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Villa Kapella

Corfù

Un giardino pieno di musica e di profumo di fiori rari

La cosmopolita Corfù è forse l'isola più conosciuta delle isole Ionie e una delle più popolari nel Mediterraneo. L’ attrazione principale di centinaia di migliaia di visitatori ogni anno, ma anche una fonte di ispirazione per tutte le belle arti, con un enorme patrimonio culturale, dispone di un gran prestigio che, in combinazione con le sue bellezze naturali, il clima meraviglioso, le spiagge e le interessantissime attrazioni turistiche, la rende una delle destinazioni più attraenti per i viaggiatori greci e stranieri.

L’omonima capitale dell'isola è una città-museo, un luogo di grande tradizione artistica e con molte influenze europee che fa d'esempio nel modo più riuscito di un misto di architettura greca ed occidentale. Non è un caso che il suo ben conservato centro storico è stato dichiarato Monumento del Patrimonio Culturale Mondiale dell'UNESCO. A Corfù è stata fondata la prima Università greca, l'Accademia Ionica, la prima Banda Filarmonica e la prima Scuola di Belle Arti in Grecia.

   



L'isola dove Ulisse incontrò la principessa Nausica, una delle più celebri scene dell'Odissea di Omero, è una meta affascinante per tutto l'anno. Eventi durante tutto l'anno arricchiscono il soggiorno a Corfù sia per vacanza che per una breve fuga. I festival musicali di carattere internazionale, le feste religiose e le sagre gastronomiche, le manifestazioni carnevalesche con influenze dalla Commedia dell'Arte italiana e, naturalmente, la Pasqua più famosa in Grecia mantengono vivo l’ impulso della cultura nel corso dei tempi:

Spring here is impressive and offers visitors the privilege to enjoy the wealth of vegetation and colors, combined with high-taste tourism. Summer is the most popular season for Corfu, with beautiful beaches and crystal water for unconcerned hours on the beach.

  

Easter celebration here becomes the experience of a lifetime.

Christmas and New Year's Day in Corfu is music, hymns, carols, in a quiet, decorated place with a mild climate and a noble finesse.
Autumn is the season of vintage, the period during which the whole island smells of grapes; it may be the best time to get to know the routine of the island

Scoprite ogni bell’ angolo della città e passeggiate:

• Nel centro storico (lo "Xopòli", come lo chiamano gli abitanti del posto, tra la vecchia e la nuova fortezza) con le mura perimetrali, che non gli permessero di diffondersi, che ha una particolare architettura, con le case in edifici alti a molti piani, i vicoli stretti (kantùnia) con il bucato appeso e le piazzette.

• Nei dintorni, il quartiere Mantouki al nord-ovest, la piazza Saroko (San Rocco) tra le colline di Avrami e Sotiros e il quartiere Garitsa, che parte dalla colonna di Douglas sul lungomare meridionale.

• In piazza Espianada, la più grande e la più imponente del Paese in cui si svolge anche la maggior parte degli eventi, come concerti, processioni, parate e le partite di cricket (nel prato della piazza). Qui si trova anche Listòn, un complesso di edifici di architettura francese con gle archi caratteristici, destinato esclusivamente alla passeggiata della Classe Nobile della città.

L'imponente passato di Corfù viene impresso sulle principali attrazioni della città che il visitatore vede ovunque volga il suo sguardo:
• La Vecchia e la Nuova Fortezza, rari esempi di architettura di castelli;
• Il magnifico Palazzo di San Michele e San Giorgio;
• Le numerose ed imponenti chiese, tra cui la Chiesa di San Spiridione, punto di riferimento religioso di Corfù, con il campanile più alto della città, il tempio di marmo, gli affreschi, i reperti e le offerte. Le reliquie del Santo vengono custodite in un’ urna dorata con le pietre preziose e la mattina della domenica delle Palme viene portata in processione per la città. La processione viene accompagnata da  tutte e 20 le bande filarmoniche di Corfù.

   

Cinque altre attrazioni che dovreste assolutamente visitare:

Mon Repos, una visita allo splendido terreno è essenziale. Ammirate la residenza estiva del commissario inglese, capolavoro di architettura neoclassica del 19 ° secolo.

Paleopolis, l'antica città di Corfù. Qui potete trovare il tempio di Artemide Gorgo, uno dei più antichi templi dorici fatti solo di pietra del mondo greco (6 ° secolo a.C.). Impressiona il ben conservato, grande altare di calcare poroso.

