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All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to romapip@quipo.it. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page added in July 2007.

Paxo (Paxi)

Paxi is a small island which is thought to have followed the same historical development as nearby Corfu: usually it was considered as one of the smaller islands around Corfu, but in the late XVIIIth century it was regarded as a component of the Eptanese (seven Islands) Republic which included also Santa Maura, Cefalonia, Itaca, Zante and Cerigo.

Porto S. Nicolò (Gaios): view of the channel between the fortress and the village

S. Nicolò (Gaios), the main village of the island is located on its eastern coast and it faces the mainland where the Venetians had an outpost at Parga. An islet opposite S. Nicolò shelters its harbour from winds and rough sea.

(upper corner) Aerial view of the channel taken from the Rome-Athens flight; (left) the islet with on top the fortifications (in the enlargement); (right) the opening of the channel towards mainland Greece

The Venetians built at the top of the islet a small fortress, which is now surrounded by high pines.

(left) A cannon on the southern side of the channel; (right) a pizzeria dedicated to the pirates.

The fortifications built by the Venetians could not protect the inhabitants from a well organized invasion; their objective was to deter Ottoman corsairs from raiding the village: Khayr al Din Barbarossa (red beard) (1465-1546) was the most famous of these corsairs: the red bearded pirate portrayed on the poster of a pizzeria is most likely a reference to him.

In the streets of Porto S. Nicolò (Gaios)

Even in the small village of S. Nicolò there is a distinct Venetian atmosphere (for more of this see the old town of Corfu).

The northern cove (Lakka): in the distance: Corfu.

Paxo has another very protected natural harbour at its northern end.

The image in the background of this page shows a bell tower in Porto S. Nicolò.

Excerpts from Memorie Istoriografiche del Regno della Morea Riacquistato dall'armi della Sereniss. Repubblica di Venezia printed in Venice in 1692 and related to this page:

Isola di Paxo

Paxo non è inferiore di condizione all'altr'Isole adiacenti a Corfù, e per l'abbondanza de' viveri, e per l'habitatione de popoli, chiamata da Bordone Paesu, dal Porchacchi Pachiso, da Plinio Ericusa, e da altri Paxo maior, e situata quest'isola a sirocco di Corfù, distante da Capo S. Isidoro in Ceffalonia miglia cento; dall'Epiro dodeci; al parere del Porcacchi il suo giro è di dieci miglia, ed al riporto d'altri è di miglia 25; dalla parte di Maestro v'è il porto di S. Nicolò atto a ricevere qualsivoglia naviglio, e ha alla bocca un scoglio. Da Ponente a Garbino v'è la valle S. Andrea buona per le Galee; l'altra valle da scirocco appellasi Vromo Limione.

Introductory page on the Venetian Fortresses
Pages of this section:
On the Ionian Islands:     Corfù (Kerkyra)     Paxo (Paxi)     Santa Maura (Lefkadas)     Cefalonia (Kephallonia)     Asso (Assos)     Itaca (Ithaki)     Zante (Zachintos)     Cerigo (Kythera)
On the mainland: Butrinto (Butrint)     Parga     Preveza and Azio (Aktion)     Vonizza (Vonitsa)     Lepanto (Nafpaktos)     Atene (Athens)
On Morea:     Castel di Morea (Rio), Castel di Rumelia (Antirio) and Patrasso (Patra)     Castel Tornese (Hlemoutsi) and Glarenza     Navarino (Pilo) and Calamata     Modon (Methoni)     Corone (Koroni)     Braccio di Maina, Zarnata, Passavà and Chielefà     Mistrà     Corinto (Korinthos)     Argo (Argos)     Napoli di Romania (Nafplio)     Malvasia (Monemvassia)
On the Aegean Sea:     Negroponte (Chalki)     Castelrosso (Karistos)     Oreo     Lemno (Limnos)     Schiatto (Skiathos)     Scopello (Skopelos)     Alonisso     Schiro (Skyros)     Andro (Andros)     Tino (Tinos)     Micono (Mykonos)     Siro (Syros)     Egina (Aegina)     Spezzia (Spetse)     Paris (Paros)     Antiparis (Andiparos)     Nasso (Naxos)     Serifo (Serifos)     Sifno (Syphnos)     Milo (Milos)     Argentiera (Kimolos)     Santorino (Thira)     Folegandro (Folegandros)     Stampalia (Astipalea)     Candia (Kriti)

You may refresh your knowledge of the history of Venice in the Levant by reading an abstract from the History of Venice by Thomas Salmon, published in 1754. The Italian text is accompanied by an English summary.

Clickable Map of the Ionian and Aegean Seas with links to the Venetian fortresses and to other locations (opens in a separate window)