Vassilis Prasinos and his small paradise at Donoussa
Donoussa belongs to small Cyclades. Seated where seaways are joint Donoussa from times to times has been destination for passengers. During the 18th and 19th century navigators used it for mooring as they were sailing from Naxos to Patmos, or the reverse direction. This rocky island had had more than one settlements in prehistory of the very first Cycladic Civilization. Donoussa had been a trading post between seaways, where Attica and Evia are joint with the east Aegean Pelagos (“pelagos” means the open sea in greek language). In the times of Roman Empire the island had been used for displacements. In the Middle Ages had been used as Pirate’s base. The new navigators, in our times, maybe they have other purposes for travelling, but they have a common sense of love about sea and quests…
Vassilis Prasinos is a navigator of our times. He was born in Athens, but his parents were born and lived at Donoussa. Vassili’s summer are all connected with sea, sun and all these particular elements of Cycladitic landscape. His surname “Prasinos” (it means in greek language the “green” colour) is very common in this area, “Mavros” and “Kokkinos” also (“mavros” means the black colour and “kokkinos” means the “red” colour). “Possibly this surname comes from byzantine civilization. But there is another explanation about its existence which is connected with pirates who had raged this area. When pirate ships were approaching these islands, their habitants were catching the sight of the colour of the flag of each ship. So, they used to yell at each other; “the Black!” (Mavros) or “The Green!” (Prasinos). After the piratical raids on the islands, many children were borned (I believe that those babies were not always babies of love…). So, those kids were named as Mavro’s children or Green’s children as were the names of the raiders…”
At Donoussa, Vassilis has passed the most beautiful and carefree summers of his life. Donoussa is a refuge of joy for him, he says. “Except of my feelings for Donoussa, it really is an original and virgin landscape. It is an awesome geographical point in the map of this area, with unique features in the world like the clarity of the sunlight, the plain lines of the landscape, and the absolute light blue sea.” Vassilis said. He has chosen this unique environment to establish his business. Vassilis has construct a small house consisted of three residences, the “Petalides Residences”. “If you ever eat “petalides” you have the feeling of the sea into your mouth. I love searching and picking “petalides” in the summer”.
Vassilis loves the hearing of the word “petalides”! So he turned the meaning into the trademark of his three residencies. “We decided to construct this small number of residencies, offering the best services we could for everyone of our guests, and we choose of having personal relationships with them. We have brought out the traditional architectural lines and forms combining with contemporary architectural and decorative percepts avoiding the folklore style. Further, we brought in the connection of the inner to the external space and the sea, creating an environment with a sense of calm and peaceful.” Vassilis said.
Every residence has its big veranda with open view on sea…
“Here we have made everything with love. And despite the short time schedules until the residencies would be completed (the residencies had finished in seven months), I’ve tried this business not to be an anxious process for us. So, we were working with joy to solve all the problems in a logical base with co-operative spirit through dialogue. We’ve worked with all the mediums and the sources we had had in our fingertips. The workers were greek habitants and emigrants from Albania. All together the workers have worked very hard in harsh weather conditions. That’s why I’ve felt the necessity to give congrats, publicly, to each one of them through the social media.” Vassilis said.
Vassilis hasn’t give the center of his attention only in architecture construction of the residencies. The traditional breakfast has been another focal point. The breakfast in “Petalides” includes rich quantity of sliced cheese and deli meat from the local area and fresh fruits from the island depending the local production, for example prickly pears and other pears. “The breakfast depends on the demands of each customer who always inform us about their habbits.” he said.
The acceptance looks being very increased. “It is noticeable that this year the reservations have began as starting point on October. As a result , we are having a very good number of reservations for spring and summer.” Vassilis said.
At present, in winter there are just a few visitors. But Vassilis believes that in the near future the greek islands will become destination for winter holidays because their beauty remains rare and in the winter months…
Winter in Donoussa. Vassilis had been living at Donoussa for 12 months, when “Petalides” were under construction. “It was a strange year because I had decided to change my profession which had been in financial sector and my way of living. I lived the whole winter time at Donoussa and I believe that I’ won’t ever forget it! Donoussa is an island with 150 citizens and many of them are young and children. Recently, many people have chosen the island to live permanently, and in this way a potential society has been started to be created.
The tourism and the new “seeds” are going to exempt Donoussa from the winter isolation. “The base of such a situation in Donoussa is still the expectations and the benefits reflecting from tourism. Although, the “seeds” of thinking have started to grow to get out of the isolation of the winter time the small islands, and progressively to become societies which would be active, and where the contemporary ideas would be combined with traditional elements innovating new jobs and imaginative environments in everyday life.
What is it that makes Donoussa unique? Vassilis guides us in a small paradise… “Donoussa is an island where you could swim and relax naked on a beach with other bathers wearing swimsuits without the one disturbing the other. There is also space for the camper and the one who rents a room. It is an island where you could be living like hippies or cosmics, hipsters or rockers, with your family or as a single. Finally, it is an island where you may enjoy your free time with qualities, where you may dance, you could fall in love. It is such the beauty and the energy of this land that fades out the negativities and the differences between the visitors as it brings on the surface the one and awesome human nature.”
Vassilis has made reality the change of the way of living and has brought the summer to his life. Dreams and targets don’t fade out for Vassilis. With small steps each time Vassilis and his brothers are running their agricultural production. They verified their farm as biological production of aloe, onions and herbs. “I would hypothesis that in a short time from now on we are going to have the final product”, Vassilis said. As he was talking about all this he was proud and he wasn’t influenced from because of the crisis. He has made his dreams coming true and hopes to watch Donoussa changing to a land full of life with many children playing in the schoolyard, all the time, in winter or summer.
Read about “Petalides”: http://www.petalides.gr/el/