Kalimera! Ready for more of our Greek adventures?
The mountain village of Profitas Ilias is a 28km drive from Stegna and the location of the infamous Villa De Vechi, also known as Mussolini's Mansion. Built by Count Cesare de Vecchi, an adviser to Benito Mussolini from 1936 until 1947, El Duce never actually spent summers here, as was the original intention, but Vecchi himself lived in the Italianate mansion when he was governor of the Dodecanese until 1947 when the islands were ceded to Greece and the house abandoned.
Some say that the building was deliberately allowed to fall into disrepair as a permanent reminder of the Count’s cruelty to the local people and of Italy’s failure to “Italianise” the Dodecanese. The Villa De Vechi isn't signposted but for those who can find it, its free to explore but, be warned, do watch your step if you decide to pay a visit, it really is in a bad way.
A few months ago, we'd seen photos of Mussolini's Mansion posted on a derelict spaces site and, as you well know, neither of us resist a dilapidated building or exploring unusual places away from the well-trodden tourist trail.