The island took its name from Kefalos, the first mythological king. According to excavations, Kefalonia Greece was largely developed in the Mycenaean and the ancient times. In fact, above the modern town of Sami, there is an ancient acropolis with interesting remains from many historical periods. Due to its strategic location, the Romans and Venetians used Kefalonia island as a base for war trips to the mainland of Greece.
During the Venetian occupation in the Medieval times, Kefalonia developed a lot in culture and trade. Many castles were constructed around the island to protect from enemies and pirates, and new towns were founded. In 1809, Kefalonia and all the other Ionian islands were granted to the British rule, until 1864 when the British donated them to the kingdom of Greece.
The most important event in the modern history of Kefalonia was the severe earthquake in 1953 that ruined the largest part of the island. This earthquake in August 1953 measured 7.3 on the Richter scale and destroyed most villages on the island. Only Fiscardo, on the northern side, survived, while the largest affected village was Lixouri.