Old Corfu Town

Rising on a steep hill behind the old harbour, the Campiéllo is the oldest district of Corfu’s Old Town.

The rooftops of Old Corfu Town seen from the Old FortressThe Rooftops of Old Corfu Town seen from the Old Fortress

The maze of narrow alleyways winds uphill and down, between tall shuttered houses with laundry strung on lines overhead. It’s the most atmospheric urban spot on the island, and getting lost here is all part of its charm. 

The Campiéllo

The Campiéllo was first settled in the 10th century, as the fortified town expanded inland from the Old Fortress. Its present character took shape under the Venetians, who extended the city walls to enclose the residential area between the old and new forts.

Mouragia

The northern section of the Old Town along the sea is still called Mouragia, which means ‘walls’. Here the Venetians built handsome houses three or four storeys high. As the population grew, the city expanded upwards by adding more levels to the houses, for everyone wanted to live inside the walls. 

The walls were torn down in the 19th century, but the medieval atmosphere remains. Many of the narrow, traffic-free streets, called kandounia, are paved with flagstones, and connected by steep, stone staircases and arched passages. Aging facades of faded yellow, pink and cream are set off by dark green or grey shutters, iron balconies and decorative door frames. A single palm might mark a tiny plateia, with a local bakery or bar or greengrocer nearby. 

There are no particular must-see sights. The appeal of the Campiéllo lies in wandering the streets and exploring the side passages, seeing where they might lead and catching delightful glimpses of local life: children playing under a grandmother’s watchful eye, a flower-filled balcony, a little shrine, a glimpse inside an open doorway, a sleeping dog sprawled across the lane. You might see a housewife hanging out laundry on a clothesline strung between the windows, or lowering a basket from the balcony to bring up goods from the street below. 

The Venetian Well

One sight worth seeking out is the Venetian Well in tiny Kremasti Square. Dated 1699, the stone well is decorated with carved faces and crosses, and is a delightful remnant from Venetian times. Kremasti Square is often overshadowed by the busy outdoor tables of The Venetian Well restaurant, which is indeed an excellent place to eat. To admire the square and well at leisure, though, go early in the morning or between lunch and dinner (around 4-6pm). 

Sign pointing directions to the Venetian Well restaurant in Old Corfu Town

Opposite is an older relic, the early 16th-century church of Panagía Kremásti, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. If it is open, go inside to see the lovely iconostasis, made of marble with grapevine carvings, and some striking icons. 

It would take years to learn your way around, so plan on getting lost in this charming warren where the modern and medieval meet.

Feeling Lost?

If you’re feeling lost in the Campiéllo’s canyon-like streets, just look up. You may see a landmark, such as St Spyridon’s bell tower, ahead. The direction of the sun can also help you get your bearings.

Where to Stay on Corfu



Other Corfu Town pages

  • Corfu Town’s Byzantine Museum is a little gem, one of the town’s top museums with an excellent collection of Byzantine art in a 15th-century church.

    Corfu Town’s Byzantine Museum

    Corfu Town’s Byzantine Museum is a little gem, one of the town’s top museums with an excellent collection of Byzantine art in a 15th-century church.

  • This walk in Old Corfu Town, or Campiello, takes you from the Liston through the narrow back streets and alleyways and should take about one to two hours.

    A Walk in Old Corfu Town

    This walk in Old Corfu Town, or Campiello, takes you from the Liston through the narrow back streets and alleyways and should take about one to two hours.

  • The church of Saint Spyrídon (Ayios Spyridon) in Corfu Town is a must-see site and contains the silver casket of the island’s patron saint.

    Church of Saint Spyrídon

    The church of Saint Spyrídon (Ayios Spyridon) in Corfu Town is a must-see site and contains the silver casket of the island’s patron saint.

  • Corfu’s small archaeological museum holds two of the finest treasures of ancient Greece, the Gorgon pediment and the Lion of Menekrates

    Corfu Town Archaeological Museum

    Corfu’s small archaeological museum holds two of the finest treasures of ancient Greece, the Gorgon pediment and the Lion of Menekrates

  • Kanoni is one of two tiny islands off Corfu, about an hour’s walk south of Corfu Town, and one of the most photographed spots on Corfu.

    Kanoni

    Kanoni is one of two tiny islands off Corfu, about an hour’s walk south of Corfu Town, and one of the most photographed spots on Corfu.

  • The villa of Mon Repos to the south of Corfu Town was once the summer home of the Greek royal family but now houses the Museum of Palaiopolis.

    Mon Repos

    The villa of Mon Repos to the south of Corfu Town was once the summer home of the Greek royal family but now houses the Museum of Palaiopolis.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Corfu Town, including the best restaurants for a treat, traditional tavernas, and cheap and cheerful good eats.

    Where to Eat in Corfu Town

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Corfu Town, including the best restaurants for a treat, traditional tavernas, and cheap and cheerful good eats.

  • The Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu Town contains the Museum of Asiatic Art, the Municipal Art Gallery, and the Modern Art Museum.

    Palace of St Michael and St George

    The Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu Town contains the Museum of Asiatic Art, the Municipal Art Gallery, and the Modern Art Museum.

  • The main sites to see in Corfu Town are listed on our main Corfu Town page, and some also have their own pages, but here are some of the other things to see.

    Sites to See in Corfu Town

    The main sites to see in Corfu Town are listed on our main Corfu Town page, and some also have their own pages, but here are some of the other things to see.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Corfu Town including hotels near the port, near the airport and in the town centre, with budget and luxury options.

    Where to Stay in Corfu Town

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Corfu Town including hotels near the port, near the airport and in the town centre, with budget and luxury options.

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