Aug29

Modon (Methoni)

Maritime routes in the Mediterranean closely followed the coastline.

This made Modon, a small harbour at the tip of the western Peloponnese peninsula, across from the Island named Sapienza (Wisdom), a strategic point on the route from the Ionian to the Aegean Sea, a key section of the route from Italy to the eastern Mediterranean. For this reason Modon and the nearby fortress of Corone were called the "eyes of Venice".

In particular Modon was key to a very profitable business: the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The pilgrims embarked at Venice for Palestine on regularly scheduled sailings, June through September to take advantage of the northwest wind. From 1227 on, the Venetian government controlled the pilgrim business: ships could not be overloaded, and the captain was obliged to take pilgrims where they wanted to go and not to engage in trading along or off the route unless agreed upon in the contract. In the course of seven weeks they could sail along the coast of Istria and Dalmatia, through the Ionian Islands, stopping at Modon, then on to Cerigo (Kythira), Candia (Crete), Rhodes, Cyprus, and finally Jaffa. After visiting Palestine the pilgrims would often journey overland to the monastery of St. Catherine on Sinai and then to Egypt, whence they would sail from Alexandria back to Venice.

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Article and Image Source: romeartlover.tripod.com

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