak, ulicu, park, kafanu... Iznova se divim lepoti Hrama Svetog Save, a posebno Crkvi Svete Trojice, koja se gradi i čiji sam ktitor. Obožavam i Kalenić pijacu... KALEMEGDAN Kad god imam slobodnog vremena, sa ćerkom Teofanijom odem na Kalemegdan. Fascinira me lepota tvrđave, kao i pogled na ušće Save u Dunav. Na kraju uvek svratimo u restoran Kalemegdanska terasa. POZORIŠTA Zaljubljena sam u beogradska pozorišta, a najčešće idem u Narodno i Jugoslovensko dramsko. Bar jednom nedeljno sam u pozorištu – što za velike, što za male. ZEMUNSKI KEJ Volim potez do hotela Jugoslavija. Ta šetnja mi je nakon napornog radnog dana najbolja antistres terapija. KOŠUTNJAK I ADA Nakon uživanja u Košutnjaku i ručka u nekom od tamošnjih restorana, najčešće se spustim na Adu Ciganliju da prošetam pored jezera. VRAČAR I’ve been living here for 26 years. I know and love all of Vračar’s corners, streets, parks, taverns... I admire again and again the beauty of Saint Sava Temple, and especially the Church of the Holy Trinity, which is being built, of which I am a patron. I also love Kalenić Market... KALEMEGDAN Whenever I have free time with my daughter Teofanija, I go to Kalemegdan. I’m fascinated by the beauty of the fortress, but also the view of the confluence of the Sava and Danube. At the end, we always drop in at Kalemegdanska Terasa restaurant. THEATRES I’m in love with Belgrade’s theatres, and most often go to the National and Yugoslav Drama. I’m at a theatre at least once a week – both large ones and small ones. ZEMUN QUAYSIDE I like the stretch to Hotel Yugoslavia. That stroll, after a hard day’s work, is the best anti-stress therapy for me KOŠUTNJAK & ADA After enjoying Košutnjak and lunch at some restaurant there, I usually head down to Ada Ciganlija to walk beside the lake. Doctor Ioanne was awarded for her charitable work in 2017 with the Order of Saint Sava - the top award of the Serbian Orthodox Church Humanitarni rad doktorke Ioanne nagrađen je 2017. godine Ordenom Svetog Save — najvećim priznanjem Srpske pravoslavne crkve