The community that settled there, called Maniots (Mανιάτες, Maniátes, in Greek), is known for a long history of proud autonomy and strong attachment to Spartan culture and ancient traditions. However, what distinguished the Maniots was a peculiar and notorious involvement in piracy. The Maniots were famous and feared pirates whose ships ruled the coasts of the southern Peloponnese. The origins of the vocation for piracy can be traced back to the poverty of the land’s natural resources. Today, one can observe the ancient villages, sometimes still inhabited, characterised by tower houses that formed complex structures. Each family built its tower to protect itself from savage feuds. Over the centuries, none of the ‘occupying powers’ succeeded in subduing the Maniots: they always remained free, wild, unpredictable and in perpetual dispute with each other.