Our tour guide, James Nikolopoulos, was born to a Greek father and an Italian mother in Italy in 1980. His early childhood found his family living in Saudi Arabia where his father worked as a civil engineer for a Greek company building a refinery on the Red Sea. In 1989, however, his family moved to Filiatra, the native village of his father, on the Ionian coast of the Peloponnese.
James graduated from Filiatra High School in 1997 and attended the American College in Athens for one year until he was admitted to the Tourist Guide School of Thessaloniki. He graduated from this institution in 2003. After, he did his military service in the Hellenic Navy before working as a professional Tour Guide.
On one of his tours he met Jill, his future wife, and they were married in 2011. Recently they returned to his hometown of Filiatra, and live on the family's olive farm. In September of 2013, their first child was born and named Katerina Lee. In Jill’s family, there is a tradition to include “Lee” in the name of the first-born child. Why? The reason was to commemorate the memory of a notable descendent in her family, Robert E. Lee, although her family came from north of the Mason-Dixon Line!
James is very knowledgeable of the history, archaeology, and geography of his native Greece and has a good handle on the Biblical material as well. He is very accommodating to the group and has a wonderful sense of humor.