Spetses, the aristocrat
Zeus+Dione visits the historic island of Spetses
Spetses island is just a boat stop away from Zeus & Dione’s all time go-to source of inspiration, Hydra island, and three hours all together from the port of Piraeus.
It’s Friday 21st of July, and Zeus+Dione team arrives at the port of the small, beautiful island of Spetses for the exclusive pop-up event at Mageia store. On this hot summer’s afternoon, the air carried the smell of the sea one moment, then freshly baked traditional cookies “Amigdalota” the next. We were welcomed by the array of whitewashed, neoclassical houses and century-old shops and cafes lining the tiny port of Dapia. Locals and tourists relaxed under the shade, sipping on their iced coffees and eying the island’s latest arrivals.
As soon as we settled into our room we set off to make the most of the remaining days. Our first stop was none other than Poseidonion Grand Hotel which hosted the Zeus & Dione’s pop-up store from the 19th to the 23rd of July.
On our way back to Dapia, we ride past the Chadjigiannis – Mexis Mansion, nowadays Museum of Spetses, dating back to 1798. We’re informed that the museum closes in ten minutes and we hastily drop our bikes to make our way through its gate. We want to have a closer look at the embroidery of the “Zipouni” (short fitted jacket) of the Spetses’ traditional dress that we had discussed earlier in the week with the rest of the team for one of our upcoming capsule collections. As we lean closer towards the glass showcase, one of the name tags reads “formal dress” similar to our custom-made emerald Galaxy Collection dress Mareva selected for a wedding, adorning a similar showcase few centuries down the line.
I walked the bike through the narrow streets to reach the main road leading to the old port when I came across the mansion of the heroine of the Greek Revolution, Lascarina Bouboulina, built about 300 years ago. It is the same heroine whose statue I had admired at the corner of the Poseidonion square and who had led the islanders’ assault on an Ottoman fleet, during the Greek Independence war of 1821-32. I promised myself to come back and explore the museum tomorrow and continued on my route. The 1.5 klm road separating Spetses’ old and new port is lined with mansions of less historical significance than Bouboulina’s, but equal grandiosity that kept my eyes off the road for most of the route. The numerous horse-drawn carriages transporting visitors back and forth are telling of the island’s affluent roots and take you back to the day when the mansions were built.