Travel Blogger João Leitão embarks on an adventure at Corfu, known as Greece’s emerald island, located off the coast of Albania. Here’s a practical city guide with the best places to visit in Corfu according to João.
Culturally, Corfu is the result of overlapping influences, including French and British. The latter being a stronger one which explains the locals’ interest in cricket and ginger beer.
The Venetians built it in the 15th century on top of an old Byzantine castle. Until the British built the current access in 1819, the fortress was separated from the rest of the island by a moat with a moving bridge. Inside you’ll be able to see a small museum dedicated to the post-Byzantine art in Corfu and the small chapel of Madonna Del Carmine. You’ll immediately recognize the Old Fortress of Corfu on top of a hill to the east of the city when your boat is approaching the island.
The New Fortress of Corfu, also known as St. Mark’s Fortress, was designed by Italian architect Francesco Vitelli. It was built between 1576 and 1645 over the old harbor. A series of underground tunnels connect it to the Old Fortress and the city. The fortress was severely damaged but has been restored recently and now houses several cultural areas for exhibitions and events. The view from the rooftop terrace is stunning.
The Neo-Classical style Palace of St. Michael and St. George in Corfu is on the north side of Spianada Square. It was built in 1824 by the British and now houses the Museum of Asian Art. The museum was created in 1927 and is the only one in the country specifically dedicated to Asian art.
This single-aisle Saint Spyridon Church in Corfu was built in 1590 and is located in the historic city center of Corfu. The style is noticeably Venetian and the top of the bell tower, added in 1620, is Corfu’s highest point. The relics of Saint Spyridon, the island’s patron saint, are behind the church’s altar and his remains are in a tomb built in Vienna in 1867. Four times a year, the remains are taken into a religious procession. The frescoes on the aisle’s ceiling are a must-see.