Elegance embraced in a fortress
An MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion can be the chance to discover Corfu Town, one of the most elegant island capitals in the whole of Greece.
Corfu Town comprises a number of distinct areas. The Historic Centre, the area enclosed by the Old Port and the two forts, consists of several smaller districts: Campiello, the oldest, sits on the hill above the harbour; Kofinéta stretches towards the Spianádha (Esplanade); Áyii Apóstoli runs west of the Mitrópolis (Orthodox cathedral); while tucked in beside the Néo Froúrio is what remains of the old Jewish quarter.
As you set off inland from your MSC cruise ship you’ll find that these districts and their tall, narrow alleys conceal some of Corfu’s most beautiful architecture. The New Town comprises all the areas that surround the Historic Centre.
The most obvious sights during your excursion are the forts, the Paleó Froúrio and Néo Froúrio. Looming above the Old Port, the Néo Froúrio is the more architecturally interesting of the two forts. The entrance, at the back of the fort, gives onto cellars, dungeons and battlements, with excellent views over the town and bay; there’s a small gallery and seasonal café at the summit.
The Paleó Froúrio is not as well preserved as the Néo Froúrio and contains some incongruous modern structures, but has an interesting Byzantine Museum just inside the gate, and even more stunning views from the central Land Tower. Just west of the Paleó Froúrio, the focus of town life is the Listón, an arcaded café-lined street built during the French occupation by the architect of the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, and the green Spianádha (Esplanade) it overlooks.
When you alight here from your MSC cruise you can also enjoy an excursion to the sixteenth-century church of Áyios Spyrídhon and some buildings dating from French and British administrations.