The island of Corfu lies in the lonian Sea, midway between Greece and Italy. The island has a long and colorful history. Colonized by the city state of Corinth, Corfu has been ruled by the Romans, the venetians, the French and the English. Corfu Town boasts fortresses bearing the insignia of the Venetian Republic, and esplanade lavishly planted by the French during the Napoleonic Wars and an English cricket pitch.
Although Corfu is certainly a Greek island, it lies between Italy and Albania in the Ionian Sea. The entire history of Corfu and the Lonian group of islands is very distinct from the rest of Greece. Among many the foreign influences here are British, French and especially Venetian.
A walk through the Old Town is a real treat. Most of the protective walls have been demolished, but the narrow, winding streets remain. Tiny squares, high arcaded houses, and richly decorated churches are everywhere, each one unique.
The most important cathedral is the Church of St. Spyridon, the island's patron. The 16th century church, with its tall bell tower, houses the silver coffin of the saint, an early martyr-bishop from Cyprus. Nearly half the boys bor on Corfu are named Spyridon, after the patron.
During world war 1, it was the home of the Serbian Government in exile, as well as the refuge of the battered Serbian army as it reorganized for the Salonika Front.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN AND AROUND CORFU
This elegant neo-classical palace was originally built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria and was later owned by the Kaiser.
The French planted the palm trees in Corfu's main square, which also boasts an English cricket pitch dating from British rule.
Church of St. Spyridon
The 16th century church houses the remains of the island's patron saint
The coves near this cliff top village offer some of the finest scenery in the entire Mediterranean.
Monastery of the Virgin Mary
The 12th century monastery features a museum with fantastic shells, whale bones, icons and religious books
Mon Repos Palace
Built in the 17th century, this palace with its extensive grounds has become a museum.
Shopping in Corfu revolves around traditional handiwork. You will find good buys in:
Handicrafts - Numerous Greek items, especially pottery
Reproduction - Hand-painted icons of Byzantine originals
Gold - Ancient and Byzantne designs
Textile Rugs and embroidered linens
The best place to shop is in the town of Corfu, approximately two miles away.
Tazatziki - Well known appetizer made with yogurt, cucumbers and garlic
Pastitsio - A baked dish of minced lamb and macaroni
Moussaka - minced meat and vegetables served with rich cheese
Gemista - cooked tomatoes or peppers, usually stuffed with ground lamb
Wine is a centerpiece of Greek life. Retsina, a strong, aromatic resonated wine, is the national taste. You may prefer the kokkino (red) and aspro (white) wines, which are inexpensive and quite satisfying. Ouzo, a clear licorice-flavor liqueur, is the favorite aperitif. Sip it slowly over a plate of mezedes or appetizers
You will also want to try - Brandy (Botrys and Metaxa), Mavrodaphne (a heavy dessert wine)
suggested tipping is 10-15 percent for good service
SOME USEFUL WORDS
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