Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Old Town

The old town of Corfu has got its own magic that links the new part of the town to the old tradition. Narrow alley ways, pebbled streets and stone walls are a live reminder of that era that is still prevalent on the island. Old buildings are almost everywhere, not only in the town but all over the island. There are still today the traditional small shops that used to be part of everyday life in the past. Not many of them nowadays, but the few that still exist, help to keep the colour of the old era intact, such as the greengrocer’s (see top picture) in the centre of the town. There used to be another one but a tourist shop took its place a few years ago.

The narrow side streets signpost the pre-war era, when all the buildings were close together and there were no cars in the streets. See the picture above to notice how narrow some of the streets are. An extract from a Corfiot writer’s book clearly indicates that. She describes her house which was in the old part of the town. That house was bombed and destroyed during the war, but there is another building now in its place. The author says:

“The building was situated in such a narrow alley that we used to exchange various foods, such as olive oil and flour, through the windows. I remember that my grandma used to exchange foods with the mother of Niso.” (The book, which is about a Jewish family living in Corfu before the war, is now being translated from Greek into English and will be released next year).

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