Corfu is the most northwestern point of Greece and the 2nd biggest island of the 7 Ionian islands.
Statistically the island of Corfu has a population of 112.000 and the city itself a population of 28185 inhabitants.
Together with the locals we have about 15000 foreigners who live on the island. Most of them are English and then Albanians, Germans, Dutch etc.
The character and architecture of the island has a lot of venetian and English - French elements as in the past the island was under the occupation of Venetian - French and British, while the rest of Greece was under Turkish occupation. This made the island different from other parts of Greece especially in the culture which includes many western characteristics.
Ioannis Kapodistrias was one of the most famous Corfiots. He was the first governor of free Greece and a very wise and historical politician not only for Greece but also for the whole Europe.
The island's airport is named after him.
Dionysios Solomos lived in Corfu and here he wrote the Hymn to Freedom which is the national anthem of Greece with the music of Nikolaos Mantzaros who is also a Corfiot.
Ionian University. Corfu is the home of the 1st university of Greece. The Ionian Academy was the first Greek academic institution established in modern times . It was established by Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford in 1824. It is also considered the precursor of the University. It had Philological, Law and Medical Schools. The modern university was established in 1984. Its Departments are: History, Foreign Languages, translation & Interpreting, Music Studies, Archives & Library Science , Computer Science Audio & Visual Arts, Oriental Studies
Music in Corfu. Corfu with the western influence is famous for the musical tradition. Many great artists, singers and musicians were mentioning in their CV that they were applauded on Corfu.
From the cantatas to the famous philharmonic bands Corfu is an island of musicians. In this 17 bands who have about 100 - 300 members each the kids can learn music for free with the only obligation to play when needed. They have their special uniforms and their colour. The most famous are the Mantzaros (blue), the Old (Red purple), Kapodistrias (red) etc.
Nikolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros ( 26 October 1795 - 12 April 1872) was a Greek composer born in Corfu and the major representative of the so called Ionian School of music. He was of noble descent, coming from one of the most important and wealthy families of the island and therefore he never considered himself a "professional composer".His most known composition remains the musical setting for the poem of Dionisios Solomos (Hymn to Liberty, 1829-1830), the first and second stanzas of which were adopted initially in 1864 as the Royal Anthem of Greece and on 28 June 1865 as the Greek national anthem.
The island has also a lot of choirs. Most important and famous the mixed Choir of the Municipality of Corfu. This choir has got a lot of prizes with the most recent the 2nd prize in the European festival of choirs in Prague in 2007. There was not given a 1st prize.
Places to visit. Among the very nice places in Corfu you can see the Mouseisland, Kanoni, the palace of Mon Repos which was the house of the English Governor and later the Summer house of the ex royal family of Greece. Here Prince Philip of England was born. Also the old town is worth visiting and the palace of St Michael and St George. Out of the town the Achillion Palace which was built by the princess of Austria Elisabeth.
Corfu is the most green island in Greece. It is considered to have the biggest variety of the green colour in Europe.
Nice Beaches are Glyfada, Pelekas, Ag. Gordios, Sidari, Palaiokastritsa etc.
One of the first touristic destinations in Greece.At the airport we have charters from all over Europe and many cruise ships stop at the port. A lot of tourists come every Summer. Also Corfu has one of the best Marinas in Europe with many private yachts that arrive here in the Summer.
The climate is very wet. A lot of rain during the Winter and very hot in the Summer.
It is worth trying the local cuisine. Pastitsada, Sofrito, Bourdeto, Tsigareli are some of the famous dishes in Corfu.
The olive oil is very famous and good here and also the liquor made of koum kouat is one of the famous things to take with you.
Links ! For more information about Corfu
1. Municipality of Corfu www.kerkyra.gr or www.corfu.gr
2. General www.corfuland.gr