In the ancient times a first settlement in Zakynthos was created in 1600BC by a man called Zakynthos, the son of Dardanos, king of Phrygia. Soon the island became part of Arkeisios's kingdom of Kefalonia and his successor Odysseus, the eminent hero of Homer's epic poems Iliad and Odyssey.
A democratic regime was established in Zakynthos that lasted more than 6 centuries, while a degree of autonomy was sustained during the Macedonian and later the Roman rule.Read more »
As almost all of Greece’s regions, Zakynthos enjoys its own local and traditional cuisine featuring unique ingredient combinations of the Mediterranean “genre”, embodying an Italian and French touch, long gastronomical remnants of the old Venetian and French rule.
The island’s cooking is naturally based on the gifts and fruits of the Zakynthian lands; it makes no surprise that every single town and village on the island is full of flourishing home gardens, traditional bakeries, homemade pastry and confectionery shops, family wineries and olive oil press mills. It is, after all, its history, the natural terrain and climate that determine the identity of the Zakynthian cuisine.
Tune your mood and prepare your senses to try some of the top dishes the marvelous cuisine of Zante has to offer:
• Rabbit onion stew or stuffed rabbit. The tender meat is garnished with numerous spices, including garlic, pepper and oregano, as well as with local made oil cheese, the famous graviera of Zakynthos.
• Roast vegetable mix. The Zakynthian version of the loved Greek “briam” is called “boutridia”; fresh green beans, eggplants, potatoes, marrows, okras (ladies’ fingers), garlic tomato juice and of course planty of olive oil and black pepper.
• Pastitsio – the Zakynthian one. A famous dish quite popular all over the country. But how do the Zakynthians make it? Notably, fine beef meat is used, preferably brisket –not minced- properly sautered. Onions, garlic, red wine, tomatoes complete the classic recipe, then grated Zakynthian oil-cheese shall make the difference!
Of course, no visitor should miss trying the traditional, fragrant nougat bars of Zakynthos, or the “fitoura”, a simple but delicious dessert from semolina, sugar and cinnamon.
Learn more about Zakynthos’s famous and… secret recipes with the help of your personal concierge during your accommodation at one of the residencies of Boutique Villas Zante. The BVZ team shall arrange for you extraordinary meals and tasting visits so that no local delight is missing from your holiday experience.Read more »
Did you know…? Knowledge treats from Boutique Villas Zante. No farther than two kilometres from Villa Bozonos - one of our finest residencies at Boutique Villa Zante- rises Stranis Hill, a high ground with stunning view and the location of the once glorious Stranis mansion.
This is where the famous poet, Dionysios Solomos, in 1823, two years after the Greek Revolution began, found the inspiration to compose the “Hymn to Liberty”, the 158 stanza poem that became the national anthem of Greece and Cyprus. According to the legend, he would hear the cannonade coming from the Ottoman siege of Mesologgi, a once prosperous town at the coast of eastern Greece.
It is then when Solomos began to plan the composition of “The Free Besieged”, a worldwide known epic combination of poems narrating the resistance of the besieged Greeks.
Dionysios Solomos was born in Zakynthos in 1798 to the noble Count Nikolaos Solomos, descending from Cretan refugees, who settled in Zakynthos around 1670, right after the Ottomans occupied Crete. Until 1808 the poet received tutorship from the Italian abbot and refugee, Santo Rossi. Soon he was sent to Italy, where –as many noble men of the Heptanese- he finished senior high school and studied Law and Literature. After mastering the Italian language and linguistic arts, he returned to Zakynthos in 1818. The Hymn to Liberty brought recognition and fame to Solomos, as well the desire to advance his work.
Ten years later we find Solomos in Corfu, where numerous admirers, authors and intellectuals help him found the Heptanese School (style) of literature, featuring modern Greek language and praising the ideals of freedom, homeland and love. The great poet died in 1857 and his remains were transferred to Zakynthos. Today, along with personal belongings, original transcripts, family artifacts and books, they are kept at the Museum dedicated to Solomos and other prominent Zakynthian figures.
The Museum is located at the magnificent St. Mark Square in Zakynthos town. For the interested visitors, its staff performs guided tours, after arrangement – an option most suggested by Boutique Villas Zante to our guests.Read more »