I had heard many interesting things about Viniani, its history, its nice location up in the mountains.. What made me want to visit Viniani, though, was the fact that it is abandoned. The inhabitants left the place and founded Nea Viniani further down in the lowlands, in a place friendlier to their everyday life.

The road to Viniani passes through high mountains and deep gorges to finally reach the breathtaking landscape in which it is built. The village rests amphitheatrically on the slope facing the opposite consecutive mountain ridges as they fade out into the passing clouds. Steep stone alleys, half-ruined terraces, half-opened doors. Only the sound of the wind disturbs this peaceful serenity. Everyday life wouldn’t be easy in such a place, so I fully understand why the inhabitants moved their settlement further down in the lowlands.

The houses of the village, despite their abandonment, are in a good state. Many of them are still locked up as if their dwellers had just left. Walking down the desolate alleys, a green door caught my eye. It was half-opened and lead to a small internal yard. Green was also the colour of the main entrance to the house. Closing in and opening the right leaf of the door, I found myself in front of a purple room. Sunlight was coming through the open door making the colour of the opposite wall shine. Inside the room, a fallen chair, a table and two shirts still hanging in their hanger. To the left an open door, to the right a closed one, while further in a skylight above the table shading a faint light. I stood there by the entrance for a quite while, watching this interplay of colour and light. After imprinting this magical image in my mind, I moved on to the interior. . . 

Every time I visit such places I assume a non-intrusive stance and a watchful eye, trying not to disturb their environment. However, as it so often happens, no sooner do I have the chance to visit the same place twice than I discover it is different. Time, nature and man leave their marks, transforming it into a wounded carcass. For now, the only thing I can do is to take pictures, attempting in this way to salvage its memory, a memory that is gradually fading away.  

 Christos Simatos