Rapsani is at the foot of Mount Olympus and is famous for its wine. Built at 500 meters altitude, Rapsani is a village with a beautiful square where you will find taverns for food and immense views of the Aegean Sea and beaches of the prefecture of Larissa such as Mesagala, Stomio and Platamonas. Rapsani is a historical settlement of southern Olympus, for which the written sources begin in the 15th century, based on the Ottoman archives, is mentioned for the first time in the census of 1425, without this implying that it was founded at that time.
The earliest inscription in Rapsani is located in the chapel of St. John in 1547. The 6 watermills of Rapsani dating back to the 12th to the 13th century prove that Rapsani was a thriving Byzantine city with more than 900 years of history. In the 17th and 18th centuries, sericulture, textiles (alatzades) and viticulture make Rapsani the brightest and most commercial city of Olympus. At the same time (1767) the famous school of Rapsani was founded by Bishop Platamonos and Lykostomi Dionysios. Typical of Rapsani are the plane trees that you will find scattered in the village that offer breaths of coolness. Rapsani is generally preferred by those in the summer months who want to combine the coolness of the mountain with the warmth of the sea as the beaches are within walking distance. Also in Rapsani the author was M. Karagatsis, in the church of Agios Athanasios you will see his bust.
Sightseeing in Rapsani
The Rapsani Municipal Library has been reopening since 2004 in the attic of the community store and in the interior you will find more than 20,000 books. The library material consists of books, magazines, manuscripts, cartographic and audiovisual material. The library has in its collection the only written surviving text concerning the history of Rapsani and the second register of Thessaly, “The Book of St. Athanasius, 1778-1889”, and a large number of 18th century publications.
Rapsani is known for producing wine and tsipouro. In Rapsani there is the Wine Museum and Vineyards Rapsani, which has been operating since 2012 (it has a wine-tasting hall and an outdoor stone theater for 100 people). It presents the history of wine growing and winemaking in the area of Rapsani from the 17th to the 18th century up to the present day . The aim of the museum is to highlight the local history of Rapsani, which has been linked in the last three centuries with the cultivation of the vine and the production of the famous rapsanian brass. The character of the museum is a teacher and it is addressed to all those who are interested in learning about the vineyard and Rapsani wine. The objects exhibited are old objects of viticulture and wine making from the region of Rapsani. The exhibition ends with the presentation of information on wine and vineyards in general, in an effort to inform the public in general about wine growing in Greece and the world.
Other sights you can find in Rapsani are: Agios Theodoros Monastery (3km outside of Rapsani), the chapel of Agios Ioannis with 16th-century frescoes inside it, 6 watermills dating from the 12th to the 13th century.
One of the most famous celebrations in Rapsani is the wine festival held every September in an area with local delicacies and of course free local wine. The village is celebrated on December, where a festival featuring music and dancing is organized in the square of the village. Finally events are also organized on Net Monday with bean and wine.
You will find Rapsani after the Tempi Valley if you drive from Larissa.