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Corfu: An Ionian Jewel

Corfu(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Corfu town is Venice and Naples, a touch of France and more than a dash of England, apart of course from being Greek.”  Countess Flamburiari who used these words to describe Corfu island was not the only one to be enticed by the beauties of this famous and much visited island off the West coast of Greece.  In 19th century, Empress Elisabeth of Austria expressed the desire to immerse herself in the Greek culture and in 1890, she commissioned the construction of a summer palace which she called the Achilleion, after Homer’s hero Achilles. The palace, with the neoclassical Greek statues that surround it, is a monument to romanticism as well as escapism.  The various architectonic styles of its buildings, monuments and city planning are due to the island’s long history of conquerors. Venetians, British, French, Italians and Germans, all left their mark. The island’s city centre -the Old Town- is an historic complex of narrow streets dominated by the 16th century fortress. Close to the capital lies a small island, home to a monastery, the white staircase of which resembles a (mouse) tail, thus the name of the island Pontikonissi (mouse island). Corfu’s natural habitat is equally exquisite. The island has some of the Ionian Sea’s most beautiful beaches, favoured by thousands of visitors. UNESCO World Heritage: Old Town of Corfu is protected by UNESCO; You Tube: UNESCO Ceremony