Mani is a rugged, parched peninsula of Mt. Taygetos that sports tower-like houses.
In the 13th century Mani was a part of the Despotate of Mystras, a semi-autonomous region of the Byzantine Empire. From 1460 onwards, the Ottomans dominated the region, but the Maniots (the inhabitants of Mani), together with the Venetians, fought them continuously until the start of the Greek Revolution of 1821. During the period of Turkish rule, the pirates of Mani were notorious.
“Mani is the central peninsula of southern Peloponnese, with an area of 1,800 square kilometers, and it terminates at Cape Taenarus. It is divided into the western or Messinian or Shadowy Mani, which is bathed by the Messinian Gulf, and the eastern or Laconian or Prosiliaki Mani, which is bathed by the Laconian Gulf. A rugged and arid landscape but imposing, filled with rocks sculpted by time and people, the microcosm of Mani has inspired a strong sense of autonomy in its inhabitants for centuries.
One of the main attractions of Mani is undoubtedly its long and eventful history that has bequeathed us unparalleled landmarks. The numbers alone are impressive: there have been recorded about 800 towers, 96 traditional settlements, 1,000 Byzantine churches, and hundreds of small and large caves-shelters! It is worth, therefore, to embark on a journey to some iconic places in Mani that every traveler who respects themselves must visit!”