Historic Ithaca

Ithaca is an island in Kefallinia, Greece and is the second smallest of the main seven islands that are located in the Adriatic sea, also known as the Ionian Sea. The islands are known as the Ionian Islands are are in western Greece. The most well known Ionian Islands besides Ithaca are Corfu, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Zakunthos, Paxoi and Kythira. Ionian Islands are best known for their beaches, little villages and beautiful landscapes.

The island of Ithaca has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Linear A writing was found on old shards that experts dated back to prehistoric times. During this period Ithaca had several city states. Eventually they all joined a great league that was led by Corinth, Athens and Sparta. In 431 BC the league divisions started the Peloponnesian War. In 187 BC the Romans finally took control. The Ionian Islands were taken by the Normans in 1185 and the Angevins in the 1200's. Ithaca developed into an independent state with its own military. In 1479 The Turks killed most of Ithaca's natives and destroyed the villages. Those that survived the Turkish invasion fled the island, those that didn't flee decided to hide in mountains. Two years later in 1499 the Ventians started a war against the Turks.

And in 1807 the Turks agreed to return the rule to the French. In 1809 the Ionian Islands became known as the "United States of the Ionian Islands" and were governed by the English. Ithaca participated in the War of Independence by offering medicaid Aid, this occurred during the Greek Revolution. In 1864 Ithaca became part of the New Greek State.

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Earthquakes hit the Ionian Islands in 1953 and caused enormous damage. Several buildings were damaged and the United States provided financial aid to help repair the islands. The buildings were restored by the 1960's when tourists started to come to Ithaca and the surrounding islands. Tourists were welcomed with a new road and plenty of ferry services.

Tourists bring in most of Ithaca's profit. Ithaca is still a very exotic island that has very rich history. Natives stay on Ithaca to help with the tourist business. Regulations keep the island from becoming industrialized. Only certain buildings are allowed on the island. The islands covers 92.5 sq km. The current population stands at 3100, staggering compared to the 60 families that once inhabited it in 1568.

The Archaeological Museum of Vathy is located in the capital of Ithaca, on Kallinikou Street. The museum has plenty of artifacts from the Geometric and Roman period.

There are dozens of villages located on Ithaca, the biggest of which are Kioni and Vathy. Both are well preserved tourist attractions and Ithaca is one of the best kept Greek tourist secrets!

Main towns of Ithaca   Ionian Islands History   The 1953 earthquake

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