A visit to Corfu Town on the Greek island of the same name is not complete without a tour of Sisi’s Palace, now the Museum Achilleion, lovely inside and out, built as a vacation home by the beautiful and popular-at-the-time Princess Elisabeth of Austria (nickname Sisi), wife of Franz Joseph of the Hapsburgs. Wikipedia about the palace.
Sisi filled her Corfu retreat and its gardens with Greek statues and art, which gave her solace toward the end of her unhappy and tragic life. Sadly, the statues of Carrara marble have turned gray and corroded in the outside air, but the grandeur lives on. After Sisi’s death, the property went to Kaiser Wilhelm II, and one room is dedicated to that part of the interesting history of the palace.
But Sisi’s palace is not the best thing we see on Corfu. We happen to stop by on the first Sunday of November, an exciting day when Saint Spyridos is brought out, his fourth and last airing of the year. Church bells ring and school children march. Community bands––all ages welcome––play.
A snippet of the Saint Spyridos procession.
We are single file, snug against a building, and have to be careful the marchers don’t step on our toes.
The solemn procession circles the square with the Saint’s remains following. We guess the shroud contains only part of him, as we are told his right hand is in Rome.
Then we fight our way through this mass of people, all there to honor the man who saved Corfu from the Plague and became the Saint of the island in 1630.
We have already purchased our kumquat liquer, a tasty souvenir you won’t find anywhere else, when we finally spot our guide on the other side of the very crowded square.
We leave Corfu Town with its special event we are lucky to have seen.
Date of travel: October 2017. Tour: OAT’s Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast