After a leisurely stroll through Ioa to the far tip of the island, we walk beyond the whitewashed buildings and continue along a stone walkway that leads to the edge of a cliff. Climbing a set of stairs, we now stand among the ruins of the 13th century castle, Kasteli of Agios Nikolaos, built by Venetians to protect the island from pirates. During the time that the Venetiansâ€™ ruled the islands, it was christened â€œSantoriniâ€ after the Church of Santa Irene.
The old castle offers one of the islandâ€™s most spectacular views overlooking several other sepia-colored islands rising up from the cobalt-blue Aegean. Looking back, the pale, whitewashed colors of Oia spread out across the top of the caldera in contrast with the dark, rocky cliffs below. To the north, several prominent windmills rise above the city.
Another small note â€“ although I was unaware at the time I painted this piece,Â the house that was used to film the old 80â€˜s movie â€œSummer Loversâ€ is at the bottom, toward the center of the painting. I happen to watch the movie again a few weeks ago just to see how Santorini has changed in the last nearly 30 years (yes, its almost been that long), and at one point, I paused the movie and noticed that my painting of Oia actually included part of the their house.