At 800 metres, Ithomi is the highest of the twin mountains, Ithomi and Eva, which rise to the north of the village of Mavromati and the archeological site of Ancient Messene.

On the summit plateau of Ithomi there was a sanctuary of Zeus Ithomata, which was used for ceremonies and sacrifices in the Bronze Age. During the classical and Roman periods, when the city of Messene flourished, sacrificial rituals and consecration ceremonies were performed there.

In the 8th century CE orthodox monks settled in the deserted sanctuary and rebuilt the place as a monastery, called Voulkhanos. The buildings of this monastery still exist, but only one caretaker is living there nowadays. Access was difficult, water scarce and living conditions miserable. In the 17th century the monks resettled on the foot of the east side of Mt Eva and erected a much bigger structure, which is still in use nowadays.