Lixouri, Kefalonia, Greece .... Lixouri, capital of Paliki and the second largest town on the island, is on the western side of the Paliki peninsula facing the Lassi peninsula. You can reach it by driving the 33km from Argostoli, or by ferry-boat (sailing time 25 minutes).
The farming community of Lixouri is first mentioned in 1534, in a written protest to the Venetian senate. In 1800, under the French occupation, Lixouri became the headquarters of the Bureau of Sanitation and the City Court, and this gave rise to hopes that it would become capital of the island; Argostoli had been the capital since 1759. Naturally, a vendetta started up between the two towns which lasted for centuries, a few people may still be keeping it alive today.
Two violent earthquakes (January 23rd 1867 and August 12th 1953) completely demolished most of the old traditional houses. Although present day Lixouri may not look anything like the larger town of Argostoli, it does boast several important churches, lovely buildings, small traditional houses and flower-filled squares with picturesque coffee shops. Today's holiday maker will find modern accommodation, tavernas, nightclubs and immaculate beaches for swimming.
As you enter the town of Lixouri, on your right stands the Lyceum building, with the fine statue of Stamos Petritsis, the work of the sculptor Bonanos. Continuing straight on, you cross one of the three bridges that once united the two sides of town. Under this bridge is a dry river bed which was in former times quite a rushing torrent. Among de Bosset's numerous public works was an elegant bridge, which the local wags facetiously dubbed "la Seine" just as they called Lixouri "little Paris".
On the seaside road is Radicals' Square, with statues of three of the ten radical Parliamentary deputies who signed the resolution to unite the Ionian islands with Greece. But they are not the only statues to be found in the town. The Lixouriotes have honoured all their distinguished men with statues and busts, which now grace the town's squares and parks. The bronze statue of Andreas Laskaratos, a work of Apartis, welcomes visitors arriving by sea.
Between the two jetties, fishermen tie their boats and caiques. In the main square above the harbour you can notice a huge poplar tree; according to I. Tsitselis, it was planted by Lixouri's first policeman after the celebrations on the occasion of unity with Greece in 1864!
Kefalonians are "masters" of sweetmeats, among them mandoles, rozolia and Lixouri's koulouria.