The Corfiot fairytale
A spring journey through time to the Venetian town of Corfu, its picturesque narrow streets, the impressive Spianada and the arches of the Liston.
The ambient scenery of the Old Town is revealed in the maze of the narrow streets, where you feel the amazing gardens of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, also known as The Garden of the People, floating over. Not far away, the Old Fortress stands imposing, while in Dimarcheiou (Town Hall) Square the Lodge of the Nobles and the San Giacomo Theatre -the first theatre in Greece to stage Italian opera- are the first establishments to catch your eye. As you take in the beauty of the flower-filled neighbourhoods, West European influences are evident everywhere, from the Venetian lamps in the stone-paved squares, to the Catholic Cathedral (Duomo) and the Liston, modelled on the Rue de Rivoli of the early 19th century Paris. Being in the heart of Corfu’s cultural life, you can listen to philharmonic orchestras and even watch a game of cricket while enjoying the view of the Spianada, one of the biggest squares in Europe.
Of course, no rendezvous with the island’s rich history would be complete without spending a few hours at the Achilleion Palace and its lavish gardens, looking at the same magnificent view that Sisi, the “Reluctant Empress”, no doubt favoured, allowing it to brighten her eyes. achillion-corfu.gr
Even if you leave the town of Corfu, the choices are countless. From a boat trip to Pontikonisi, a romantic walk among the rocks and coves of the Canal d’Amour at Sidari, or a tour the scenic villages up to the northern coast with its vast olive groves and footpaths leading to tiny secluded beaches with dazzling white pebbles.
Easter in Corfu an experience to remember
Every Greek Island and different areas around mainland Greece have their own customs during Easter and the Holy Week. Visit Corfu If you want to feel what this week is all about.
Every year it attracts thousands of people from Greece and abroad. Everyone wants to experience this great roller coaster of emotion and sentiment during Holy Week and there is no other place from which to hop on to this ride than Corfu.
Easter Saturday in Corfu
The customs today is what really makes Easter in Corfu a lifetime experience. The day starts early at about 06 am. At the church of Virgin Mary ‘Ksenon’ (Virgin Mary of the ‘strangers’), there is a re-enactment of an Earthquake. The very same quake that took place during the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are no special effects here of the Hollywood type of course. The custom is relived with sound effects. Locals will hold masses of big, red clay pots , usually on their balconies.
When the first Resurrection is announced at about 11 am, they start throwing the big pots down and onto the empty kept streets directly below them. The sound of hundreds of clay pots smashing on cobblestone streets at the same time can surely be deafening and a perfectly symbolic way to emphasise an earthquake. During this time, people say to each other ‘Christos Anesti’, (Christ has Risen), to which they respond, ‘Alithos’, (he has truly Risen).
The Catholic Church holds the evening mass at 10 pm so that it finishes by 11 pm. The reason for this is that the people attending the Catholic service can also attend the Orthodox, midnight mass, which starts at 11 pm. Both churches have coexisted and celebrated together important Religious holidays. Easter is no exception to this rule. There are thousands of lit candles and lanterns everywhere you look. The attendees each hold a white candle, symbolising Christ’s Resurrection which takes place at 12 midnight sharp.