Ioannina, also known as Giannena is the capital and largest city of the Prefecture of Ioannina and Epirus, with a population of 65,574 inhabitants for the city. The natural environment, the climate and character of the town are defined by this stretch of water – the area’s trademark. The lake, with its still waters and its small island, is a natural monument, around which the entire area lives and breathes. The strong cultural traditions of the town, home to a number of great novelists and poets, and the artistic and intellectual events which are organized throughout the year, give visitors the opportunity to get to know the roots of the intellectual life of Epirus. Ioannina was always multicultural, dominated mainly by Christian, Islamic and Jewish influences. This coexistence of cultural influences is clearly evident in the historic city centre. The Stoa Louli arcade is one of the locations where the three communities worked together and prospered. The arcade was originally an inn and then became a mercantile exchange of great importance throughout the whole of Epirus. Each alley and square, every point of the city echoes its great tradition. It is worth mentioning the islet of the lake (Ioannina island), which houses a small settlement and various monuments and sights, such as the last residence of Ali Pasha. Ioannina has a wealth of attractions and museums. The most remarkable sights are the following: the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina, the Castle of Ioannina, the Byzantine Museum, the Aslan Pasha Mosque, the Ottoman Library and the Museum of Pre-Revolutionary Period. At antiquity in the Byzantine years and the Ottoman domination. Οne of the most beautiful caves in Europe, Perama. The cave, a product of karst formation, dates back about one and a half million years. The beauty of the chambers defies description. The small train that runs from Ioannina to the picturesque village of Perama is a nostalgic choice of transport. The silversmith’s art is one of the most important aspects of local culture in Ioannina. The wirework or cast jewellery of Epirus, the exquisite "tzovairia" were famous beyond the Greek territories. The beautiful jewellery of Ioannina, of traditional or original modern designs is still synonymous with understated elegance. Delicate earrings, intricate chains, ornate buckles, and silver ornaments are only fragments of the variety of craftwork that visitors can admire in the town’s jewellers’ shops. The gastronomic pleasures of Ioannina will satisfy the most demanding. The mountains of Epirus provide a wide range of spices and herbs which are freely used to complement the finest basic ingredients. Fish, of course, from the lake, such as eels and trout, are cooked in sophisticated ways, and together with frog’s legs, a special delicacy, are the hallmark of the Ioannina cuisine.

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