Tinos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, at the northwest of the archipelago known as the Cyclades, is known especially for the religiosity of its people and its festivals in honour of the Virgin Mary. It is a centre for pilgrimage for the inhabitants of the neighboring islands, and the Christians who flock to it every year.
Reflecting the religiosity of the local inhabitants are the excessive numbers of chapels, mainly private, which dot the landscape and define the territory of the villages (over forty five of them) posted as sentinels on the mountains and hill tops of the island both inland and overlooking the island’s extensive coastline.
‘In a period replete with albums of poetic photography, dry monographs, colourful special editions – many with an eye to creating new tourist destinations – Maria Vidali’s work comes as a pleasant surprise, tracing its own path through the Tinos landscape.
Without neglecting the academic obligations of research into so concrete a topic as the outlying chapels of Tinos – the citing of references, bibliographic details, and so forth – Maria escapes the confines of the building to give us a poetic interpretation of the phenomenon of the outlying Tinian chapels.’
Iannis Zachariades, architect, professor at EMP (Athens School of Architecture)
‘Maria Vidali with her recent work, wanted to contribute to the general effort for deciphering the symbols of the Tinian outlying chapels. And her effort just for this reason is extremely valuable. With conscientious, close examination she looked for archetypal and ancient evidence (religious, anthropological and ethnographical) for which I referred to by name, above or I alluded to them. I am sure that other researchers will follow her example and the new road that she traced in that not so easy adventure on the mountains, gorges and beaches of Tinos. There are so many things that should be investigated. So many centuries of human spiritual search cannot be described in a few pages. Though this research worth the characterization of a pioneer research.
All the varieties of elements of history, ethnology and religion which come across in a composition with the prospect of the Tinian outlying chapel, are answered, interpreted and developed by Maria Vidali in this work, which should be used as a general introduction in an ethnological and anthropological speculation which is revealed around the Tinian outlying chapels and the locals’ customs in the villages of the island. I hope her effort soon other researchers will imitate her effort and continue the vision of her work.’
Marcos Foskolos, history researcher, theologian