The port of Lakki in Leros

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” width=”300″ height=”224″>The large bay at Lakki in Leros is one of the deepest natural harbours in the Mediterranean and more interesting in all the Dodecanese because of its characteristic architecture
Occupied by the Italians for 30 years before the 1940s, Mussolini had plans to turn it into an Italian flagship city for his Greek ’empire’. 
They created the grandiose town of Portolago, now Lakki, and erected wide, boulevard streets, impressive parks and bombastic buildings in a blend of Art Deco and Bauhaus dubbed ‘Rationalism’ by the showy Fascist regime. 
Although individual buildings have some architectural interest, but the overall impression is of a large and empty shopping center.

The town

A long promenade, wide enough to host a military parade, runs the length of the shore and sports eucalyptus trees and ornate lampposts, ending in a large yacht marina. 
Bizarre grandeur is in monumental evidence at the old cinema, currently being restored with EU grants after being heavily bombed in Word War Two. 
In 2005, the Leros War Museum was opened in nearby Merkia inside an old tunnel dug by the Italians in World War Two. There are many items from the battle of Leros including guns, helmets, bombs, uniforms and photos


A couple of small beaches lie around the bay at Koulouki and at Merikies but they are mostly stone and have no facilities, although they are popular with locals and easily reached from Lakki. A couple of cantinas provide the basics. 
Also near Lakki is the temple of Agios Iiannis Theologos, which dates from 1000 and is one of the island’s more noteworthy churches with some astonishingly good 11th century mosaics.