VATHI, The Capital
Built amphitheatrically around the bay, is the capital of the island of Ithaca from 1500 AD, Vathi. A beautiful settlement, with strong Venetian influence, beautiful tiled houses, imposing mansions and picturesque stone cantonments, characterized as "Traditional" by law since 1978. Vathi has been inhabited continuously since the Venetian period, nestled safely in the very special and beautiful natural port, which is identified with the Homeric port of Forkynos, where the God of the Fork Sea had his Sanctuary and the Phaeacians left Odysseus asleep.
Approaching Vathi by sea is a magic experience, as the narrow neck of the port hides the view of the bay and reveals to you the whole magnificent image at once. The entrance to this beautiful natural harbor is still guarded by sections of a small fort with two cannons, built in 1807 during the second French occupation of the Ionian Islands, above the beach of Loutsa. Purified and beautiful, Lazareto adorns the entrance of the port and is a reference point for every Ithakician and every visitor. Well-maintained, well-lit, it hosts fine cultural events, and many weddings and baptisms.