A Tale of Two Houses

In tribute to our origins as the house of a passionate art collector with a penchant for hosting, The Vasilicos is proud to support the Honorary Hospitality Programme run by the Benaki Museum at The Leigh Fermor House, another legendary house with a history of hosting artists, intellectuals, and writers.

The beautiful house of Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor in Kardamyli is one of the most famous artists’ houses in Greece. Built in the 1960s, and thoroughly enjoyed for many years, it was bequeathed by the couple to The Benaki Museum in 1996. Lovingly restored, it now receives guests as part of a well-thought-out fellowship programme run in partnership with leading universities and foundations, which honours both the letter and the spirit of the bequest.

Alongside these residencies, the Benaki Museum also runs its own Honorary Hospitality programme. Every year, the Museum selectively extends invitations for stays at The Leigh Fermor House to persons of note, in recognition of their special relationship to Greece and the Museum.

It is this programme that is run with the support of The Vasilicos, and our guests who choose to book directly with us.

This initiative is of special importance to The Vasilicos due to our special relationship with the Benaki Museum, which exhibited part of our art collection in 2006.

2024 Erika Fischer-Lichte
​This year, a Tale of Two Houses was delighted to welcome Professor Erika Fischer-Lichte, Professor of Theatre Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. 

Prof. Erika Fischer-Lichte joined the Faculty of the Theatre and Performance Studies Department at Freie Universität Berlin in 1996 and has served as president of the International Federation for Theatre Research. She is a member of the Academia Europaea, the Academy of Sciences, Göttingen, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle, and has held visiting professorships in China, India, Japan, Russia, Norway and the USA. Professor Fischer-Lichte has participated in numerous conferences and has given lectures in Greek Universities. She has published more than 30 books and articles in the fields of aesthetics, theory of literature, and art and theatre.  

During her stay at the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House in Kardamili, Professor Fischer-Lichte gave a lecture under the title “Philhellenism and Theatromania in Germany since 1800”. The lecture was given in English​, and it is available to watch here.

2023 Oliver Taplin
We had the honour of meeting Professor Oliver Taplin, Emeritus Professor of Classics at Oxford University, and attending his lecture given within the framework of the Benaki Museum’s honorary fellowship programme at the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House. 

Oliver Taplin is Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Oxford, where he taught for 35 years. In 1995 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, while in 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Athens. The main subject of his research has been the representation and materiality of ancient Greek poetry, tragedy and comedy, both in antiquity and in modern times. Among his books: The Stagecraft of Aeschylus (1977), Greek Tragedy in Action (1978), Homeric Soundings (1991), Comic Angels (1992), Pots & Plays (2007), some of which can be found in our capsule libraries at The Vasilicos. He is currently working on a book entitled TRAGEDY – the first 50 years, and his lecture for the Benaki Museum is based on his research on this book.

Professor Taplin has loved the Greek land and its people for 60 years and visits Greece as often as possible. Once again, the encounter had a serendipitous element – Professor Taplin is also an alumni of Corpus Christi College, one of the smallest, and oldest Oxford Colleges which also happens to be our alma mater.

Abstract: There is a tendency to think about ancient tragedy solely with reference to the three great poets. In reality they could not have become the celebrated names that they are without a whole “team” of collaborators. These were not merely marginal players and artisans (as is implied by Aristotle’s Poetics), but indispensable contributors to the achievement of the actual production in the theatre. In this lecture, Professor Taplin pays due attention to these other creative artists, and give them proper credit. The importance of their contributions is illustrated with particular reference to Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy.
The lecture An Exploration of how every Ancient Greek Tragedy was a Collaboration , given in English,  can be watched here.

2022 Roderick Beaton
We were especially proud to welcome Roderick Beaton as the first guest of this collaboration. Roderick Beaton is one of the most eminent specialists in Greek history, and we find it extremely fitting that our collaboration with the Benaki Museum started with this invitation. As our guests will know, his latest book, The Greek Revolution of 1821 and its Global Significance, published by Aiοra books, forms part of our Greek-themed The Vasilicos X Atlantis Books capsule library in your room and sits alongside Mani and Roumeli, two of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor’s most well-known travel books.
Link to Roderick Beaton’s lecture “British Philhellenism from Lord Byron to Patrick Leigh Fermor” (Greek only)


Little thank you presents for booking directly with us*:

  • Complimentary welcome and farewell transfers from/to port/airport
  • A 10% discount at our sister winery Vassaltis Vineyards
  • Early check-in (subject to availability)
  • Free late check-out  (subject to availability)
  • Greater flexibility with reservation modifications (standard rate only)

*applicable for stays over 2 nights

Direct bookings help us finance our project A Tale of Two Houses, which supports the Honorary Hospitality Programme run by the Benaki Museum at the legendary Leigh Fermor House in Kardamyli.