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Home / Experiences of Corfu / The Culture

The Culture

Can you find an island with more Art?
The island of Corfu has a very special history compared to other places in the region. While
the population always maintained a solid Greek identity, the various European sovereigns
influenced the local culture. In the 19 th century, the French left their mark in architecture,
the British in painting and literature. But it was the four centuries of the Venetian ruling that
made the Corfiots fall in love with Art. A unique combination, which together with the Greek
temperament, opened the path towards the distinctive artistic nature of the island.

Although the lack of marble didn’t offer many options to the local artists to develop much
the fine art of chisel, there are hidden gems you can find in both the town and the villages.
From the enormous Ancient Greek Medusa in the Archaeological Museum and the colossal
Achilles at the Achilleion, to the unexpected works of the unnamed stone carvers decorating
churches, cemeteries and mansions in the countryside, there is so much here to attract your
attention if you are into exploring the marks of humankind on the timeless stones.
The Archaeological Museum of Corfu [pin]
The Museum of Paleopolis [pin]
The Achilleion Palace [pin]
The Museum of Asian Art of Corfu [pin]
And explore the Old Town, the villages and the monasteries of corfu.

A place blessed by Nature with so many colours and shapes, was destined to develop an
impressive tradition in painting. The old Medieval mosaics and the Byzantine mural and
portable iconography soon gave their way to religious and secular art with strong
Renaissance and Baroque influences here. And then, Romanticism, Impressionism, and all
movements of the modern art found a fertile ground to blossom in Corfu, where Art is
considered a virtue for every cultivated person.
The Byzantine Collection in the Old Fortress
The Antivouniotissa Museum (Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Religious Art)
The National Gallery Corfu Annex
The Municipal Gallery of Corfu

And explore the numerous churches in the Old Town and the countryside for more art

Corfu is identified with the mythical island of Scheria, home of the Phaeacians, the island for
which the Odyssey -one of the first works of literature in the Western World- dedicates four
rhapsodies. This inevitably produced or inspired a multitude of writers and their works. Add
these readings to your holidays’ activities and follow in the footsteps of the authors and
their characters on the island.
The Corfu Reading Society
Read among other books:
The Odyssey, by Homer
History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides
The Tempest, by William Shakespear
History of my Life, by Giacomo Casanova
Hymn to Liberty, by Dionysios Solomos
Slaves in their Chains, by Konstantinos Theotokis
Prospero’s Cell, by Lawrence Durrell
My Family and other Animals, by Gerard Durrell
The Façade Lady of Corfu, by Spiros Plaskovitis

If one asked for the trademark of Corfu, it would be none other than the love for Music.
Indeed the local love for music is remarkable, and it couldn’t be otherwise in the island to
which Vivaldi himself dedicated an oratorio and the place which hosted the first opera house
in Southeast Europe. Numerous bands and choirs can be found here, each with its own
history of awards and triumphant concerts at home and overseas. But the gem of the Corfiot
tradition in music is its Philharmonic Societies, a phenomenon born almost two centuries
ago and now a proud entry on the list of the assets of the Greek intangible heritage.
Seventeen non-profit organisations in the town and the villages, which provide high-level
classical music education to hundreds of children and quality massive concerts to the
general public, for free.
Look for the forthcoming musical events on the island, or the festivities -such as parades and
religious processions- which the Philharmonics and the choirs support, and have the deepest
experience of music on your holidays, as the locals do all year round.
The Museum of Corfu Philharmonic Society

The Parades on the National and Local Holidays (25 March, 21 May and 28 October)
The four Litanies of St Spyridon and St Theodora (Orthodoxy Sunday -first Sunday of the
Great Lent-, Palm Sunday, Holy Saturday, 11 th August, First Sunday of November)
The Epitaph processions all over the island on Good Friday
The numerous concerts everywhere

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