Nauplia is a beautiful city located 2.5 hours away from Athens (by bus), on the Peloponessus. The Venetian influences in the old quarter make it a very nice place for strolling, somewhat like Lisbon. Romantic, you would say.
On another note, I had the best pizza of my life in Nauplia!! Funny, eh?
Greece (Atenas, Olimpia, Meteora etc).
Anciednt historic ruins, from Athens and ancient Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia and Delphy .
Monasteries, Varlaam Monastery, famous for its frescoes and St Stephen'sfeaturing a unique collection of icons and panoramic view.
P e l o p o n n e s e
The Peloponnese was inhabited in Early Helladic times (3rd millennium B.C.), but neither archaeology nor tradition gives any certain answer whence its people came or what language they may have spoken.
From them perhaps come the non-Helennic place names ending in -inthos, -ssos and -ene (c.g. Corinth, Mycenae). They were probably of Asiatic origin.
Their implements were of copper and later of bronze; their hand-turned pottery had elongated spouts (the so-called sauce-boat is characteristic) and were painted with brown glaze. Their existence is probably mirrored in the legendary Pelasgoi or Herodotus. Remains of typical sites can be seen at Zygouries and Lerna.
At the beginning of the 2nd millennium opens the period called Middle Helladic. A violent upheaval marks the arrival of new racial groups, of lndo-European stock (perhaps from N. of the Black Sea), presumably the first Greek-speaking people, since their culture develops without a break into the Mycenaen civilization now known to have written records in Greek.
They were a warrior race, who brought with them a wheel-made grey monochrome pottery ('Minyan') and developed another ware with matt-painted decoration; the latter may represent an assimilation from the earlier race whose culture they absorbed. Their houses were small, but those of the chiefs had a characteristic horsehoe plan, with a hearth in the centre of the largest room and an open porch; the scheme is the prototype of the later megaron. The race understood fortification and developed sculptural carving. Their dead were buried (originally without or with few offerings) in a squatting position in cist graves. Their traditions survive in the hero legends of Perseus, Herakles, etc. Middle Helladic remains have been excavated at Lerna, Asine, and Mycenae.
The contents of Grave Circle B, now in Athens, give a good idea of the art of the end of this period of development (c.1550 B.C.).
Thereafter the mainland becomes influenced by Middle Minoan civilization, though developing Cretan ideas in an individual way.
A very rapid development marks the Late Helladic period; a widespread civilization evolves, which Homer knew as Achaean and we call Mycenaen because both archaeology and tradition confirm that it reached its apotheosis at Mycenae.
The other main centres of the Peloponnese were at Argos and Pylos. No danger seems to have threatened from abroad, quite the reverse if the references to marauders from Ahhiyawa (found on Hittite tablets) indeed refer to the activities of the Achaeans in Asia Minor.
A fresh wave of Greek-speaking people from the N., the so-called Dorian Invasion, brought widespread destruction to the Peloponnese. Classical historians attributed this break to the return of the Herakleidai, descendants of an earlier Mycenean dynasty (which included Herakles) exiled by the Pelopid rulers of Mycenae before the Trojan War. This was a political upheaval of a very violent kind which put back civilization several centuries, but cultural and racial continuity was evidently not affected for Attica seems not to have been occupied by the Dorians and is neither less nor more Greek than the Peloponnese.
Arcadia is fabled never to have been subordinated to either Achaeans or Dorians. The dispossessed Achaeans supposedly resettled in the N. in the area which perpetuates their name to the present day.
The recovery of the Peloponnese is associated with the change from the Bronze to the Iron Age, and the slow development of new techniques and more sophisticated arts. ARGOS at first took pride of place, which it held for a long but not very noteworthy period.
The early recorded history of the Peloponnese deals with the rise of SPARTA. From 337 B.C. when the Synedrion of Corinth confirmed Philip of Macedon as leader of the Greek world, the historical centre of the Peloponnese becomes CORINTH. After the sack of Corinth in 146 B.C., the peninsula formed part of the Roman senatorial province of Achaea; this was temporarily joined in A.D. 15-44 to Macedonia.
