Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, by Patrick Leigh Fermor (NYRB Classics 2006, originally published 1958)

Neil's picture

This densely informative, digressive, elegantly written travel book and history of the southern tip of Greece, the remote Peloponnese, is deservedly a classic, and typical of Patrick Leigh Fermor's oeuvre. Mani, and its companion Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece, have been described as 'two of the best ravel books of the century'. Mani is dense with history and myth, religion and local character and tradition, and heavily footnoted, but the best parts are when Leigh Fermor reveals his great pleasure in the world around him, his joy in drinking retsina with local farmers and fishermen.