Itilo at Mani

Itilo village, from which the Municipality takes its name, lies a mere ten kilometres from Ktima Karageorgou in the direction of Kalamata. One of the largest villages in Mani, Itilos is built on the side of a fortified hill northeast of  Itilo Bay. This vantage point gives it an excellent command of Messinia pass and the whole bay below, making it an important location in anything going on in the history of the area from the time of  Homer to the present day. Itilo is mentioned in Homer’s epic poems as being part of the realm of King Menelaus, and by Pausanius as being one of the major cities in the League of Free Laconian Cities. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire eminent families including the Comnenus (Stephanopoulos) family, and the Medici and Yatrian clans settled in Itilo. And it was here in 1770 that Theodoros Orlof and members of the Mavromihalis clan started the Orlof uprising.  The agreement for the uprising was signed in the impressive, seventeenth-century church of Dekoulos that stands imposingly in front of Itilo. The grand Medici-Yatrian festival is celebrated in Itilos on 25th December to commemorate the rebirth, instigated by the fathers of the clan, of the ties of Love that  bind all its members. Every year the men of the clan gather in a special room and recite Kyroula’s Secret.
Karavostasi, the harbour of Itilo, lies at the bottom of the slope. It was also known as Little Algeri because it was used as a landing stage by pirates. It is said to have been the haunt of one of Jules Verne’s most ferocious pirates who caused havoc in the Aegean Sea. Indeed, it is a known fact that many of the so-called captains, who featured so strongly in the Greek War of Independence, were, in fact, pirates and had their base in the Mani district.
Kefalas castle is just a stone’s throw from Itilo. It was built by the Turks in 1670 but was captured by the people of Mani and Venetians in 1685 and made into one of the strongest castles in the region. It passed back to the Turks under a treaty in 1715, after which it fell into decline and was eventually abandoned.

 Ktima Karageorgou
Areopoli Mani Lakonia Peloponnese
Greece 23062
tel. +30 2733051368
fax +30 2733051328

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