Zakynthos is the capital and port of the island, located at the foot of Bochali hill. It is a modern city, built after the old one was destroyed in the earthquake of 1953, a town that is constantly expanding toward the interior of the island owing to the great number of activities that have sprung up in recent years. Some of the sites worth visiting are: the monastery of Agios Dionysios where the holy remains of the saint are preserved; its interesting museums; the squares of Agios Markos and Dionysios Solomos; the shopping centre on Alex. Roma street and the coast road; Kon. Lombardou street or Strata Marina (as the local people call it), as well as a number of old churches that were either preserved or restored after the earthquake in 1953. Bochali, the district around the Castro, charms us with its quiet lanes and old houses, its flower-bedecked countryards and elegant tavernas in which old zakynthian music is played.
Also of interest are the two hills: Strani, where Dionysios Solomos was inspired to write the "Ode to Liberty" which after being set to music, became the Greek national anthem; and Bochali, as mentioned earlier; on top of which is the Venetian Castro, with its superb panoramic view of the modern town of Zakynthos and the Ionian sea. The briefest stroll along the streets of the town is enough to convince the visitor that the efforts to preserve the pre-seismic Zakynthian atmosphere are not directed to the buildings alone but to its entire urban fabric. In Zakynthos everything is steeped in nostalgia, with a note of romanticism. The island's picturesque squares, Dionysios Solomos Square and Agios Markos Square, the long coast road, the Strata Marina, old Rougas Square and the modern Alexandrou Roma street, are all reminiscent of times past.
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