The Vardiola is a mutant species of “vigla” used by the Venetians in the Ionian Islands. There have been observatories, Venetian shelters used to watch the sea and to alert residents to the appearance of a suspect ship. Most of the surviving viglas in Greece – but not all – are small towers in a dominant position with a large field of vision. Their height was usually over 8 meters and their role was of course defensive, but primarily served as observatories for early warning in cases of invasion.
In Zakynthos today, 3 Vardioles survive along the island. On the coast of Tragaki, we will meet the two and the other in Kypseli, which date back to the 17th century.
Their name derives rather from the guardia which means a viewpoint and, in particular, from the corruption of the Venetian word guardiola , which was the name of the Venetian castle.
Most of the Vardioles in Zakynthos were built when Proveditore on the island was Claudio Gherardini, about whom we know that he served in this position during the period 1768-1770.
Today, with a few years of delay, the project “Regeneration and Emergence of Venetian Vardiolas” began in Kypseli under the supervision of the 20th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.