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The Ionian Islands came under Norman and Venetian domination the 12th-13th century and later enjoyed a brief Turkish occupation in the late 15th century. The army of Napoleon and the British Empire left their mark on the islands combined with the long Italian occupation prior to annexation by Greece, in 1863 as a gift from Queen Victoria to the new monarch of the country, Danish Prince George I . The Ionian Islands are the exact opposite from the Cyclades. Covered with pine forests and olive groves. The local cuisine is based on meat and local wines have a strong taste and almost-sweet. Corfu is the most cosmopolitan of the Ionian Islands. The island was fortunate to not be destroyed by earthquakes in the Ionian Sea Rift, and especially since the 1953 earthquake, which shook the southern Ionian. So, Corfu retains its Venetian charm, enriched by the influence brought by the brief French occupation and 50 years of British rule. The island which was called Agia Mavra (Santa Maura) by the Venetians, is the island of poets. Descended from Lefkada poets Aristotle Valaoritis Angelos Sicilian Dwarf Valaoritis and the national poet [citation pending] Japan Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo, 小泉 八 云). Located in Lefkada Lefkada and Scorpios, the tiny island bought by Aristotle Onassis. The beaches of Lefkada is famous for its blue waters and have been awarded many times. Kefalonia, the largest island of the archipelago, is dominated by the mountains of. The island was in the news recently with the filming of the movie The Captain Corellis Mandolin (Captain Corellis Mandolin, 2001), starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz. Before distract Hollywood Kefalonia was a "sleeping beauty" among the Greek islands, with relatively limited number of accommodations and minimal visibility. Today, the island hosts each summer celebrities like Madonna, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise. Zakynthos, the southernmost island of the Ionian Islands, was the favorite island of Venice, "the Flower of the East". The Zante, also called as the island has the best beaches of the Ionian and the capital, the town of Zakynthos has the largest natural harbor in western Greece, under an impressive rock, Keri, on which Dionysios Solomos wrote Hymn to Freedom, the Greek national anthem.
Union of the Ionian Islands with Greece
The first expansion of the borders of the Greek state came in more than thirty years after the proclamation of independence. There was no effect of any of the irredentist uprisings occurred nor Greek State against the only enemy until 1878, the Ottoman Empire. With the treaty signed on 17/29 March 1864 between the three Powers, England, France and Russia, and the Ionian Greek kingdom passed definitively to Greek sovereignty on 21 May. H development came as the culmination of a series of consultations and diplomatic negotiations, which are set fairly heavy conditions for Greece was excluded from most diplomatic meetings. H Treaty establishes the perpetual neutrality of Corfu, so it was demolished part of the city and fortress of Paxos. The Greek state accepts all obligations to foreign governments, companies and individuals are under contracts concluded with the Ionian State or the Protecting Powers, Great Britain. H setting is related to the public debt of the Ionian, trading and shipping privileges foreigners and especially the editorial right Ionikis Bank. The Greek State undertook also pay allowances and pensions to the English officials would lose their position with the Union. H Orthodox Church recognized as prevalent, but also declared that religious freedom and worship for all faiths and maintained the privileges of the Catholic Church. H Great Britain waives the protection of the Ionian and together with France and Russia extending the guarantees related to Greece and the Ionian islands. On 23 September / 5 October 1864 the IC Ionian Parliament realized the purpose of the convocation acting solemnly union with Greece in "one and indivisible state under the constitutional scepter Georgiou A".
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