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The Greek Island That Still Commemorates Edward Kennedy

Kennedy Greek island Paxos
The central square of the Paxos village has been renamed Edward Kennedy Square. Credit: AMNA

The handwritten note by late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy dating back to August 1968 is exhibited in the small art gallery that used to be a taverna in Edward Kennedy Square, located in Lakka village on the Greek island of Paxos.

Dedicated to the owners, Spiros Mantelas and his wife Sarenia, of the taverna which Kennedy would visit, the note, dated August 1968, reads:

“The memory of your hospitality, friendliness and good food I will bring with me back to my home in the United States. Edward Kennedy US.”

The commemorative note is now exhibited in a glass showcase posted on the war gallery.

Kennedy Greek island Paxos
The handwritten note by Edward Kennedy. Credit: AMNA

Kennedy spent several summers on the Greek island of Paxos

The longest-serving U.S. Senator spent summers on Paxos, and it is said that he enjoyed Lakka. The Mantelas taverna was his favorite place to eat, according to Paxos Deputy Mayor, Giorgos Lichnos.

“His handsome face, his rich, blond hair and his tall body attracted all the girls on the island, but he preferred to come to this small taverna and eat his favorite handmade souvlaki grilled on charcoal,” Lichnos said.

Kennedy Greek island Paxos
Ted Kennedy was pictured in 1967, a year before his unforgettable vacation on Paxos. Public Domain

It has been over fifty years since Edward Kennedy wrote that note to the Lakka taverna owner, but the older villagers who were young at the time remember the “strange” tall American who walked the streets of the island and enjoyed its beauties away from his life of public service.

He visited the island on numerous occasions and was known as ‘Teddy’ to the locals. The U.S. Senator became friends with some of the locals. His death in August 2009 was met with sadness by those who knew him, but his name lives on.

Kennedy Paxos Greek island
Locals and tourists dine at the taverna on Edward Kennedy square. Credit: AMNA

The Greek island of serene beauty in the Ionian Sea

Paxos, in the Ionian Sea boasts serene getaways, summer fun, links to ancient history, and cozy harbors perfect for exploring by boat.

Also called Paxoi, it offers another side of Greek culture, hosting festivals that showcase the fine arts every year in one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in existence.

Paxos is actually comprised of a series of islands that dot the Ionian Sea just south of the more well-known island of Kerkyra, or Corfu.

Home to only 2,500 people, the island is packed with travelers every summer but becomes a quiet Brigadoon once again when autumn descends.

That must have been the case even in ancient history, as well, when, according to Greek mythology, the god Poseidon created the island by striking the island of Corfu with his trident, breaking a piece off in order for him and his wife Amphitrite to enjoy some quiet all to themselves.


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