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ITHACA ISLAND GREECE - HISTORY - Both Ithaca and Kefalonia constitute the country of Kefallinia and are separated by a sea strait 2-3 miles. Lies south of Lefkas, northeast of Kefalonia and to the west of the Gulf of lobster. Ithaca is the second smallest island of the Ionian Islands after Paxos and its so close to Kefalonia that it is impossible not to mention it. Besides the short distance, both islands have shared common history. On the east side of Ithaca is the port of the capital city, Vathi, - one of the safest natural  harbors of Greece. (picture on the left). Ithaca Island Greece -Fotos

The island has an area of 92.6 km2  and a population of 3.646 residents and together with the islets Kalamos and Kasto, constitute the municipality of Ithaca( including 19 districts and 1 monastery). Ithaca is a small mountainous island ( Nirito 806 meters in the north, Merovigli  619 m. , Nerovoulo 582 m. in the south), where the terrain combined with the lack of water, have turned the inhabitants to fishing and tourism. At lower altitudes cultivate olives and vines. The Thiaki, so called by the inhabitants, followed the same fate as the Ionian islands, to unite with Greece in 1864. Constantine Cavafy's poem "Ithaca" made the island even more famous.

Photos of Ithaca are available in the main menu on the left (Kefalonia pictures, section Ithaca)

 

HISTORY OF ITHACA ISLAND GREECE

As Kefalonia, so Ithaca also has a rich history, with the first reports to be in the Homeric times. The first settlement of that period was found in the northern part of the island. In the village Stavros specifically in Pilicata discovered the remains of Mycenaean settlement, without the presence of a palatial. According to historians in the northwest bay, Ithaca was the largest city on the island in historical times. In Aetos a second city existed since the 8th century BC, Alalkomenai. In today's Vathi, not having found the existence of an ancient settlement, historians believe that, in Stavros could have been the palace of Odysseus (a probability of Archaeology). In the bay of the town, on the north side and in the cave of Louise were detected  traces of worship, tributes to the Nymphs, Odysseus and other deities from the 9th century BC. to the early imperial times. Ithaca is a place for the idea of the journey and return. Without return, trip is a pointless wandering. Homeric Thiakoi worshiped their King Odysseus and they had always return ports. The ancient port of Rithro-  today's Frikes- and that of Forkino- today's Vathi.

Not much is known for the history of Ithaca from historic periods. After the imperial times, Ithaca together with the other Ionian islands belonged to the province of Epirus. In 800 BC together with Kefalonia, Lefkas and Corfu were the Byzantine theme of Kefallinia( since 1194 these islands belonged to the counts of Kefallinia). Then Ithaca called "Val de Compare" or small Kefallinia. From 1483 to 1485 and from 1500 to 1797, both Ithaca and Kefalonia was under Venetian rule. In 1797 and for a few years came to the French, like other Ionian islands and after British occupation (1815-1864), was united with Greece in May 1864.The Second World War and the German occupation from 1941-1945 left its mark to the island. Of course the Civil War later could not let Ithaca uninvolved. The earthquake in 1953  left several disasters to the island, mainly to old houses and buildings. Nowadays many heard about the position of Homeric Ithaca. Many experts argue that it is Lefkas and others Kefalonia. ( photo : on the right Kioni Village in the northeastern part of the island).

More photos you can see in the main menu ''Kefalonia Photos'' section ''Ithaca''

Web update for Ithaca, from Ithaca City  www.ithaki.gr  

Ithaca Useful phone numbers

Town Hall: +30 26740 - 32795, +30 26740 -23911, +30 26740 -33481

Police department: 100, +30 26740 – 32205

Fire department: 199, +30 26740 - 33199, 33499

Health center: 166, +30 26740 – 32222

Forestry: +30 26740 – 33359

Pharmacies:

            Karavias +30 26740 - 32251, 

            Marouli +30 26740 – 33105,

            Adrianatos +30 26740 – 31333

National Bank: +3026740 - 33100, 32017
Agricultural Bank: +30 26740 - 32785, 33260
Alpha Bank: +30 26740 - 33690, 23933

 

Poem  '' Ithaca ''

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,

wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.


Hope the voyage is a long one.

May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.


And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Constantine Kavafis (1863-1933)