The whole town of Corfu is a monument. Narrow paved lanes (kantounia) with hung out laundry, flowering bougainvilleas, buildings with traces of Venetian, French and British influence attract any visitor. Local history, culture and tradition are thoroughly protected in museums and collections.
In Corfu town’s historic center, the medieval fortresses and the peripheral fortifications compose a unique architectural ensemble, which was added in 2007 to the list of UNESCO’S World Heritage Monuments.
The Old Fortress and the New Fortress, perched on commanding locations on either side of the town, offer panoramic views of the Old Town of Corfu. Their architecture is testament to all the major advances in 15th – 19th century defence-related design.
The famous Liston, which constitutes the meeting point for most social gatherings and is the symbol of Corfu’s historic centre, is the most characteristic monument that bears traces of the French presence on the island. The “San Giacomo” building, which accommodates today Corfu’s Town Hall, was erected by the Venetians in the 17th century in order to house the Loggia dei Nobili.
Further significant cultural places are: the Reading Society of Corfu, which is the oldest intellectual institution of modern Greece; the Archives of Corfu, which are accommodated in the building of the former British Barracks inside the Old Fortress, and the Municipal Theatre, with an intense cultural activity, illustrating the Corfiots’ need for quality entertainment.
At a breath’s distance from Corfu Town lies the green island Vido. Worth a visit on the island are two well-maintained beaches, the historic Church of St. Stefan and the Serbian Mausoleum. In the suburbs, the well known Pontikonisi island and the Vlacheraina Monastery, compose Corfu’s most familiar and recognized picture.
The findings from the Roman mansions in the northern and southeastern coasts but also the famous “Achilleion” prove that Corfu is an alltime tourist destination. The palace which was once the summer residence of the Empress of Austria Elisabeth and later on of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II operates today as a museum and as a cultural events’ venue.