A UNIQUE VILLAGE
Reborn from ruins
OLD PERITHIA, CORFU
A time travel to the past through the ruined houses with the broken window shutters, the gardens with the collapsed flowerpots and the narrow cobbled streets of Old Perithia, a ghost village is coming slowly back to life on the northern side of Corfu.
Located on the flanks of Mount Pantokrator (The Almighty), this village was probably old history around 300 B.C., when a tsunami hit the island, forcing the residents to evacuate the area and settle somewhere safer. Centuries went by, and the repeated pirate raids made Corfiots to seek once more for a safer haven in the mountains. This was the case until the ’50s, when the mosquito plague diminished, taking also away the fear of malaria. The islanders were returning to this mountain village –one of the wealthiest in Corfu– from the then worthless coastal areas and stayed there for 6 months. These was good times for Old Perithia. The place was humming, but tourism emerged at the coasts, fading the beauties of the village, until it became completely deserted. The 14th century stone houses and the churches were left to ruin, nobody walked on the cobbled alleys anymore, the bells silenced. Nature claimed the once human space, invaded through doors and windows, and prevailed.
Old Perithia was declared a Historic Monument due to its remarkable Venetian architecture, but remained almost uninhabitable. Nevertheless, since 2010 a change have been occured. Sitting at the neat flowery yards of the few remaining taverns, Corfiots and foreigners alike, enchanted by the aura from the village’s past, are listening carefully its historic whispers, while an Englishman with his Dutch wife restored three houses and established an exemplary B&B, thus instigating others to join them in a genuine escape.
540 Meters / The altitude of the traditional village of Old Perithia.
8 / Historic churches encircle the settlement.
130 / Houses are samples of Venetian architecture, made of local stone.
1 / Impressive red bell-tower, of St. James (Jacob) the Persian, stands at the village entrance.
150% / Increase in the number of visitors have been shown since 2010, when the first houses were restored and the Merchant’s House B&B opened with its six luxury suits.