The Palace of The Grand Master in Rhodes
The Palace of The Grand Master in Rhodes
May 12, 2024
The Majesty of Panagia tou Kastrou (Lady of the Castle)
The Majesty of Panagia tou Kastrou (Lady of the Castle)
May 12, 2024
The Palace of The Grand Master in Rhodes
The Palace of The Grand Master in Rhodes
May 12, 2024
The Majesty of Panagia tou Kastrou (Lady of the Castle)
The Majesty of Panagia tou Kastrou (Lady of the Castle)
May 12, 2024


Situated in the heart of the bustling city centre of Rhodes, Circolo Italia, affectionately known as Aktaion, stands magnificently as a tribute to the island’s rich history.

The edifice’s tale is one of architectural brilliance and resilience, enduring centuries of historical turmoil that have influenced both the structure and the community it resides in.

This in-depth exploration delves into the intricacies of its architectural splendour and the significant historical occurrences that have transpired within its walls, offering a vivid narrative that entices you to walk in the footsteps of the past.

The Splendor of Circolo Italia (Aktaion)
The Splendor of Circolo Italia (Aktaion)

Architectural Marvel by Florestano Di Fausto

The legacy of Aktaion commences with its architectural inception by Florestano Di Fausto, an Italian architect renowned for his contributions to the built environment of the Dodecanese during the period of Italian rule.

This visionary was instrumental in creating a building that uniquely combines Neoclassical principles and innovative design, a characteristic that saw Circolo Italia become iconic in its own right.

The fusion of classical columns, glowing pediments, and vast windows cascading natural light into the interior reflect a harmonious blend of old-world charm and modernist aspirations.

Di Fausto’s signature graces this structure’s interior as well, where visitors are met with the resplendence of a grand marble staircase that commands admiration.

Ornate frescoes, intricate mosaics, and lavish embellishments further tell a story of opulence and taste, speaking volumes about the grandiosity of the Italian architecture that flourished amidst the island’s quiet streets and busy ports.

Historical Evolution of Aktaion

The winds of history first brushed the visage of Aktaion during the initial stages of its construction as part of the Club of the Reformist Young Turks.

The choice of location and the meticulous architectural decisions underlined the building’s role as a significant gathering point for the burgeoning movement, robustly reflecting a community’s call for change and freedom against the backdrop of the Ottoman rule.

The transition into the Italian era following the Dodecanese’s annexation in 1912 marks a new chapter for Circolo Italia.

The meticulous renovations by Di Fausto transformed the structure into a cosmopolitan hub for Italian social life, mirroring the opulence of the Mediterranean belle époque that swept the island.

It stood as an emblematic space, witness to jubilation and intellectual exchange that underscored Italian Rhodes as a dynamic and culturally rich period.

World War II and Post-War Resurgence

Throughout World War II, Aktaion, mirroring the broader fate of Rhodes, faced the grim realities of occupation and conflict. However, its architectural integrity and historical significance remained largely intact, a testament to Florestano Di Fausto’s robust construction and the communal respect for this cultural landmark.

Following the cessation of hostilities, it emerged into the post-war era with a renewed sense of purpose. The decline of Italian political dominance on the island and the eventual integration of Rhodes into the Greek state in 1947 heralded new beginnings for Aktaion.

It was during this period that Circolo Italia, now under Greek governance, experienced a resurgence, transforming once again into a vibrant hub of cultural and social activity.

This rejuvenation was symbolic of the broader recovery and unification efforts across the Dodecanese, reflecting the resilience of the region and its people.

Circolo Italia, with its rich historical layers and enduring architectural elegance, continued to serve as a beacon of cultural heritage and intellectual exchange, adapting to its new role within the fabric of Greek society while honouring its multifaceted past.

Echoes of Legacy in Cumulative Historical Significance

Throughout its storied existence Aktaion has witnessed a plethora of pivotal events and transformations that have not only shaped its structure but also the societal fabric of Rhodes.

The myriad epochs it has traversed, from the era of the Young Turks, through Italian dominion and World War II hardships, to its eventual resurgence in the post-war era under Greek stewardship, have collectively imbued it with a profound historical significance that transcends its physical boundaries.

In this continuum of history, each layer adds to its cumulative significance, rendering Circolo Italia not merely as a monument of architectural finesse but as a living museum that encapsulates the dynamic interplay of cultural, political, and social forces over the centuries.

It stands as a testament to resilience, adaptation, and the enduring power of heritage to unite diverse communities under the banner of shared history and culture.

For contemporary observers and visitors, it invites exploration and reflection, offering a lens through which the rich tapestry of Rhodes’ past is both honoured and preserved.

Its walls echo the legacy of the architects, visionaries, and everyday citizens who have all left their mark on this emblematic edifice. Thus, it continues to play a pivotal role in Rhodes’ cultural narrative, inspiring future generations to appreciate the complex layers of history that shape our world.

Place of Circolo Italia in Modern Rhodes

In the modern tapestry of Rhodes, Aktaion continues to be a cultural bedrock, integrating seamlessly with contemporary life while honoring the legacy of the past.

The restoration efforts stand testament to a community’s dedication to preserving its heritage, ensuring that future generations stand in awe of its architectural prowess and historical significance.

Today, Circolo Italia stands as a multifaceted cultural emblem in modern Rhodes, its usage evolving to cater to a vibrant mix of activities that bridge the past with the present.

This iconic building now hosts an array of cultural events, exhibitions, and seminars that not only celebrate its rich historical narrative but also promote Rhodes’ contemporary artistic scene.

Its spaces are regularly utilized for educational programs, aimed at engaging the community and visitors in the island’s heritage and arts.

Furthermore, Aktaion serves as an exemplary venue for social gatherings, weddings, and local festivities, offering an elegant backdrop that resonates with historical significance.

By maintaining this dual role as a guardian of heritage and a lively cultural center, it enriches the cultural tapestry of Rhodes, ensuring that its legacy continues to inspire and connect generations.


Circolo Italia is a captivating blend of aesthetic beauty and historical significance. Its intricate passages and grand terraces hold the memories of Rhodes’ key events, embodying the essence of the island. Let Aktaion’s spirit guide you through history’s tales, creating a timeless narrative.