I arrive in Ithaca from the white shores of Lefkada, at one of the largest natural harbors in the world, which invites you to explore it without pretending something that is not. Calmness.
I can't stop thinking the words of Cavafy "Keep Ithaca in your mind. The way to arrive there is your destination." The island's name has not changed since ancient times, like the eternal "home" waiting for you to come and the idea of a "global human homeland". It gives a sense of intimacy, despite its water differs from those of the Aegean, the green waves of the Ionian sea crash on the rocks of "Kioni".
I head to the narrow alleys between houses and i see the elders seating on white plastic chairs welcoming me. I found a room to stay, owened by the daughter of a local lady, who asked me to water the flowers during my stay. In the morning, i woke up of the fresh breeze and the smell of freshly washed laundry and i watered the flowers as I promised.
I decided to walk to the nearby bakery with the smell of fresh bread welcoming me like i am arriving at home. Even if you are calling yourself a nomad, you will feel like home when you find such a bread to taste. I got a warm pie and walked down to "Vathi", a village with traditional shops where you can chill under the sound of dice dropping on a backgammon.
If you find yourself to Ithaca you should try the local products, like Thiakan olive, honey and ravani. The restaurants on the beach offer traditional flavors and the simplicity of the finest Greek cuisine.
Organic farming and agriculture is important to the island, especially when it seemed an uninhabited and barren place in the eyes of strangers. The wine has not much to offer but you can still taste the ouzo.
Local festivals start from late June and finish on the 15th of August. You can hear the music even if you are at the top of "Niritou" mount.
Everytime i visit Ithaca, i rent a boat to reach beach "Gidaki", i weat my underwater mask with a kids smile on my face and i dive into the crystal water to reveal its secrets. The architecture of the island seems defensive, with houses without balconies and recesses for turrets, made of stone and wood, ready for the pirates gto come.
I was charmed by the island's sirens and when i left i promised to come back, although there are many Ithacas left to explore.