The abandoned Villa de Vecchi or also known as Mussolini’s Villa located in Profitis Ilias Mountain. Do not to be confused by Villa de Vecchi in Italy as there is not any relation between them. The place planned to be holiday home of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator. This explains the unusual for its age artfully decorated walls, floors and ceilings.
The islands had been under the control of Italy since 1912 when these were relinquished to the Italians from Ottoman Empire. Villa de Vecchi was constructed by Mussolini’s adviser, Count Cesare de Vecchi from 1936 to 1947. The truth is that Mussolini didn’t really spend any summer in the villa, which was supposed to be the original plan. However, Vecchi himself resided in this Italianate mansion during his term as Dodecanese Island’s governor until 1947.
The villa is facing the Elafos and Elafina Hotel, another Italian made buildings. They constructed in the alpine style that serve as further examples of the plans of the fascist dictator for Rhodes to become an Italian empire’s outpost.
It is quite amazing how the mansion was able to retain its original chapel that is erected a distance away with the stained glass windows surprisingly still intact.
The wood-framed French doors that run the length of the main living room’s wall still frame the stunning views over the Turkish coast and the island of Symi.
Deserted since 1947 when the Dodecanese islands were surrendered to Greece, the fireplaces and walls of this two-story wooden and stone structure is now covered with graffiti. Only the painted ceilings are still intact and remind us its glorious past.
Some people claim that the villa was intentionally allowed to fall into its shabby condition to serve as the permanent reminder of the purported cruelty of the Count to the locals and of the failure of Italy to Italianize the Dodecanese. In any case, the villa remains mysteriously beautiful and it’s a popular destination for all kind of Rhodes tours.
The Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund (HRADF) placed the villa on the market back in 2014 and surprisingly, it remains to be on the market to this day.
Villa de Vecchi is perched on Profitis Elias mountain. This mountain rises at 641 meters southwest just 25 kilometers away of the town of Rhodes. It is a lovely wooded mountain that also serves as the home to some really interesting attractions. Because of its altitude the location of the villa offers a stunning landscape of both Turkey and Simi island.
If you are coming from the crossroad of Kolymbia, the places you will meet are the Seven Springs and the monastery of Aghios Nektarios. You will find a lot of potable water around the area. A bit further you will pass through the village of Archipoli and 5 km further you arrive at Eleousa village. A mysterious and large derelict building will welcome you once there. During the times of World War II it was a hospital. After the Italian left became a sanatorium for chronically ill patients but, since the 70s, they closed off the sanatorium. At the crossroad, you need to take the road to Profitis Ilias. The route is ideal for natural lovers as you drive through the green forest of the mountain. About 15 minutes further you meet the Elafos hotel parking area. Opposite of the hotel, hidden behind the trees dominates the Mussolini’s villa.
The shortest option is coming from the town of Soroni. After you pass the village of Dimilia you meet the village of Aghia Eleousa. Then, you follow the same route to Profitis Ilias from there.
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