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Ithaki (Ithaca)

At the end of the Odyssey


Every traveller is a citizen of Ithaca sign in Vathy’s port

Small, precipitous Ithaca has become quite trendy these days, by doing little more than remaining its lovely, low-key self. Its hourglass figure has a jagged coast, but no wildly exceptional beaches (although there are some pretty, pebbly ones and transluscent waters), no nightlife, no camping, little new building, and a general belief that Ithaca should remain as an island set aside for daydreamers, poets and scholars.

You’ll find that many of Homer’s descriptions of Ithaca square uncannily with this island–-it is certainly ‘narrow’ and ‘rocky’ and ‘unfit for riding horses’. Although some have theorized that Homer’s Ithaca was elsewhere—Lefkada was a popular contender in the 19th century, as is Kefaloniá today—Ithaca will always be the eternal symbol of home at the end of a long journey. ‘Even if you find it poor,’ as Caváfy wrote, ‘Ithaca does not deceive. Without Ithaca your journey would have no beauty.’


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Ionian Islands

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by chrissusieking, Edward Dodwell , iant71, Jean Housen, Metaphrasi, Patracity, Paul Cooper, Rien Post, Creative Commons License, Saltmarsh, Stef, Wolfgang Sauber, Creative Commons License