The Tsitouras Collection, Santorini, Greece

In the seventies, quiet Firostefani had enchanted Dimitris Tsitouras.  It was sparsely populated back then and time had left its patina on the white bell towers and mills.  He said he fell in love with Santorini first and then with his wife, whom he was quick to inform that, if she did not fall in love with the island as well, then he would not marry her. Luckily, Angela did fall in love with the place and they bought a 19th-century manor house in Firostefani that had not suffered much damage during the earthquake.

With his unbridled energy, generosity and, above all, his enthusiasm for what he did in life, Dimitris hosted friends from all over the world at his island home: poets, artists, and collectors, like him. The instinct of creation emerged crystal clear with the spectacular view of the purple sunsets that the guests enjoyed from the verandahs of the manor with its imposing, vaulted ceilings and spacious rooms. One summer, Gianni Versace saw in Dimitris what he did not see himself, and he told him that he had an inherent talent for design. This is what brought to the surface not only the creation of beautiful luxury objects, which began to find their way to the international market, but also the dream of what Santorini could be, became mirrored in his eyes, and so he advertised it in a completely personal style, like any authentic creator would. Every idea of his made the round of the world, and ended up exactly where it was intended to be.

“I could not even imagine I would take this road. Not only with the creation of the Tsitouras Collection, with the objects of my inspiration being executed by excellent Greek artists, but Gianni encouraged me to turn my home into an exclusive boutique hotel, so I left my career as a lawyer and became a hotelier.”

Sitting on the verandah of the transformed boutique hotel, I admired its various levels which communicate with each other by means of stairs, and with the fluid lines of architecture:  strict, simple, gorgeous in their whiteness, combining the blue of the sky with that of the sea, the only colour visible from where I sat.  There was no better way to relax the eye than to gaze upon this scene.  The simple luxury was not at all superficial, everything having been very carefully placed.  A part of the art collection had arrived from Athens, selected to decorate the six suites with impressive elegance…

An excerpt from the book: GREECE, The Dance of the Seas

The Tsitouras Collection, Santorini, Greece

The Tsitouras Collection, Santorini, Greece

Sunset in Santorini, Greece

Sunset in Santorini, Greece

Barbara Athanassiadis