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A short trip into history

During the Mycenaean period, Ithaca became the capital of the Kefalonian states and was a significant commercial port for mainland Greece and the Corinth as it had great political, economical and shipping powers in the Greek world of that period.

In 800 BC Ithaca was no longer at the epicentre of decision-making, therefore together with Kefalonia, Lefkada and Corfu it was attached to the Byzantine administrative region of Cephalinia. From this point onwards the island is resigned to the grim fate of the Heptanese (seven Ionian Islands). Unbearable taxes, pirate raids and conflict with the various conquerors troubling the residents for many centuries. After the Franks and the first Venetian rule in 1479, began the Turkish rule during which time continuous conflicts led to the drastic reduction of the population. When the Venetians took control in 1500, the island was almost uninhabited and it was considered necessary to create motives in order to draw people to the island. At the same time, the fear of pirate raids had not been diminished thus forcing Ithacans to flee to the mountains or even to Kefalonia. From the end of the 17th century shipbuilding, in order to fight off pirates, led to a flourishing of the shipping industry and respective economical prosperity.

From 1797 and for a few years after that all the Ionian Islands came under French rule and then British rule (1815 - 1864). Ithaca participated in the battles of national liberation (1821), whilst the reunion with liberated Greece came in 1864. German occupation (1941 - 1945) followed, as did an earthquake that left the island with deep scars. By the middle of the century, the migration problem, which led Ithacans to other parts of the world, worsened.

Nowadays, Ithaca maintains its tradition in shipping, fishing and enterprising. Many Ithacan migrants and seamen support the island’s economy and the vivacious community at every opportunity, whilst ensuring that this will be their port of return!

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