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Skorpios

 

 

 

 

By Steve Brawley

(Ron Galella drawing)

Jackie sought refuge and safety by marrying Onassis in 1968 after Bobby's death. She gained a husband and a new nation (Greece), much to the dismay of many of her loyal American subjects. Jackie O was born.

 

Anchored in the amazingly clear waters near Skorpios, it's easy to imagine what life in the '70s and '80s was like for those privileged enough to enjoy this idyllic spot.

Jackie would enjoy endless daytime summer parties in front of the whitewashed pavilions on the water's edge, afternoons spent sailing, swimming or perhaps a gentle game of tennis.

Her evenings would begin with a stroll through the immaculately manicured grounds, followed by drinks on the grape- and bougainvillea-entwined terraces of one of the three sprawling villas nestled on the island.

Dinner would perhaps be on board Christina, the massive motoryacht, which was kept anchored in the bay when the Greek shipping magnate was in residence.

Skorpios is a 13-acre paradise situated in the Ionian Islands to the west of the Greek mainland, beneath Corfu and above Kefallonia.

Onassis bought the barren island in 1963 for $15 million and spared no expense turning it into the lush, green oasis it is today complete with numerous modern buildings and sealed roads.

Besides the three main villas for Onassis and guests there is a staff accommodation block, a power generation plant, a small farm complete with outbuildings and several wharves, jetties and beach houses.

Locals say that when Aristotle was in residence he insisted on fresh produce and the farm was home to cows, sheep, goats and chickens supplying fresh meat, milk, eggs.

Jackie spent time and lot's of cash decorating the "pink house" on the island. Something Ari and Jack would have been able to compare notes on.

The island's huge power plant and employees' houses are in a complex on the eastern side.

All around the island are private sandy coves, several complete with large changing sheds, showers and terraced areas perfect for watching the sun set.

The island is planted with an assortment of exotic and native trees, olive groves, vineyards and orchards as well as large park-like grassy areas.

It's many years since Onassis and his rich, famous and powerful friends fraternised on the island, but today it remains a magnet for tourists

Numerous tourist boats from nearby Lefkas make regular pilgrimages.

Feed

Each day hundreds of pairs of eyes, binoculars and cameras are focused on the island which remains as a memorial to the Onassis family.

Aristotle, his sister Artemis, daughter Christina and son Alexander are all buried on the island, their graves visible near the white chapel on the northwest side.

Jackie married Onassis in that chapel in 1968 and she is reputed to have loved spending time there.

Despite Skorpios' relative isolation, Jackie the media darling of the '60s and '70s ran the gauntlet of paparazzi cameras. She was snapped nude during her daily swimming ritual, the photos being published in a high-profile gossip magazine.

Another who enjoyed sojourns on Skorpios was Aristotle's long-time mistress Maria Callas.

Aristotle is a legend in these parts his statue dominates the waterfront at nearby Nidri on Lefkas and bookshops there sell dozens of books about his life and times on Skorpios.

Skorpios remains off limits to the public today, with landing anywhere on the island forbidden.  The only real way for outsiders to enjoy Skorpios is by boat.

Christina's daughter Athina sold the island to Ekaterina Rybolovleva (Spring 2013). The estimated value of the island is over $100 million. One condition of the sale: Ari and his children's graves will remain in the family plot on the island.

 

Mrs. Onassis' Greek Playground

"Jackie's Villa"

 

"Jackie's Villa"

Jackie's Villa Terrace (Carl Anthony Online, unsourced Greek magazine)

Jackie's Villa Living Room. (Carl Anthony Online, unsourced Greek magazine)

Jackie's Villa Living Room. (Carl Anthony Online, unsourced Greek magazine)

Jackie's Villa Living Room. (Carl Anthony Online, unsourced Greek magazine)

Pink House. (Source: Manolis Patakakis/EPA)

Pink House. (Source: Marta Sgubin)

Jackie's Pink House Bedroom. (Carl Anthony Online, unsourced Greek magazine)

Bedroom Pink House. (Carl Anthony Online, unsourced Greek magazine)

Taverna

Taverna

Taverna terrace. (Source: Manolis Patakakis/EPA)

The Chapel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steve Brawley (314) 740-0298