Kastanitsa is first mentioned in writing in 1293, but the settlement is thought to be nearly two centuries older, founded by Tsakones fleeing the rule of Slavic tribes that had invaded the Peloponnese.
According to Kastaniot tradition, the village was founded by two families called Pentalonas and Bezenikos.
Currently, the village contains around two hundred-fifty inhabitable houses, representing a significant shrinkage from Villehouson’s figure of four hundred.
Most houses are built from local stone, and the village is classified as a heritage site by the Greek government, which places controls on external renovations.
Most roofs in Kastanitsa are made of slate, which, because of its low water absorption, is more resistant to frost damage during the winter snows.
Chestnut forests still surround the village: The largest contains 4,500 acres (18 km2).
In the past, these produced up to four hundred tonnes of chestnuts annually.
(Historically, chestnuts were used to make dye for leather and other materials).