Makrinitsa (Μακρινίτσα) is a village situated on the western slopes of Mount Pelion. It "hangs" high above the city of Volos at an altitude ranging from ± 300 m (in lower Koukourava) to ±625 m (in the central square or plateia) and up to ± 800 m (in the foothills around Aghios Gerasimos).
The settlement of Makrinitsa developed from the early 13th century around the important local monastery of the Virgin Mother (Παναγία). At a period when the area was still part of the Οttoman world, the village was interconnected with other settlements and the port city of Volos through a dense network of paved or dirt paths, many of which are still available today for the exploration of the area. Roads were constructed after WWII, in the the 1950s, and cars are still barred from the village. Therefore, visitors and locals circulate exclusively on foot and donkeys are sometimes still used for transportation of goods or bulky furniture.
Makrinitsa along with Portaria (3 kms away) are the two main villages overlooking the city of Volos, with spectacular views of the Pagasetic gulf. Just a thirty-minute drive from downtown Volos, Makrinitsa is near the main roadway leading to the top of Mount Pelion (Chania) and from there to the eastern side of the mountain and the beaches below it (Chorefto, Ayios Yannis, Papa Nero, etc.)
Local architecture is marked by a mixture of traditions, common in the wider area of the Balkans. There are also neo-classical influences. Interestingly, this 19th-century style of European architecture did not arrive in the area via Athens, the capital of the new Greek state, but was brought to Pelion earlier and independently by local families who had emigrated to (and then returned from) Egypt and other cosmopolitan centers of the Mediterranean.
The village is divided into various neighbourhoods, each one centered around a church or chapel and a dense network of fountains, offering fresh water from the mountain springs. The central square (plateia) around the chapel of Agios Ioannis (St John) Prodromos is the center of the village's social, commercial, religious and touristic activities, leaving the lower and upper slopes of the village open to independent wanderings and constant changes of "viewpoint".
The village of Makrinitsa is an excellent starting point for exploring the wider Pelion area, being both central while simultaneously set apart. It provides a green and lush landscape, full of bright shadows in late summer, access to beaches on the gulf and Aegean-side of Pelion, cosmopolitan yet far from the stress of the city. It is an inspiring setting for an intense, but still relaxed, academic experience.
In September 2019, the school celebrated an intriguing 50th anniversary: the filming of a popular screenplay by Dinos Dimopoulos and Finos Films, starring the then-leading and most glamorous stars of Greek popular cinema: Aliki Vouyouklaki and Dimitris Papamichail. The romantic drama entitled The School Mistress with the Golden Hair, set in the period of WW II, was an adaptation of the pacifist (and openly anti-communist) novel of Stratis Myrivilis, entitled The School Mistress with the Golden Eyes (1933). The book is based on Myrivilis' experience of WW I and the war in Asia Minor.