Strolling through the streets of Venice I came across the Greek Consular offices. The ties between the two countries, Greece and Italy, go back centuries. Kalamata, where my parents were from, was ruled by the Venetian Republic from 1685 until 1715. The city fell to the Ottoman Empire when they reoccupied it that year. Kalamata was also the first city to be liberated during the Greek War of Independence on the 23rd of March 1821.