La Casa Grande is a wonderful Retreat and so conducive to creative endeavours. It is located next to the small hillside village of Agios Ioannis, Evia and within 15 minutes of the iconic seaside town of Aliveri, full of tavernas, cafes and supermarkets. But the key to this retreat is La Casa Grande itself.
The stone-built house with its patios and awnings is peaceful and has many nooks and crannies to work in. Yet, this lovingly refurbished house has all modern conveniences with a first class kitchen with a fast, secure and reliable broadband connection. There are numerous walks and strolls around the village some easy and others challenging.
Nikos manages the facility conscious of the needs of artists and writers and is readily available to assist and guide. The excellent logistics of the Retreat with ‘meet and greet’ at Athens Airport and the transfer at the end of the Retreat relieve the guest of worries or concerns. Nikos’s attention to detail and his practical approach is refreshing.
Above all else, La Casa Grande is a great place to work in and reflect. It’s very walls are lyrical and homely. After an all too brief sojourn, I can assuredly recommend La Casa Grande.
Once again Nikos and Georgia and families thank you for a wonderful visit and “I will be back”.
Frank Reidy is a former army commandant, defence and security analyst focusing on Middle East & East Africa, member of TG4 Board, researcher and of course writer. During his 25 years in the Defence Forces, he was stationed in the Curragh in Kildare as head of the Audio Visual Unit, where he lectured on Media Studies in the Military College. He spent periods in both the Middle East and in Rwanda. On his retirement, he spent some time working with RTÉ as a reporter and researcher. He returned to Rwanda in 2000, working for Refugee Trust International. He regularly returns to Africa, travelling and as a voluntary worker.
His first book, Ó Chósta go Cósta, which was published by Cló Iar-Chonnachta in 2009, is based on his travels in east Africa. Ó Chósta go Cósta won the prestigious the Irish language book of the year award – Gradam Uí Shiúilleabháin – in 2010. Frank was born in Sligo and he lives in Ros a’ Mhíl, Co Galway. He is a regular contributor to both Raidió na Gaeltachta and TG4 on both defence and international issues.
Frank spent two weeks staying in La Casa Grande in October 2019.