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BEAUTY DIDN’T LEAVE THEM SPEECHLESS. WALKING IN THE FOOTSEPS OF KEFALONIA MOST REPRESENTATIVE LITERARY FIGURES.

From beautiful fishing villages to peaceful olive groves and vineyards, Kefalonia is so beautiful that it almost feels imaginary. It has the simple charm of an old-fashioned island with pristine beaches, emerald seas and pastel-painted villages. It has the magic of a place full of ancient history, Venetian and British reminiscences, moving war memories. Kefalonia has a strong relationship with myth and abounds in hidden secrets and touches of magic. Rare, wild flowers bloom in its fields, wild horses live on Mount Aenos and geological unique phenomena characterize its underworld. It is not surprising that Kefalonia with its lush, picturesque scenery and its welcoming, captivating people, has inspired Greek and foreign writers for millennia.

Among the most popular authors to have been conquered by the unique personality of the island, we have chosen Lord Byron, Andreas Laskaratos, Nikos Kavvadias and Louis De Bernières to create a literary tour of the island. It is not an exhaustive portrait of literary Kefalonia, but a glimpse which hopefully will encourage you to find out more about this kaleidoscopic island.

  • If I am a poet, I owe it to the air of Greece. These words by Lord Byron are engraved on a stone in Lakithra. In 1823 the famous British poet arrived for thstatua byrone first time in Kefalonia to support the liberation movement and settled in the village of Metaxata for 4 months. There are many places named after him, but the most significant tributes to the composer are in Metaxata, where his house and a statue are, and in Lakithra. Legend has it that it was while he was sitting on this rock that some of his great poetry was inspired by the blue sea and the clear sky in front of him.
  • Andreas Laskaratos was born in Lixouri in 1811, when the island was under British rule. Thanks to his aristocratic origins and wealthy family, he could study law abroad but only worked as a lawyer for a few years. He is famous for his satiric caricatures and parodies, so intense that he was excommunicated by the local Bishop. His country house is located near Ritsata, in the peninsula of Paliki. The house was destroyed by the earthquake of 1867. The ruins which can be seen today are the remains of a structure, smaller and posterior to the initial one. The bronze statue of Laskaratos is situated on the beach of Lixouri and represents a symbol of the city. The fact that his face looks to Lixouri while is back his turned to Argostoli symbolizes the past rivalry between the two major cities of the island.
  • Nikos Kavvadias was born in Manchuria from Greek parents and went back to Kefalonia as a child. He was a sailor and his adventures at exotic seas inspired him in creating powerful lyrics dedicated to the escape of ordinary man from the boundaries of reality. His statue is near the pier in Argostoli. The statue gazes towards the sea to celebrate Kavvadias’ bond with the sea and his open view to the world. A second statue of the poet is in Sami.
  • What about De Bernières and his worldwide success, Captain Corelli's Mandolin? The novel certainly occupies a leading role among the literary works dedicated to Kefalonia. Although recurring to historical inaccuracies and stereotypes, it evokes a crucial historical period whose memories are still strongly impressed in the memories of the locals. Thanks to its popularity, Captain Corelli's Mandolin certainly gave an essential contribution to the development of tourism on the island and consequently propelled the economy of the whole Kefalonia. If the whole island recalls the love story of Antonio and Pelagia, the places witnessing the tragic story of the Acqui Division and the affectionate relationship between the Italian army and the people of Kefalonia are even more numerous. Many documents, personal agendas, letters and official reports are dedicated to this topic and even if they cannot be listed among the literary works dedicated to or inspired by Kefalonia, they are certainly interesting proofs of a period which is permanently engraved in Kefalonia’s collective memory.

 

 

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