The Peloponnese was ravaged in A.D. 267 and 395 by the Goths and by Alaric. Placed by the Constantinian reorganization in the diocese of Macedonia, the province enjoyed (alone of Eastern provinces) proconsular rank.
Ecclesiastically it remained subject to Rome (under the Metropolitan of Thessalonica), sending only one bishop (of Corinth) to Ephesus (431). By 457 the Peloponnese had a number of bishops and Corinth had become a metropolitan see.
In 540 the Huns penetrated to the gates and Justinian refortified the Isthmus; the W. shores were attacked by Totila's Ostrogoths in 549; but in the Peloponnese the ancient era survived into the 6C. Widespread earthquakes devasted the peninsula in 522 and 551.
Avar and Slav incursions submerged the Peloponnese C. 587, bringing two centuries of barbarism. Plague wrought havoc in 746-47. In 805 the MOREA (as it was now called) became a Byzantine 'theme', and under the Orthodox church slowly refined and assimilated the Slav elements, although predominantly Slav pockets survived in the Taiyetus region far into Frankish times and the Mani remained aloof as ever.
New menaces soon arose in the Saracen corsairs, beaten off in 881, and the Bulgars, who penetrated the Morea in 924-27 and in 996. In general the 11C was a period of reconstruction and prosperity, during which Venetian merchants began to acquire the trading privileges that they developed throughout the 12C.
A year after the fall of Constantinople in 1204 William de Champlitte landed in the western Peloponnese. Assisted by Geoffrey de Villehardouin, he conquered the Morea and divided it up into 12 fiefs among various barons of France, Flanders, and Burgundy. Geoffrey de Villehardouin, who became in 1210 Prince of Morea (or Prince of Achaea), governed the country with moderation.
In 1261 Michael III Palaelogus regained Monemvasia, the Maina, and Mistra, where he installed a Byzantine 'Despot'. The house of Villehardouin lasted till 1301, when Isabella Villehardouin married Philip of Savoy. Philip became Prince of Morea, sharing his sovereignty with the Marshal of St Omer. In 1318 the principality passed to the Angevin House of Naples, which held it insecurely till 1383.
The Venetians occupied Methone, Argos, Nauplia, and Navarino; and Nerio Acciaioli established himself in Corinth, Argolis, and Achaea.
The Byzantine Palaeologi gradually won back the Peloponnese by means of matrimonial and other alliances. In 1453 two rival despots, Demetrius Palaeologus at Mistra, and his brother Thomas at Patras, simultaneously appealed to Turkey for help against the Albanians, who were devastating the country.
The Turkish general Turakhan, after assisting, proceeded to conquer the two brothers. In 1458 Mehmed II ordered the invasion of the Morea under Omar, son of Turakhan. In 1460 the conquest was completed.
The Venetian coastal settlements were abandoned in 1573. Francesco Morosini reconquered the peninsula in 1685-87, and in 1699 it was ceded to Venice by the Treaty of Carlowitz. In 1715 Ali Pasha retook it for Ahmed III, and the Treaty of Passarowitz gave it back to Turkey. In 1770 an insurrection led by Orloff was repressed.
In 1821 the War of Independence was begun in the Peloponnese by the action of Germanos, Abp. of Patras. The same year Peter Mavromichales, Bey of the Maina, took the field, his example being followed by Kolokotronis, a celebrated klepht of the Morea, and by other chieftains. Tripolis fell in Oct 1821.
In 1822 Kolokotronis defeated Dramali in the defile of Dervenaki and took Corinth; in 1823 Nauplia fell. The Greeks suffered a set-back in 1825, when Ibrahim Pasha invaded the Morea with an Egyptian army; but some months after the battle Navarino (1827) the French landed in the Gulf of Korone, under Gen. Maison, and Ibrahim fled.
The Turks evacuated the country in Oct 1828, and the French withdrew soon afterwards.
In 1831 an insurrection of the Mainotes, who resented sinking their independence even in liberated Greece, was suppressed by Bavarian troops.
In the Second World War the evacuation of British troops was effected at Nauplia, Monemvasia, and Kalamata; a notable naval engagement was fought off Cape Matapan; and Kalavryta suffered one of the more atrocious reprisals of the war.