Through the centuries, Zakynthos has developed a rich culture, it was influenced by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and along with the other Ionian islands managed to escape occupation by the Turks and the dark ages imposed on the rest of Greece. The Venetian conquerors influenced the inhabitants of the island in all aspects of their lives, particularly in the area of Arts and letters, including architecture and general culture up until the point where Zakynthos was referred to as ‘the Venice of the South’.
The development of the culture that occurred during the Venetian occupation peaked in the 19th century. The island is the birthplace of Greece’s national poet Dionysios Solomos, the poet Andrew Kavlos, the writer and novelist Gregory Xenopoulos and the national poet of Italy Nicholas Ugo Foscolo. The conquerors of the island enabled religious freedom. The patron saint of the island Dionysios Solomos, also known as the Saint of Forgiveness lived here as well as Saint Gerasimos of Kefalonia, beautiful churches and temples were built and monasteries were founded. In 1818 Zakynthos became the headquarters of the ‘Friendly Society’ and it was here that individuals including Kolokontronis, Nikitaras and other great fighters were initiated into the Society. While sightseeing you will have the opportunity to visit numerous museums, beautiful churches, monasteries and other landmarks. With its rich history and culture Zakynthos not only offers relaxation and peace of mind but also feeds the spirit and mind!
Zakynthos has also a long history with theater and Music. One suppon time in this island was the largest theater of Greece unfortunately it was demolished during an earthquake. Nevertheless during the summer you can enjoy many theater plays and music concerts in various open air theaters. Today the most important theater is the open theater of Zakynthos town.