This site is managed by Alex Calothis, who moved to Greece in August 2005.
He recently bought and is slowly renovating an old stone house in a village near Nafplion,
in the prefecture of Argolida, on the Peloponnese.
Many of the properties listed on the site are in the local area, however we hope to expand
in the future to cover more of Greece.
We welcome your comments and suggestions about the site, and will do our best to answer
all emails promptly. We are also happy to share our experiences of moving to Greece!
Argolida, the Eastern province of the Peloponese, is the cradle of ancient Greek civilization, and a great base from which to sample all the best that Greece has to offer.
The hilly landscape is covered with olive and orange groves and dotted with the ruins of Mycenae and Argos, the first mega-city states of Ancient Greece, and the important Mycenaean cities of Tyrins, birthplace of Hercules, and Assini, immortalized by George Seferis. The town of Nafplion, the first capital of Greece after liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1830, is a jewel of an 18th century Mediterranean port town. Epidaurus, near Nafplion, is the best preserved ancient Greek theater anywhere, and, to this day, the venue of ancient drama and other theatrical productions.
Argolida is littered with the remains of the great Mycenaean civilization, and is the ideal starting point for any visitor interested in the history of Greece. As well as the famous sites such as Mycenae itself, there are plenty of other ancient treasures to discover in the region.
The three most important cities of pre-Classical Greece are clustered together, within 15 km, on the Argive plain: Mycenae, the city of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, Argos, the capital of Trojan war leader Menelaos, and Tyrins, the birthplace of Hercules.
These three are today some of the most visited aercheological sites of Greece and they still generate awe, some 3,000 years past their heyday.
In more recent times the region was once again significant when Nafplion became the first capital city of modern Greece in 1830, following the war of independence.
Mycenaean civilization flourished in 1500-1000 BC. Our knowledge of it is indirect, since very few scriptures or other direct evidence about the happenings of this era have been found. The main sources for the history of the House of Atreus, the Mycenaean dynasty, is Homer, the dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and what was written about it by Hellenistic and later historians.
According to these sources, Agamemnon, the King of Mycenae, who led the Greek armies against Troy, was born with an ancient curse on his family. When the army and the navy gathered in Avlys, east of Athens, to set off for Troy, the winds died down and the ships could not sail. An oracle told the Greeks that Agamemnon had to sacrifice his younger daughter, Ifigenia, for the winds to start blowing, which he did, after some agonizing, and off they went on their 10-year expedition that led to Troy’s fall.
Victorious and complacent, after his Trojan triumph, Agamemnon returned to Mycenae, but his enstranged wife, Clytemnestra, still reeling from her daughter’s death and her husband’s well known extra-marital affairs, killed Agamemnon in his bath and installed her lover as the new king. Mad with rage at his father’s death, her son Orestes encouraged by his sister Electra, kills his mother and her lover and takes off on a journey of madness, haunted by the Erynyes (the “Furies”, minor godesses of guilt), until Apollo and Athena, two of the major Gods, absolve him of the crime of having killed his mother.
To this day, three thousand years later, Greeks call wifes who kill their husbands “Clytemnestra”, the same way they call chronic pessimists “Cassandras”, after Trojan king Priamus’ future-telling daughter who kept warning her arrogant fellow Trojans of the city’s imminent fall and foresaw that theTrojan Horse was just that.
The Mycenaeans’ time of glory faded around the 8th century BC. Nevertheless, Argos, the second most important Mycenaean city, whose Trojan war-era ruler Menelaos was Agamemnon’s brother, flourished and became a regional power in the Peloponese, almost on a par with Sparta and Corinth.
Nafplion was the harbor of Argos from the 7th century BC on, and became an important military and commercial harbor during the Venetian’s rule of the Peloponese. The Venetians, led by Governor Morosini of Crete, built Palamidi, the castle above the town, and Bourtzi, the small garrison tower in the middle of the harbor, and made Nafplion the capital of the whole Peloponese.
Nafplion was the hub of administrative activity of the revolutionary forces during Greece’s 1821 War of Independence and, first Astros Kynourias, and then Palea Epidavros were the venues of Greece’s first constitutional convention, in the second half of 1821, in the first year of the revolution.
After the liberation was confirmed with the 1830 Treaty of London, Nafplion became the country’s first capital. Governor (i.e. President) Ioannis Kapodistrias, the Corfiot-born Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire landed here on 7 January 1828 as sovereign Greece’s first ruler.
His government did not last long; a couple of years later he was assassinated by southern Peloponese warlords, over land and power disputes, as he was entering Sunday church services at the Chruch of Saint Spyridon. That was the end of the country’s republican dreams. The capital was moved to Athens in 1834 and Nafplion remained the quiet and pretty regional administrative hub of the eastern Peloponese.