Zakynthos Roma Family
The historical Roma family from Zakynthos: The Roma family is a historical family of Zakynthos originating from Sicily Italy since the 13th century. The first member of the family who settled on Zakynthos was Curzio Roma in 1581. Since then, the Roma family made a name for itself taking part in political, military and cultural activities. Among the most distinguished members of the family was Muzzio (1629-1670), commander of the Zakynthian Galley who participated in the second siege of Corfu.
Throughout the years, the Roma family was consistently present in the social and political life of the island, in contrary to other historical families of Zakynthos. It is well known that the next generations played an important role in the political life of Zakynthos, (Chairmen of the Ionian State, deputies and ministers of the Greek Kingdom, etc). Alexandros Romas (1863-1914), in particular, was Chairman of the Greek Parliament (1897-1902-1909), Minister of Education and Minister of Justice.
The historical Roma Mansion was the main residence of the family. Initially built between 1660 and 1670 by an English merchant, it was then given as a dowry to his son-in-law whose family stayed on the island until World War II. The house was also used as the residence of the English Governor, during the period of English Protection (1814-1864).
Alexander Romas bought this mansion in the 1880s and was used as a base of one of the two major political parties (Romianiko Koma). The catastrophic earthquake of 1953 caused great damages to the Roma house, which was eventually rebuilt by Dionysios and Maria Roma. Today, it consists of many late and well-decorated rooms, such as the rich library with over 10,000 titles, gravures, paintings and historical items that portray the mentality of the Roma family and all the aristocratic families of that time.