Upload Your Entry
Spiros Cavallini

A chapter of Cavallini family history, their coming to Kythera & the link to L. Hearn

Captain Angelo Cavallini* captained a vessel running from Venice (his home town) to Constantinople and Smyrna. On one of his journeys he fell sick and the ship made dock at Kythera for him to disembark and take some weeks on the island to recover. Returning to Venice, he found himself so captivated by the island that he decided to return and make it his home. He married an Italian from the island by the name of Rosa and bought the well known Cavallini house in Avlemonas that was built in 1827, and still retains the details of building faintly visible in the mortar. Old contracts show that Angelo became the Greek ambassador to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. After his death his 5-6 children inherited his estate and sold it amongst themselves. His oldest son, Giannis, who is buried in Kapsali by the church of St. Spiridon, became the vice consul to the Hungarian Empire and an agent of Lloyds, he was a lawyer by trade and one of the Kytherian aristocracy, and in his youth he met Rosa Kassimati, mother of Levkadios Hearn, who, having been rejected by Hearn’s father, returned to her homeland. He married Rosa, who must truly have been an exceptional woman for her time, and she bore him three children: Angelo, Katina and Ziza, who all lived the life of the true aristocracy, indeed Angelo was one of the first Greeks to own indoor plants!

* Sometimes spelt Kavalini, Cavalinis or Cavalenes.

Leave A comment


Peter Vanges
on 18.01.2005

From, Peter Vanges, "Kythera. A History". 1993. pp. 147-148. The house was built in 1827, in Avlemonas, Kythera. (After independence)....Kythera once again became the stop-over port for Austrian ships from Trieste, using Avlemona during winter and Kapsali during the summer months. The Company was known as Lloyds of Trieste. A representative was appointed to the island by the name of Giovani Kavalini (Cavallini) who also acted as Vice Consul of Kythera. The descendants of this man remained on the island for many generations and the name is evident today, with many residing in Kythera, Australia and other parts of the world. The tomb of one of the original Kavalini family members can be found in a small cemetry outside St Spyridon's Church at Kapsali. The Triestian vessels continued their journey to Smyrna where a strong Kytherian community was flourishing. The Kavalini family played an important role in the history of trade on the island as they were the official import-export representatives for many years, with trade from Europe and the Greek mainland."

Stephen Samios
on 18.01.2005

Can someone provide us with a photograph or series of photographs of the tomb of the Kavalini descendant "in the small cemetry outside St Spyridon's Church at Kapsali"?