Ithaca - Odysseus lodestar, homeland, he sought a long 10 years. Symbol of nostalgia. Its great beauty sung by Homer in his "Odyssey". Thanks to him the glory of Ithaca passed through the centuries and spread among all peoples. Loved her Lord Byron. On it he wrote a great Cavafy.
Ithaca - a small island in the elongated group of the Ionian Islands, lying to the south of the island of Lefkada and north-east of the island of Kefalonia. Area - 96 sq km, population - 3,000 residents. Together with the surrounding smaller islands of the province of Ithaca, which is part of the prefecture of Kefalonia. Administratively belongs to the region of the Ionian Islands.
From Kefalonia island separates small canal-strait widths from 2 to 4 km. West coast jerky and almost barren, as opposed to green, affordable and exquisite east coast. Is indented by many bays and headlands. The north and south island also ends capes: Melissa and Agios Andreas. Between scattered bay Frikes, capes Mavronas, and Agios Ilias Shinos Bay Molos. Length coast reaches a total of 101 km.
Ithaca, essentially a two forested mountain peaks: NIRIT (806 m) and Merovigli (669 m), with rich vegetation and fauna. They appear as if from the sea and connected to the center of the island with a narrow strip of land. Harmonious combination of mountains and sea creates a beautiful natural landscape with a deeply indented coastline.
Water shortage prevents wide agricultural development. Lives island, primarily through tourism and fishing.
Ferry and shipping links of the two ports of Ithaca - Vathi and Piso Aetos daily connects the island with Kefalonia, Lefkada, Patras and Etoloakarnaniey.
Ithaca is known as the island of Odysseus. Much less is known as a tourist destination for leisure and entertainment. Island, however, the ideal place for ecotourism and adventure tourism. Its quiet beauty unexplored green valleys, mountains and plenty of crystal clear shores allow relax here at any time of year. Ithaca offers excellent bathing beaches, caves, waiting to be explored, charming coves and villages where no mass tourism yet come. Here are connected history, religion, culture, agriculture and seafaring traditions that do not change for several generations, with the beauty of nature, captivating even seasoned experienced traveler. Sheltered forest trails in combination with pearl banks - fabulous picture that does not want to leave. Ithaca - a pole of attraction for tourists from around the world. Hospitable and romantic, it is - the perfect place for a relaxing, interesting travels and studies. In the past decade, the island has changed considerably, but retaining its traditional for the Ionian Islands characteristic appearance.
If you get to the island, be sure to try the local dishes: meat or chicken cooked in a clay pot "ttserepa", "Savor" - Maridi (anchovy) with raisins and rosemary, "skordalia" - garlic seasoning with mashed potatoes, soup with garlic and "Ravana" - the sweetness of the rice with honey. Cost to take away from this pottery, embroidery and homemade jams.
Name of the island has been known since ancient times. He became famous thanks to Homer's "Odyssey." The overall assessment specialists, modern Ithaca is the Homeric Ithaca. A difference in geographical location to that described in "Odyssey", according to them, either because of ignorance of any poet of the topography of the island, either because of the "poetic imagination." There are several variants of origin of the name of the island. In one of them, it was named for its first resident - Ithaca, son of Poseidon according to mythology. According to another version, it comes from the word "iti" (gay) or the word "ITIC" (colony) of Phoenician origin, or from the word "itus" (unexpectedly).
The oldest archaeological finds discovered, mostly in the northern part of the island belong to the early Greek period. Zenith reached the island in the Mycenaean era (1500 - 1000 gg. BC). Kingdom of Ithaca includes this period lying around the island and even part of mainland Greece. Residents of the island, excellent sailors, floating beyond the Mediterranean Sea. In 1000 BC on the island starts decline. Dorians cease to be interested in him because he was infertile. However, the island still remains populated, cultivated its northern part.
During the Roman rule (180 BC - 394 AD) was Ithaca diocese Ilir. In the Byzantine period (394 -1185 years.) Established Christianity here. Build on the island city of Jerusalem!? It is mentioned in the "Aleksiade" Anna Comnena. Starting from 1086, the island is exposed to attacks of the Vandals, Goths, Visigoths and Saracens. In 1185 he captured the Normans. In 1200 they give Ithaca and the surrounding islands of the Roman Orsini family, which retains its power by force of arms and with the help of pirates for 150 years. Then the island into the possession of the Venetians. In 1479 Ithaca captured Turks, plundering her, killing and capturing many of the island's inhabitants into captivity. Island deserted. Many residents who escaped captivity and death, left him. In 1499 starts the Turkish Venetian War, which resulted in the 1503 Ithaca contract remains in the possession of Venice.
Venetian rulers made many efforts to revive the island. Transfer of land to the use of the residents and tax exemption for 5 years on the island attract new settlers. The island's capital city becomes Vati. In 1697 administration of the island passed to the elders of Ithaca. The island's population is steadily increasing and in the XVII century. more than 10,000 people. Blooming economy, through systematic cultivation of land. The main export of the island becomes raisins. In parallel, there is a struggle with piracy built ships that belong to 1670 by the residents. Ithaca is becoming an important naval force. By the end of the XVIII century. Ithaca merchant fleet has 50 vessels, and the islanders receive glory great seafarers. During the reign of the Venetians, the island was a semi-independent. It was and is the only island where there were neither aristocrats nor class distinctions.
With the victory of the French Revolution, the Ionian Islands to the French move. At the end of 1798 they are gradually replacing Russian and Turks (1798-1807 gg.). Created Ionian Republic with capital on the island of Corfu, which included and Ithaca. In 1807 and until 1809, and the Ionian Islands Ithaca again pass into the possession of the French.
In 1809, the Ionian Islands and the British capture of Ithaca, who create the state "United Ionian Islands."
Ithaca powerful fleet participated in the liberation war against the Turks in 1821 Isle of providing shelter and medical aid to the fighters for the liberation of the country. In 1864, due to the situation in Europe and after long negotiations, Ithaca and was released along with the other Ionian Islands became part of the newly established Greek state.