The Dodecanese — the island archipelago which literally means ”The Twelve Islands” — officially joined their motherland of Greece 72 years ago today.

On March  1948, only a few years after the end of World War II, the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos and other scenic gems entered a new chapter in history by becoming the last areas to join Greece after the War of Independence in 1821.
The Dodecanese have long been known as some of Greece’s most idyllic destinations; however, not so many know that these stunningly beautiful, fairytale-like islands were actually Italian before becoming Greek.
Many sipping their ouzo or Greek coffee there would be surprised to know that these sunny havens became part of the Greek state.

It was only in 1948, after having endured centuries of occupation by different powers and a campaign to strip them of their Greek identity, that the islanders were finally able to join with their fellow Greeks.