Nafplio (Modern Greek: Ναύπλιο, Nafplio) is a seaport town in the Peloponnese in Greece that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was an important seaport held under a succession of royal houses in the Middle Ages as part of the lordship of Argos and Nauplia, held initially by the de la Roche following the Fourth Crusade and then by Aragonese nobility, before coming under the Republic of Venice and, lastly, the Ottoman Empire. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of the regional unit of Argolis.
The name of the town changed several times over the centuries. The contemporary Greek name of the town is Nafplio (Ναύπλιο).In modern English, the most frequently used forms are Nauplia and Navplion.
During the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern period, under Venetian domination, the town was known in Italian as Napoli di Romania, after the medieval usage of “Romania” to refer to the lands of the Byzantine Empire, and to distinguish it from Napoli (Naples) in Italy.
Nafplio is situated on the Argolic Gulf in the northeast Peloponnese. Most of the old town is on a peninsula jutting into the gulf; this peninsula forms a naturally protected bay that is enhanced by the addition of man-made moles. Originally almost isolated by marshes, deliberate landfill projects, primarily since the 1970s, have nearly doubled the land area of the city.
Acronauplia is the oldest part of the city. Until the thirteenth century, it was a town on its own. The arrival of the Venetians and the Franks transformed it into part of the town fortifications. Other fortifications of the city include the Palamidi and Bourtzi, which is located in the middle of the harbour.
Nafplion maintains a traditional architectural style with many traditional-style colourful buildings and houses, partly influenced by the Venetians, because of the domination of 1338-1540. Also, modern-era neoclassical buildings are also preserved, while the building of the National Bank of Greece is an example of Mycenaean Revival architecture.
Around the city can be found several sculptures and statues. They are related mostly with the modern history of Nafplion, such as the statues of Ioannis Kapodistrias, Otto of Greece and Theodoros Kolokotronis.
Tourism emerged slowly in the 1960s, but not to the same degree as some other Greek areas. Nevertheless, it tends to attract a number of tourists from Germany and the Scandinavian countries in particular. Nafplio enjoys a very sunny and mild climate, even by Greek standards, and as a consequence has become a popular day or weekend road-trip destination for Athenians in wintertime.
Nafplio is a port, with fishing and transport ongoing, although the primary source of local employment currently is tourism, with two beaches on the other side of the peninsula from the main body of the town and a large amount of local accommodation. There are frequent bus services from/to Athens (KTEL).
The building of the National Bank of Greece is probably the only one in the world to have been built in the Mycenaean Revival architectural style