Getting to know Mani is accompanied with a history of 3,000 years which explains the presence of ancient, byzantine, middle – aged monuments dispersed throughout the region. Your trip to Explore Mani will be full of unique discoveries.
EXPLORE MANI HISTORY
The first Paleolithic findings in the area reveal the first human presence back to 200,000 AC. Homer firstly states Itilo in Iliad (rhapsody Β’ ,lyrics : 581-585), whereas Pausanias (c. 150–c. 180), a Greek traveler, described Mani in his book called ‘Laconika’. From about 800BC, when Dorians occupied the area until 195BC when Sparta lost its power, Mani was controlled by the Spartans. Afterwards, during the Roman Empire, Mani was allowed to retain its independence.
Mani is famous because remained autonomous during the 400 years of Ottoman Empire and its inhabitants are proud of this.
Its turbulent history throughout the centuries is firmly linked to its topography and its rugged beauty. At the edge of Peloponnese and, in the past, hardly accessible from the rest of the country, Mani made its inhabitants rough, always willing to defend their country and keep its special character.
EXPLORE MANI GEOGRAPHY
Mani is geographically distinguished in ‘Inner’ and ‘Outer’ Mani or Laconian and Messinian respectively.
‘Inner’ or Deep Mani reveals the typical landscape of Mani. Dozens of small villages, impressive architecture with imposing towers, alternate with calm beaches and arid, harsh regions. All this, forged the famous Mani temperament. The drive from Itilo to cape Tenaro is really stunning and will take you to the deep country’s forgotten.
‘Outer’ or Messinian Mani which give to the Messinian Gulf, stretches from Itilo to Kalamata. The combination of mountain lush on the right, the sea on the left and the picturesque villages will make your route ideal.
Mani has inspired many travelers such as Patrick Leigh Fermor, famous writer and traveler who wrote a book, the so – called, Mani. It’s your turn to discover the place, with your own perspective.