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The Aristotelian Theory of Greek villas, or why we have such boring names for our villas.

I am glad I studied Philosophy – it has so many practical applications.

For example, I am frequently asked by clients who have booked a villa what the address of their villa is, as they do not believe/like/trust our rather boring villa names  – “Spetses1E” for example.

“But what is the villa really called” they ask plaintively, “and what is the address?”

In reality the villa name and address is probably  “The villa built by Yanni behind the church, when his wife ran off with Dimitri his brother in law, the house with the grey  shutters and the pink bougainvillaea in the front.”

Many a time I have stood on a blasted hillside on Mykonos on the phone to an owner trying to locate the house we are inspecting, to be told  “The white house with the blue shutters near the church with the dome”

This is clearly not terribly helpful for anyone trying to find a house, for the Fedex man trying to deliver precious cases of wine ordered by a client, or indeed for the chauffeur of the car taking clients to start their holiday, but, digging deep into the recesses of my memory, I can draw on Aristotle to support my reply that the name is not an essential part of the villa, and that the existence of the  villa is not predicated on its attributed name. And somehow, everyone always finds their villa.

I would hasten to add that Yanni and Dimitri have since sorted out their affairs, and the errant wife is now living with Pavlos in the big house on the hill with ochre walls and green shutters, that was sold to him by the German that returned to Hamburg 5 years ago.

One house on Ithaca for example is referred to as “Aprilio’s house”. The house is in fact owned by the granddaughter of a man called something completely different, whose brother 60 years ago had a concession to sell Aprilio motorbikes in Greece – Every name contains a short story in fact – sometimes tragic, sometimes inspiring, sometimes disapproving. Greeks love their short dramas which are always human interest stories.

However, we poor agents are left with the task of naming hundreds of villas whose owners all suggest calling them “Villa Panorama” or “Villa Sunset”, so have settled for prosaic initials that do somewhat challenge our memory but should be useful in warding off dementia.

I tried explaing this to an editor of a triple A national newspaper who was not convinced that a villa they were writing about did not have a name like Villa Bella Vista.  I think I managed to confuse him so much that he gave up and wrote “The villa that Five Star Greece insists is called “Santorini 1V”

So you see, even the Financial Times  resorts to Greek naming practice..

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