Metsovo is a beautiful town in northern Greece, perched in the Pindos Mountains, 1000m above sea level. Its traditional houses, stone-built and adorned with tile roofs and wooden porches, are built in a natural amphitheater and nestle between tall trees. It was a good destination for escaping the heatwave and piles of rubbish in Athens.
The central square is kept cool by the refreshing shade of ancient plane trees.
Metsovo owes a lot to two benefactors: Michael Tossizza, a wealthy and eccentric man who left his fortune to the town, and Evangelos Averoff, a prominent politician and Prime Minister of modern Greece, whose friendship with the former and passion for the town, resulted in the establishment of the Tossizza foundation.
The BARON MICHAEL TOSSIZZA FOUNDATION was founded in 1947 with the aim of maintaining Metsovo’s cultural heritage and sustaining its economic growth.
The foundation implemented many projects, building schools and roads, a hospital and a ski resort; renovating and maintaining traditional buildings, churches and monasteries, planting trees, and creating student housing in Athens for students from Northern Greece. It established a timber factory, and a cheese factory (today Metsovo cheeses such as Metsovone, a type of provolone, are famous in Greece and one of the must-buy products for visitors). There is a Folk Art Museum and the Katogi Averoff Wine Factory, which also houses a hotel.
There was a wedding going on, and it was fun to watch the traditional procession through town. There was much playing of music, and stopping for impromptu dancing.
Young and old alike dressed in traditional finery.
The Church of Saint George is a beautiful stone building, surrounded by a variety of shady trees.
After the ceremony, a feast was held under the trees in the park, involving the roasting of umpteen lambs on the spit.
The meat was supplemented by home-made pies and local cheeses. Wine and beer flowed freely.
A lovely place to visit, and so different from the Greek islands.