Dovecots, chapels, goats and giant rocks in the Aegean Sea

by Simo Capecchi from a trip to Τήνος, Cyclades archipelago, Greece, 2011.



A few years ago I was in Tinos, an island just in front of Mikonos that has a totally different kind of tourism: it is the destination for one of the most active yearly pilgrimage in the Mediterranean Sea. On August 15, thousands of pilgrims reach the Panagia Evangelistria church and its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary, crawling on their hands and knees as a sign of devotion.

Τήνος

Scattered among the island there are more than a thousand little chapels and a similar number of old venetians dovecots towers.

Τήνος

Rocks there have the most surreal and fascinating shapes. They can be perfectly round shaped and gigantic, or totally full of strange holes, and some of them can be divided in enormous perfect slices, good for making walls and other rural constructions. The entire island is like a land art masterpiece, a both human and natural opera, where ancient stones walls and abandoned circular threshing floors dot the wild landscape.

Τήνος

Wild goats are all over so the rare cultivated fields have to be very well protected.

Greece, South Aegean.

Tinos has been also famous for its marble quarries, used in ancient times. A marble processing activity is still alive specially in Panormos area, with lots of artisans and an art school. Some of the students must have carved this portrait of Aeolus, near an old quarry by the sea. Like in all Aegean island, the Meltemi wind blows very hard from July to August, safe enough for a kid to try surf, so my sons had fun too.

Greece, South Aegean.

This island is so special that I didn’t want to leave it. I felt to keep it like a secret place, but change my mind now and I hope its inhabitants, whose main income might be tourism, will survive to this long crisis.  My other drawings in this set or in the slideshow below. A making of a watercolor here.

The reason why I remind now about this trip is a recent illustration I made for “Dove” (it means “Where”!), an italian travel magazine I started to collaborate with, inspired by my Tinos sketchbooks:

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