In the 13th century Rethymnon fell to the Venetians who, following an attack from the Arabs in 1562, built the famous Fortezza fortress which still stands today and is emblematic of the city.
A significant portion of the Venetian city has also been preserved. Rethymnon experienced a cultural efflorescence in the 16th century, when numerous Rethymniot artists and scholars were active, not just in Crete but also in Venice. This high period ended when the city was conquered by the Turks. With Cretan independence in 1897, Rethymnon began once again to develop.
In Rethymnon you can taste the flavors and aromas of Cretan cuisine, which is offered in almost all restaurants inside and outside the city. Olive oil, wine, wheat, honey, milk, cheese, meat, wild herbs, vegetables – the ingredients used in Cretan cuisine are simple, clean and, above all, genuine and natural. Cretan gastronomy is based on the production of fields, which guarantees a healthy diet and contributes to good health and longevity. Cretan cuisine does not include complicated preparation techniques. Its success lies in the ingredients used. Due to the olive oil, which is used in all recipes, Cretan dishes are very tasty. Try a variety of local dishes, such as fresh salads, dakos, snails boubouristi, apaki, lamb “tsigriasto” or “antikristo” and gamopilafo. Also do not miss the opportunity to try the local cheeses such as feta, graviera, mizithra and the unique stakovoutiro.