The island of Corfu is one of the main flagships of Greek tourism and a particularly popular holiday destination in summer and on Easter, which is famous for its unique traditions. \rGeographically, Corfu is the northernmost and the second largest of the seven Ionian Islands after Kefalonia. With a population density of 193 residents per square kilometer, it is considered as one of the most densely populated islands of the Mediterranean Sea.
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The town of Corfu has a population of 28.185 residents and is strongly influenced by Venetian and English-French elements. Corfu Town features important sights like Pontikonissi, Kanoni, Mon Repo, and various remarkable buildings: the English Commission, the Old Palace of Brigadier Michael and Saint George, the Mansion of Kapodistrias, the metropolitan palace, the City Hall and the building of the Ionian Academy. Another equally important sight, in the outskirts of the town is the Achilleio, the mansion of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
\rThe patron saint of the city is Saint Spyridon, the non-perishable relic of whom attracts thousands of tourists year after year. Corfu is the seat of the Ionian University which was established in 1984 and includes six departments: the department of History, the department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpretation, the department of Music Studies, the department of Archival and Library Studies, the department of Information and the department of Audio and Visual Arts. Along the coast of Corfu, there are dozens of beaches with fine sand (Ai Gordis, Glyfada, Sidari, Acharavi, Paleokastritsa) while the inland villages are characterized by their outstanding natural beauty.
Corfu is popular for its music tradition, from the "Kantades" (traditional songs) to the famous philharmonic orchestra which accompanies the litany of the Epitaph on Good Friday. In the morning of Holy Saturday, according to Corfiot tradition, the residents of the Old Town throw urns filled with water from their balconies, symbolizing the 'first resurrection' of Christ. The town is also known for its Carnival, which is accompanied by parades in traditional costumes. Finally, the cuisine of Corfu is famous for the "Pastitsada", the "Sofrito", the "Bourdeto", the "Nougat" and the "Pasteli". Typical local products include "Bergamot" (for sweets and liqueurs), Gruyere cheese, Corfiot butter, olive oil and oregano.
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