The Greek Islands with Julia Bradbury episode 2 – Corfu: Julia visits the lush Ionian island of Corfu, often called the least Greek of all the Greek islands. She discovers a little slice of Italy, and samples the delights of its cuisine.
The television presenter, whose mother is Greek, uncovers the hidden side of well-known Greek Islands going off the well-trodden tourist track to explore, immerse herself in local traditions and sample the food.
The Greek Islands with Julia Bradbury episode 2 – Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the margin of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered by three municipalities with the islands of Othonoi, Ereikoussa and Mathraki. The principal city of the island (pop. 32,095) is also named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University.
The island is bound up with the history of Greece from the beginnings of Greek mythology. Its history is full of battles and conquests. Ancient Korkyra took part in the Battle of Sybota which was a catalyst for the Peloponnesian War, and, according to Thucydides, the largest naval battle between Greek city states until that time. Thucydides also reports that Korkyra was one of the three great naval powers of fifth century BC Greece, along with Athens and Corinth.
Ruins of ancient Greek temples and other archaeological sites of the ancient city of Korkyra are found in Palaiopolis. Medieval castles punctuating strategic locations across the island are a legacy of struggles in the Middle Ages against invasions by pirates and the Ottomans. Two of these castles enclose its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu’s capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis (“castle city”) by the Greek government.
From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island, having successfully repulsed the Ottomans during several sieges, was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe.