Yiannis Ritsos

(Liakoto & Library)

Yiannis Ritsos Monemvasia Statue

YIANNIS RITSOS

The old-fashioned kind of great poet.

A
s early as 1200, in the region of Epidavros-Limira, wealthy landowners started building in their large estates mansions and wineries and produced the exceptional wine of Malvazia.
 
The castle of Monemvasia became a commercial hub from where the famous wine was transported to the ports of the Mediterranean.
 
A sweet wine with a unique flavor that is even mentioned by Shakespeare in Richard III where he asks to be killed in a barrel of Malvazia wine.
 
The story of Liotrivi Boutique starts in such a mansion. In its large estate the white varieties are cultivated, and in the sun porches and the courtyards the grapes are sunned and dried, while in the vineyards the well known wines of Malvazia age. At the same time, the traditional cultivation of olive is kept alive and the many centuries - old olive trees of the estate prove that.

*EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK "THE CHILDHOOD YEARS OF MY BROTHER YIANNIS RITSOS" BY LOULA RITSOU – GLEZOU, PAGE 8.

"My father and uncles distributed their father’s estate among them, each taking such big pieces of land and fields that all eight of them became major landowners with very high incomes which allowed them not to work. They say that in those days about one hundred families were employed by the large Ritsos family. They worked in the olive groves, the vineyards, the vegetable gardens and the fields, the flour mills and the oil press, the homestead and the houses. Our father’s share included a farm in the village of Velies, a five hour walk from our island. That’s where we spent our summer holidays. In the big olive grove there was a garden, all kinds of trees and a two storey house. The veranda that went round the house was a prominent feature of the house and there were vineyards as far as the eye could see. It was so beautiful..."
Yiannis Ritsos
Yiannis Ritsos Monemvasia Velies

The mansion itself was a source of inspiration for the poet and his favorite house in the village as he called it. The many references in his works for the house, where he spent his childhood summers, reveal this love.

*EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK ICONOSTASIS OF ANONYMOUS SAINTS "THE QUESTIONS BECOME LESS" BY YIANNIS RITSOS.

(PAGE 8-9) "...and then it gets dark and the stars come out, twinkle, sparkle, multiply, and you don’t count them anymore, you don’t ask how many, when, from where and until when, because (maybe) you have entered the “sunroom forever”, and you don’t even call the ones you know with their beautiful names, nor do you try to give names to the others, the anonymous ones, the ones that in your childhood years, in Monemvasia or Velies, had ignited thousands of fires and verses, dreams and ambitions to find the “immortal water” for mother, for you, for Loula, Nina, Mimis, Aunt Olga, Aunt Eugenie, and our dog, Azor..."
(PAGE 83) "Even the stars have their own particular smells – Orion, Lyra, Canis Major, Bootes, Hyades, Berenice, Aquila, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, particularly Ursa Minor, smelled of dark raisin laid on the terrace, in Velies where at night you could hear the water fountain and where in the evening they watered the horses, the mules, the animals of the villagers and where the women filled their pitchers or small barrels that they carried on their backs. What fragrant smells of patience, transparency, solitude, wonder, vastness…"

The sun porch of the mansion was the poet’s favorite place, the place where he read, painted and in the evenings
looked at the stars and dreamt. Many family stories also unfolded-were narrated here...

*EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK "EPITAPF" BY YIANNIS RITSOS.

"In the sun porch and you gazed never sating your appetite.
Milking with your eyes the light of the world".

Contact Information

Liotrivi 4 Boutique Hotel
and Historical Mansion
+30 2732 053 060
+30 2732 061 391
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Monemvasia Velies, 23070, Peloponnese, Greece.
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