Country life in small communities and remote mountain villages has always been the norm for the Mani people. In all seasons and weather, they have struggled with the stony mountain soil to obtain the products they need to sustain daily life: sun loving vegetables, some meat and of course olives and olive oil from Koroneiki olive groves.
The most authentic Mediterranean cuisine has nurtured Mani’s small farmers for centuries, but this required hard work with often very little reward. As a result, in the middle of the last century more and more young people started trying their luck in other regions of the country or abroad.
Businesses like MANI now encourage young people to move back to live in the Mani. Over 300 families have found a secure income in supplying MANI with their organically cultivated olive oil. The area has also recently started developing a new economic direction in the form of “green tourism” with Mani Sonnenlink, Burgi Bläuel’s becoming the first organic certified hotel in Greece.
Today the historic homes and towers of the villages have been restored with much love. In the taverns and restaurants tourists can discover and enjoy traditional Mani cuisine, sitting at the same table together with hospitable “Maniates” and drinking a glass of wine to celebrate the enjoyable Mediterranean way of life – a life with a future in the Mani.