Corfu looks like Italy because of its long history of Venetian occupation. The Republic of Venice ruled Corfu for over 400 years, from 1386 to 1797. During this time, the Venetians left a significant imprint on the island’s culture, architecture, and language.
One of the most obvious ways in which Venetian influence can be seen in Corfu is in its architecture. The Old Town of Corfu is full of Venetian buildings, with their characteristic red-tiled roofs, narrow streets, and colonnaded squares. The island is also home to several Venetian fortresses, including the Old Fortress and the New Fortress.
In addition to its architecture, Corfu also has a number of other features that are reminiscent of Italy. For example, the island’s cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian cuisine, and many Corfiots speak Italian as well as Greek.
Here are some specific examples of Venetian influence on Corfu:
- Architecture: The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its Venetian-style buildings, including the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, the Liston, and the Church of St. Spyridon.
- Language: Corfiot Greek is a dialect of Greek that is heavily influenced by Italian. Many Corfiots also speak Italian fluently.
- Food: Corfiot cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian cuisine. Popular dishes include pastitsio, moussaka, and souvlaki.
- Culture: Corfiot culture is also influenced by Italian culture. For example, the island celebrates Carnival in a similar way to Italy.
While Corfu is now part of Greece, its long history of Venetian occupation has left a lasting impression on the island. This is why Corfu often looks and feels more like Italy than Greece.
The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island. It is located on a peninsula on the east coast of Corfu and is surrounded by water on three sides.