Villas in Lefkada
Apolpena, lefkada, Greece
(+30) 6978029756
(+30) 6974820410

About Palagio Di Orio

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Palagio Di Orio


Our philosophy has been to stay true to the spirit with new era of hospitality and providing high-quality services.

The “Rachi of Valaoritis” and the Palagio di Orio (or the Tower of Orio)

For those of you who remain avowed walkers, we would recommend a tour of the hill known as the “Rachi of Valaoritis”. Previously, the site was known as the Hill of Orio. Now, with the Indian summer colours in full glory, a walk up there is sheer joy. The “Rachi” is set amidst the area of ​​Apolpena (over the Odigitria) and the Great Fountain.

In terms of scenery, the location is surely worth your while. It is particularly verdant and planted with olive trees. From up there, you can have a spectacular view of the plain of Lefkada and, in the distance, you can see the Continental and Akarnanika mountains. To your back, down below, lies the bay of Nidri. Unfortunately, the use of private cars has deprived us of the joy of such (and many other) promenades.

The hill has a history of its own. That said, this is the same hill where the Lefkadian villagers retreated to defend themselves against the British invaders, during the peasants’ revolt back in 1819. In that very place, they were forced to strike the English in a terrible, blood-shed battle.

A top the hill lies the summer residence of the Venetian nobleman Angelos Orio, with all its estates. Dated back to the eighteenth century, the property is surrounded by a high fortified wall with loopholes. Now, the reader might justly wonder who was this nobleman called Orio.

To answer your question, Angelos Orios used to be a Venetian military and one of the most renowned lawyers specializing in political-constitutional matters.

He arrived at Lefkada around 1760-1770 and made it his homeland.

Despite the flight of the Venetians from the island (during the French conquest in 1797), he stayed on and as a Venetian nobleman he enjoyed a reputation which allowed him to hold the highest posts. When the island of Lefkada was conquered by the Russo-Turkish (1798-1800) he was appointed Governor of Lefkada by the Russian Admiral Ouzakof,   because, as the head of a regimen of Lefkadians, he had forced out the French from the Castle, and he was quite angry too that Bonaparte had humiliated his homeland. In Lefkada, Orio, assisted by the nobles, organized the island’s administration and set up the new Governance. His area of responsibilities included Ithaca as well.

During the last years of the Venetian rule on the Ionian Islands he was the Provveditor of Cephalonia. As to the services he offered, Ouzakof transferred him to Corfu where he was appointed Ionian Prime Minister. Georgios Theotokis was appointed as Deputy Minister. Moreover, he was assigned the task of drafting the Constitution of the Ionian State. With this in mind, he travelled to Istanbul and then to St. Petersburg, where the Emperor Paul of Russia awarded him the title of Count and the rank of General. Unfortunately, during his long absence he was dismissed (according to Rontoyiannis vol. B p.53) “on account of being considered an arriviste and an usurper of power” (protocol 2/10/1799)

But let’s see what was said about the private life of Orio

Orio was married to Anastasia, the most beautiful and rich woman in Lefkada, a widow, nee Servou.And here’s how everything happened: After the death of her first husband, Anastasia was involved in court cases over her estate and considering the issue was very serious, she travelled all the way to Venice in search of a very competent lawyer. She was introduced to Angelos Orio, who was not only an excellent jurist, but also handsome, eloquent, well-bred – not to mention, conceited and blubberer.

They returned to Lefkada together, she won her case and then married him. She later gave birth to a male child who lost his father’s entire fortune playing cards. So, they say that the great fortune of Orio and Anastasia Servou, together with the hill of Orio, came to the hands of the Valaoritis family.

This hill was later renamed as the “Rachi of Valaoritou”. Thus, the hill of Orio, apart from having archaeological merit,  also has a historical significance. Fortunately, the Tower is in almost good condition.

The new owner has preserved it well.

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