Since days of old, this island has exercised great charm on its visitors. The Venetians called it Zante, the flower of the east; and they did not just mean a place with flowers, but all the flourishing things to be seen on the island, above all, the flourishing of the arts. Two of the greatest Greek poets were born here and the importance of painting has underlined with the establishment of Arts school in the 17th century. The main town was famed for its mansions and architecture as well as beautiful churches, until the day of a major earthquake in 1953, which destroyed everything. Icons remain and some beautiful wall paintings, but now, the islands main draw is its beautiful beaches, dream like caves and the incredible colour of the surrounding sea.