A mountain town shaded by ancient trees

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.

 

More than 1000 years old

 

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.

 

Village elders take the air on the square

 

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.

 

Barrels of wine in the Katogi factory

 

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.

 

Little girls wearing the beautiful national costume

 

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.

 

Sticking to tradition means spurning the use of electricity to turn the spits!

 

The meat was supplemented by home-made pies and local cheeses. Wine and beer flowed freely.

 

The wearing of traditional dress does not preclude the use of modern appliances

 

A lovely place to visit, and so different from the Greek islands.

 

Children run free around town. The plane tree in the background is a lot older than the one in the first photo

 

 

17 thoughts on “A mountain town shaded by ancient trees

  1. Love that resplendent example of Greek manhood, fierce and traditional, sucking on a ciggie and checking his phone 🙂 Lovely post, and it gives me hope that Greece is not entire submerged under either rubbish or despair…

    Like

  2. A labour intensive way of cooking lamb – one man to a spit – but what a great way to chill out and have a chat. I can’t see any women there – is it like barbecues where men who would never be seen dead in a kitchen suddenly leap into action?
    Pompoms on men’s shoes! I think we all need more of that sort of thing in our lives.

    Like

    1. Exactly! The women made the pies! And chill out is not really the word, they must have been broiling what with it being 30 degrees in the shade and all those glowing embers. But I’m sure the wine and beer helped…

      Like

  3. I saw the link to this post over on Janice’s blog, Mostly Blogging. A great write up and read and I love the photos. I’ve been to Greece several times and have always enjoyed my time there. The Greek Islands are an amazing place to visit.

    Like

    1. Thank you for dropping in, Hugh! The islands are great but there are so many lovely places on the mainland too. I joined Janice’s party early and have not had time to go back since. Will scoot over to your blog asap 🌸

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s