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Santorini, GR 25 C

“Meraki” is one of those Greek words, like “Filotimo” or “Leventia”, that are almost impossible to translate into another language.

In simple words it means to do something that originated from the heart with passion and absolute devotion. 

Therefore, a person that gives all his or her undivided attention to a labor of love is called a “meraklis”.

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Petrakis was one such “meraklis”. He was born and raised in Santorini and went to study fine arts in Venice. 

His love for the arts was well known on the island and every artist visiting Santorini for work or inspiration had to meet him.

He would encourage them to hike together on the footpaths, to watch the fields at a specific hour of the day or to explore the caves of Santorini.

That’s how he came up with the idea of building an annex to his house so he could host fellow artists that came to the island to search for their muse.

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Musicians, painters, sculptors, poets, writers or dancers, everyone chose to stay at Petrakis’ house since he had always good stories to share about people that had passed through his place and a way of putting an inspiration spell on art lovers.

The 7,7 Richter earthquake of 1956 unfortunately turned Petrakis’ house into rubble, so, the same year, he started the construction of a new establishment with even more rooms than before.

There would be finally 10 of them in total, one for himself and nine more for his guests,dedicated to the nine Muses of Greek mythology, each one a patron of an art. Calliope, Thalia, Erato and Polymnia were the muses of epic, comic, lyric and sacred poetry respectively.

Clio was the muse of history and Melpomene of tragedy. Flutes and music were Euterpe’s arts whereas Terpsichore’s was dance. Urania, the last one, was the muse of astronomy.

In this way Petrakis managed to gather all nine Muses in one place.

Renovated in 2019 in a modern style but keeping the Cycladic/Santorinian touch of arches and traditional wooden doors and windows, the new Muses accommodation still oversees the old vineyards on the north coastline of the island, inducing a feeling of calmness and relaxation.