Cosmopolitan and noble; romantic and educated; with an air of seduction and the attitude of a western European city. A gemstone of unprecedented beauty; natural grandeur, class and culture. This is Homer’s Scheria. The mythical Land of the Phaeacians where Ulysses was cast away during his journey to Ithaca. The emerald island, the object of desire and loot of many mighty empires and reigns. The Romans, the Byzantines, the Angevins, the Venetians, the French, the Russians, the British… they all left their traces here and contributed to the remarkable character of Corfu. The four centuries of the Venetian rule left permanent marks on the city’s unique architecture, culture, morals and traditions of the locals. The influence of the French and British can be seen in almost every corner of the island. The profound music culture and the Corfiots’ passion for music and singing, their nobleness and aristocratic character, their fine taste, the pleasant “madness” that everyone admits to–a unique mix of the feeling of being free and loving life – these are only few of the enchanting traits of the locals.
Capital to the Prefecture of Corfu and the administrative seat of the Ionian Islands District, Corfu is the northernmost and westernmost island of the Heptanese, (i.e. "the Seven Islands") located very close to the mainland and very near the entrance to the Adriatic Sea.
The heart of modern Corfu beats in the historical centre, the Old Town once built within the imposing fortifications, the Venetian citadels known as the Old and New Fortress. The town’s most important tourist attractions are found here. Spianada, the famous square of the old city, with its fragrant lime trees, is the largest square in the Balkans. The cosmopolitan walk of Liston with its arcaded terrace, lampposts and cafés, built by the French as a small replica of the Parisian Rue de Rivoli. The majestic palace of St. Michael and St. George, a neoclassical official residence of the 19th century build with white Malta stone by the British High Commissioner. And of course, the famous “Campiello», the old Venetian town of Corfu, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. An atmospheric medieval labyrinth of narrow streets paved with cobblestones (kantounia), secret squares with ornamented cisterns and old churches, ochre or terra cotta-painted tall houses with tile rooftops, washings hanging from one window to another just above the crowded alleyways; the busy central market.
A dreamscape with many charming corners that stand witness of the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Corfu; the historical church of Saint Spyridon, the island’s patron saint, with the towered belfry of the post-Byzantine era of the 16th century; the emblematic San Giacomo opera house which now houses the Town Hall; the Residence of the Latin Archbishop of the 17th century; the neoclassical Banknote Museum of Corfu.