Lazareto

Lazareto is a small island in the bay of the port of Ithaca, Vathi. It is covered with pine trees, and in its middle is hidden the small chapel of the Transfiguration of the Savior. It is located near the western part of the port and you can swim all the way from the coast.

During the Venetian rule, Lazareto served as a quarantine station. Historical sources mention that at least since 1560, ships that reached Ithaca, remained in quarantine for 40 days before being allowed to approach the coast. This was due to health reasons, as infectious diseases were one of the leading causes of death in that time.

In 1817, under the British rule of the Ionian Islands, the British built a two-storied building that covered the entire surface of Lazareto. The rectangular dark building, later used as a prison, gave the island an ominous look.

The prison of Lazareto was severely damaged by the earthquakes of August 1953 and were subsequently demolished. The church of the Savior still stands today and it is estimated that it was founded in 1668. Today, on the eve and day of celebration, on August 5th and 6th, the believers come here by boats for the service. Lately it also has become one of the popular destinations of the Ionian Sea for couples from all over Greece, who choose romantic Lazareto for their wedding ceremony.

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