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Info about tradition and culture in Zante Zakynthos Ionian island.
The island of music, poetry, and hospitality
Homeland of Dionysios Solomos, our national poet, of Ugo Foscolo and of Xenopoulos, Zakynthos always maintained a very high level of culture and still does.
The Venetian influence mixed with Greek tradition and produced a particular culture with fine nuances and grace. On the island, all the forms of art were cultivated and developed. For this reason, Zakynthos .was rightly named the Florence of the East. Music flows in the veins of the people of Zakynthos. Their penchant for this art began from very ancient times, when the god of music, Apollo, was worshipped on the island. During the period of Venetian rule, the art of serenades was cultivated on Zakynthos, and lives on in our time.
The first school of music in Greece was founded as early as 1815 in Zakynthos, which was the birthplace of great musicians that have been recognized internationally. The theatre, with the influence of the Italians, underwent great development on the island already since the 15th century. In 1571 the Persians of Aeschylus were performed on stage for the first time. The satire in the Omilies, a sort of popular revue, was greatly popular among the people, while the opera united the aristocracy and the populace.
Today Zakynthos is one of the most significant cultural centres in Greece. Rare concerts and
other noteworthy events are organized on the island every year. The spiritual life of the island was also significant. The first Greek Academy was founded in Zakynthos in then 16th century. The people of Zakynthos of today, who are open-hearted, fun-loving, and hospitable, with an intense temper, show particular leanings towards art and literature.