The Mani peninsula, the wild middle finger at the southern tip of Greece’s Peloponnese, is Paddy Leigh Fermor territory. He and Joan lived in a house they built outside Kardamyli for about 40 years. It is one of the most beautiful houses I’ve seen.
In 1996, they bequeathed it to one of Greece’s foremost museums, the Benaki. Upon Paddy’s death in 2011 the museum acquired full ownership and ever since, they’ve been working to meet his desire for the house to host researchers and writers looking for a quiet and hospitable place to work.
Its refurbishment was completed last year. The Benaki have a fascinating section all about the house’s history, the restoration and its future here.
Two more things:
If you haven’t read Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, regarded by many as his best book, then you must.
And if you’re a fan of Richard Linklater’s astonishing ‘Before’ trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, the final instalment, Before Midnight (2013), is largely set in the house.