Old Perithia

Old Perithia

 

On Mount Pantokrator’s slopes is the old village of Perithia, an enchanted place which is well worth a visit. In the silence, this village once rich and populous  (about 800 people used to live here) tells its story through its stone houses, churches and desert alleys. Old Perithia stopped about 40 years ago when the last inhabitants abandoned the place to settle elsewhere. The village fate has therefore followed the natural course of time, the abandoned houses have become ruins. Today, a stroll through its narrow streets infested with weeds is a real journey into the past. However between the ruins visitors will discover some impressive stone buildings with carved walls and coats of arms on the facades, who insist on resisting time keeping intact the charm and atmosphere of the Venetian era. Particularly fascinating are its churches, which form a sort of circle around the settlement, presumably to protect the village. In the old days the ancient village of Perithia would be very difficult to detect, but this was exactly the goal of its inhabitants. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, in fact, the threat of pirates was such as to compel the inhabitants to leave the coast by choosing a safer place to settle. It was then they decided to build the village on a mountain side, invisible from the sea and at the same time inaccessible by land. In addition to safety this area ensured the residents other benefits, such as protection from malaria and other infectious diseases that plagued the population at the time. In recent years there have been many efforts to revive the village. Some hotels have been renovated and several tavernas opened where you can enjoy traditional food; especially on weekends, the old village gathers many visitors.

Perhaps Old Perithia will return to live as it did before? Maybe. For sure it’s a magical place that is worth a visit, where you can breathe the air of a past that still blows strong in its silent alleys. And it is a good opportunity to discover another Corfu!