Il famoso Kanoni. Da qui prendete una piccola barca per il Pontikonìssi, una piccolissima isola che è il marchio dell' isola; secondo la mitologia, era una nave dei Feaci che si è trasformato in pietra.

A breve distanza dalla città di Corfù, in Gastouri, si trova "Achillion", il famoso palazzo dell'imperatrice Elisabetta d'Austria (nota come "Sissi"), che oggi opera come un museo.  I chiostri e giardini del palazzo con la vista eccezionale adornano delle statue meravigliose (come quello dell’ Achille Morente, quello del Satiro tenendo sulle spalle Dioniso, e tanti altri), mentre i visitatori potranno ammirare all'interno degli affreschi stupendi e dei dipinti ispirati dalla mitologia greca.



  

Angelokastro
A Byzantine castle that majestically reigns above the Paleokastritsa area with astonishing view is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle. Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu's defences to the south, northwest and northeast. The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

Old Perithia
This historic village of Palea (Old) Perithia, situated in the North East corner of the island just below Mount Pantokrator, is the oldest permanently inhabited settlement in Corfu, dating back to the 14th century. There are only 130 houses, built entirely by hand, some of which have now fallen into ruins. The village with its cobbled streets and ancient houses is encircled by eight churches and set amidst beautiful countryside. Distinctive and picturesque, Old Perithia is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty and is a protected heritage site, being an enchanting discovery for visitors from all over the world. 

Monastery Paleokastritsa Theotokos
The men's monastery of "Panagia Paleokastritsa" in Corfu was established in 1225, although the building seen today is of the Ottoman era. The reason for the construction of the monastery was the finding of the sacred icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. In the 19th century, it intrigued the British Commissioners of the island, who opened up the road that leads to Palaeocastritsa. The monastery celebrates on August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Most Holy Theotokos, as well as on the first Friday after Easter, when the feast of the Life Giving Fountain is celebrated.
 


Art in Corfu

Corfu has always been a favorite place with artists, from writers and poets to painters, sculptors and musicians. Just to give a few examples, the composer of the Greek national anthem Nikolaos Mantzaros and the composer of the Olympic anthem Spyros Samaras were both Corfiots and so are the more contemporary Vicky Leandros and Sakis Rouvas. This explains the fact that in Corfu there are a Department of Music Studies at the Ionian University, a Musical Gymnasium and Lyceum, 18 Philharmonic orchestras, 6 Conservatories, Choirs and traditional music ensembles, constituting a hotbed for talented musicians. 
 

                                                              


The Philharmonic Orchestras of Corfu are renowned throughout the world. They owe their establishment to the general climate in which clubs and societies flourished in Europe during the 19th century, a climate with which the Corfiot studying at European universities had become familiar.The opportunity for the formation of the first Philharmonic society arose during the period of the British Protectorate, when a British military band performed at the island's important events. In 1837 however, the British refused to provide musical accompaniment for Orthodox processions. The Corfiots' reply came three years later, in 1840, when the Philharmonic Society of Corfu was founded. The enthusiastic response to rally round the Society resulted in a surplus of supporters, which in turn led to the creation of a new philharmonic band. With the passage of time the tendency to form similar musical groups extended to the whole island and thus today Corfu has 18 philharmonic orchestras. They are all non-profit making companies with the aim of extending musical education, providing scholarships to exceptional students, and performing at celebrations and events both in and outside Corfu.

Corfiot writers and poets include Dinos Theotokis and Lorenzos Mavilis, but also Lawrence and Gerald Durrel wrote some of their best books on and about Corfu. The landscape of Corfu has been portrayed in paintings by Edward Lear, Charalambos Pachis, Giogos Samartzis and Angelos Yiallinas, who are only some of the great painters of Corfu.
 


Main Traditions, Customs and Events

Corfu is a vivacious island where numerous cultural, religious and artistic events are hosted throughout year, from concerts, art exhibitions and festivals, to church celebrations, seminars, symposiums, theatrical shows and local festivities.

  

Carnival in Corfu City and in the Country-Side
The roots of the Corfiot Carnival are lost in the Dionysiac worship of ancient Greece. The Carnival of Corfu was revived during the time of the Venetian occupation of the island and through a course of more than 450 years, reaches our times, regenerated each year.

Easter in Corfu
Easter in Corfu is a special event, not only because of the religious meaning of Easter, but also due to the fact that it is a time that both the Orthodox and Catholic faith celebrate, especially on the island of Corfu. Good Friday is the day of the Epitafios (a reenactment of the burial of Christ). In the evening, all churches take their funeral bier through the streets, as people follow with candles in their hands, along with the Philharmonic Orchestra and choirs. Another custom of Corfiot Easter is to throw pots from windows in the morning of Holy Saturday. At night time the Catholic Church first holds its service that finishes in time for the Greek Orthodox service and the Resurrection. In Corfu (Kerkyra) the service is held on Splianada Square. When the bells chime midnight for the Resurrection of Christ, a celebration begins with fireworks, orchestral music and singing. An abundance of wine is consumed and local Easter dishes are served such as red eggs, fogatsa, tsilichourda and columbines. In the morning, the churches take the icon of the Resurrection through the town streets.

Petegoletsa
Petegoletsa (gossips) Based on the Corfiot dialect and held each year in an open stage, in the central market of the Old City, in Pinia. It is a theatrical act very similar to COMMEDIA DELL' ARTE, and was developed in the past by the writer Theodoros Zamanis. The biggest part of them is written in satirical fifteen-syllable verses. They are performed by actors and they include old customs, traditional types of old Corfiots and most of all Corfiot dialect. The program is enriched with local satirical or light songs or with Heptanisian kantades. The final act is culminated with a sketch (prose) performed from the windows and balconies of the nearby houses.

Corfu Litanies (Processions)
The inhabitants of Corfu Island have great religious faith. Every year the churches hold litanies in honor of the Saints. The most significant is the litany of Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu (Kerkyra), taking place on Holy Saturday. Some others are: the Litany on Palm Sunday, the Protokyriako Litany (held on the last Sunday of November), Saint Spyridon's Litany and the Litany of Santa Theodora on Orthodox Sunday.

Corfu Products
Corfu is famous for its lovely ceramics, handicrafts, weavings and woodcarvings as well as its sweets such as mandoles, mandolato and koum-kouat preserves. Some areas of Corfu (Kerkyra) also produce delicious honey, wine, ouzo, olive oil, Ginger Beer (“Tsitsimbira”) and beer, soap, butter, cheeses and more.

Festival "Concerti dello Ionio"
Questo festival è stato organizzato dall'Accademia Musicale di Corfù, in cui musicisti famosi provenienti dagli Stati Uniti, dall'Europa e dalla Grecia si incontrato quasi ogni anno a Corfù, insieme a degli studenti provenienti da tutta Europa: seminari, conferenze, discorsi e, certamente, un sacco di musica. Una connessione unica tra maestro ed allievo, una società all'interno di un festival dell’arte e della cultura. Inizia a metà giugno e dura fino all'ultimo giorno di luglio. I concerti del festival vi invitano a degli spettacoli musicali di alto livello in luoghi storici di un’estetica simile.

Varkarola in Paleokastritsa
Each year in Paleokastritsa, one of the main highlights of the summer takes place in August. This day of celebration, which starts with services in the small church of Aghios Spiridon, culminates in the Varkarola which is held in the evening. This event celebrates the miracle of Saint Spyridon, as the locals believe that it was the saint who saved the island from a Turkish siege on August 11th, 1716. That is why they celebrate this miracle with a representation of the nautical fight. Specatators gather early to ensure they have a good viewing point. It is a night to remember and a camera is a must.

“Be There!" - Corfu Animation Festival
Be there! Corfu Animation Festival is an international festival, that includes Corfu as its point of reference. It aims to constitute a meeting point for animation artists from all over the world every year. The objective is to treat animation works with professionalism, and total respect for the creative effort that accompanies the 8th art. It also aims to educate (an essential that has conditioned the art of animation), and its various festival activities relate equally to children, adults, visitors, institutions, and all those with an eye to learning and experiencing through art. It is a four-day celebration of animation, but does not forget to advertise art and artistic merit in all its forms, combined with an educational glance and a time for entertainment. For those of you who create and express yourselves through animated films, this is an opportunity to submit your film. Starting from Corfu, a traditionally rich point of artistic and cultural reference, you will be given the opportunity to share the magic and joy of the image, ideas and sentiment.

Corfu Gastronomy
Corfu cuisine is a mixture of Greek and Western tastes, with elements of Mediterranean cuisine including many herbs and spices. The island’s many tavernas offer a mouth-watering range of traditional Corfiot dishes that entice both vegetarians and meat-lovers. Of course, you’ll also find all your favourite Greek foods in Corfu, including horiatiki salad, moussaka, egg-plant salad, souvlaki, tzatziki and taramosalata.


Bella e romantica, con gran rispetto alla sua storia e tradizione, Corfù seduce come un’ altra Circe coloro che da fortunati si trovano dalle sue parti.

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