Perleas is a a 4 acre estate situated in the Kampos area of Chios island, Greece, just 7 kilometers out of Chios town. This fertile area was first inhabited in the 14th century during the Genoan occupation of the island. Genoans organized the economy, commerce and exports of Chios with modern methods and started the systematic cultivation of citrus trees. Chian aristocratic families began to build their luxurious summer residences in the Kampos area.
What characterizes these buildings is their austere appearance with tall walls and arcaded gates reminiscent of castles. They are two- or three floor buildings with wonderful views all around, large yards embroidered with pebbles, shady trees, impressive gardens with big alleys and arcades, draw-wells and marble cisterns with pergolas.
A live example of this area, is Perleas Estate. Today it is
owned by the Leon and Aspasia Lemos family, well known ship-owners
of the island and was named by their initials (Per)ivoli
(Garden) - (Le)on and (As)pasia Lemos.
The main building of the Estate is a mansion built in 1640 in the distinctive lines of Genoan architecture. It is accompanied by two smaller houses, that where used as a store for the products that were going to be exported. The mansion was repaired after the great earthquake that hit Chios in 1881 and some additions have been made since then, but the original appearance has remained practically intact.
Besides, that was the aim of the current managers of the Estate (they are also called "anestarides" in local dialect - word that means the person who revives an area), Vagelis Xidas and his wife Kleri who followed the advice of Vagelis' father when he took over the estate: "Welcome to the visitor, you will leave someday, this estate is going to stay forever. That's why you must respect it and take care of it"