Corfu Town (Kérkyra) capital of the island spreads out around the Spianada, the great esplanade between the old citadel and the historic centre, crossed by odos Voulgareos and extending along Leoforos G. Theotóki (the large numbers of Theotokis in Corfu can lead to some confusion: there are roads called N. -Theotóki , M. Theotóki and I. Theotóki). The old town and the historic centre are to the north, characterized by a maze of alleyways and narrow streets, cafe’s hidden in tiny forgotten squares, washing hanging out of windows, and children playing in the streets. The capital’s buildings display faded facades in a variety of colours and it has all the charm of Naples, without the muggers the rubbish. Get up early to avoid the tourists and savour the delights of town’s enchanting streets before they get too crowded.
The town showcases a diverse blend of architectural styles reflecting its history of various occupations. The Venetian influence is particularly evident in the Old Town, characterized by narrow cobblestone streets, imposing fortresses, and elegant Venetian-style mansions. The iconic Liston, a promenade lined with arched colonnades reminiscent of Rue de Rivoli in Paris, is a prominent feature of Corfu Town’s architecture.
Corfu Town is adorned with two impressive fortresses. The Old Fortress, dating back to the Byzantine era and further fortified by the Venetians, offers panoramic views of the town and harbour. The New Fortress, constructed by the Venetians in the 16th century, stands as a testament to their strategic military planning.
The town boasts several museums and cultural sites. The Archaeological Museum houses artifacts dating from the ancient Greek period, while the Byzantine Museum showcases religious art and artifacts. The Church of Saint Spyridon, dedicated to the island’s patron saint, is a revered religious site.
Esplanade and Spianada
The Esplanade, a vast green space in the heart of the town, is one of the largest squares in Europe and is flanked by elegant buildings. Spianada, the adjacent area, hosts various events and cultural festivities, creating a lively atmosphere.
Local Cuisine and Markets
Corfu Town offers a plethora of culinary delights, ranging from traditional Greek tavernas serving local specialties to cosmopolitan cafes offering international cuisine. The town’s markets, like the Municipal Market and Old Town’s street markets, showcase fresh produce, local products, and crafts.
Throughout the year, Corfu Town hosts cultural events, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and religious celebrations. The Easter celebrations on the island are particularly notable, featuring elaborate processions and traditions.
Tourism and Hospitality
As a significant hub for tourism, Corfu Town welcomes visitors from around the world. The town offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to boutique guesthouses, catering to different preferences and budgets.
Corfu Town’s allure lies in its captivating history, architectural splendour, cultural vibrancy, and warm hospitality, making it a must-visit destination for travellers exploring the island of Corfu.