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Travel Europe Greece Zante Town - a Venetian air capital

Zante Town - a Venetian air capital

Zante, Greece, City skyline

When you take the ferry from the mainland port of Kyllini, to the island of Zakynthos, nothing prepares you for what will follow. Isle of Zakynthos, also known as the "Fior di Levante"("Flower of the East"), is the third largest, between the Ionian Islands (after Kefalonia and Corfu) and the southernmost of them.

The crossing itself takes about an hour and a half, enough time to make acquaintance with the Ionian Sea in its entire splendor. If the sea is wide but the color ink when you approach the island's capital, Zante Town, the water becomes a surreal turquoise blue and port area, with lacy shores, is extremely picturesque. Ferry berthing in Zante Town is an experience almost poetic.

Located on the east coast of the island, the hill Bohali the city with 30,000 residents is the largest city of Zakynthos and cultural center, politically and economically. Almost totally destroyed in 1953, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale, followed by a devastating fire, Zante Town was rebuilt from scratch, stone by stone. He keeps medieval footprint, but has at the same time and all the amenities of a modern city.

The city is dominated by the arches around the bay imposing body of Venetian fortress; the building remained during the Venetian occupation of the island. Silhouette that gives the landscape an unmistakable imprint is St. Dionysius, the former named Archbishop of Aegina in the sixteenth century. He is considered the protector of the island.

Few tourists choose Zante Town as a terminus of their journey, because here there is no beach. From here, however, of Zante Town, where the ferry docks, turn to the most important roads of the island resorts: entertainment capital, Laganas, Kalamaki, Alykes, Tsilivi, Argassi, Agios Nikolaos and Alykanas. Others prefer to reach the island by plane, the small airport of Zakynthos, very busy for many tourists, is just 3 km from downtown. Almost all island visitors choose to return here or on trips organized on their own, for charm of the settlement.

Although lively, Zante Town is not nearly as crowded as Corfu Town for example - the capital of grater "sister" island Corfu. The city has a bohemian charm, given the rich vegetation, buildings in neoclassical style and beauty of the cliff, which, especially at sunset, is the favorite promenade of tourists and locals alike. If you want a bit of romance in addition, you can take one of the traditional carriages, which will walk the narrow streets among white buildings, with facades full of flowers.

Solomos Square downtown is to be found the imposing Church of St. Dionysius. Built in 1948, was one of the few buildings that escaped unharmed after the earthquake of 1953.The bell was forged exactly to Venice, and the church is considered one of the most significant vestiges of the Venetian period. Inside the church there are many icons that present aspects of the life of St. Dionysius, and his coffin of silver, and some relics.

Visiting Boch, one of the suburbs, is a "must" for any self-respecting tourist. In Boch can be reached both on foot of the harbor, and drive on the street up the hill and up the hill, there is a supervised parking. On the narrow streets, the buildings retain traditional architecture, balconies and courtyards are full of oleander bloom, palm trees and other fragrant flowers. On the hill with the same name, formerly 'reign majestic' Venetian castle, fortress of the whole island was led destiny. Today, he left only ruins, but from this point of view you can admire both sides of the island. Hence, the highest point of the city, you can admire the spectacular panorama of the city.
The area is a magnet for tourists and the few smart terraces and restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine specialties.

Restaurants in the area are rated among the best on the island, and for a romantic dinner are just right. Especially on weekends, but can be difficult to find a place, so you must hurry to arrive before sunset, moment the most "hunted" by all amateur photographers or professionals.

In small market of Boch, of the Virgin Mary church tower is visible from anywhere in Hrysopighi city. Inside the church are preserved a few remnants of the old temple of the Holy Great Church of fortified fortress. Also here can be seen the painting of the Virgin, dating from the eighth century, covered with silver foil, in order not to deteriorate. Excavations revealed that there exists a pantheon of gods Aphrodite and Apollo dedicated.

Among the sights worth visiting in Zante Town are:

• Museum of Byzantine Art Solomos Square, a collection of painters, sculptures, icons andother artifacts from the Byzantine period.

• Solomos Museum, dedicated to national poet of Greece, Dionysos Solomos Square St. Mark

• Venetian castle in the seventeenth century, known as by Kastro, located on the hill Bohali, an imposing fort built by the Venetians, the former administrative center of the island. Fromthe top of the fortress, the view is impressive.

• Naval Museum, located in one of the suburbs on the hill Curious, is recognized as the owner of the largest collections of Byzantine vessels in the world and an impressive collection of costumes of the Greek civil war, and the two world wars. Its exhibits are covering all aspects of naval history starting from 1700 till now.

The best shops are located in the pedestrian zone, especially along the Boulevard Alexandrou Roma - from souvenir shops to traditional leather clothing, jewelry, handmade lace, pottery, honey and fiereste, animal-totem of the island and turtle.

Some of the objectives should not, in any case, missed the island are famous beach Navagio, Grottoes Blue ("Blue Caves"), Marathonissi Island ("Island of turtles"), the sunset in Keri, where there are the most large Greek flag and Agios Sostis islet.