In Casa Parlante, you are suddenly transferred to the early 19th century, when Corfu rises to prominence as a cultural center of the Greek state and simultaneously encounters the flourishing of trade, economy and the arts. Several artists, politicians, litterateurs, philosophers and architects gather at the island, with all of them being important figures and coexist in the city of Corfu, they change the place into the cultural center of the 19th century for Greece as a whole. With influence from the Venetians, French and the British, a special cultural identity of the island is created, with emphasis given in the Historic Center of the town of Corfu, where it starts to be spiritually and artistically cultivated.
In the same way urban mansions of that time where characterized as centers of the intellectuals and the arts, Casa Parlante showcases the formation of a noble family and its urban residence. The interior décor emphasizes the cultural wealth of that time. Family heirlooms, valuable items, paintings, furniture, dinnerware even, newspapers and magazines of the era have all been collected in order to better depict how the bourgeois family was structured. An era in which, you were not entitled to have a coffee or even cross Liston Str. had your family’s name not been included in the relevant “list” of the nobles.
Casa Parlante therefore, welcomes you in a vivid museum environment in a 19th century mansion at Corfu’s Old Town where with a facsimile capture of what the décor looked like back then and the help of technology, the daily life of the aristocrats of the island is truthfully depicted. The combination of decoration, of technology giving life and motion to the space and the guide’s commentary provides you with all necessary details to take you back in time to a Corfu and the foundation of the family structure of an older era.
It is an authentic experience full of images, sounds but also scents dug out of the history of Corfu and social class system of the time, when there were counts and countesses. You will be introduced to their hosting rituals, the way the children were raised but also how powerful the influence from former conquerors had been on their lives, with that of the Venetians, being the strongest.
In order to discern, every family owned a crest. What is really interesting though, is how the family was formed within its hierarchy. The presence of the mother in law for instance, or childrens’ education and the role music played on it. Also, the relationship between the family and personnel, which was considered to be the lowest caste and the behavior towards them. Lastly, it is greatly impressive that the aristocrats used to gather around Liston Str, to watch Cricket games (the only Greek city in which Cricket is considered a traditional sport), English military exercises but also do some people watching.
Casa Parlante is a unique museum, with an extraordinarily polite staff that really does play a part in how the whole space and hospitality is presented. This is where history comes to life and invites you to join on a journey in time. Discover it!
Casa Parlante is located at 16 Nikiforou Theotoki street, behind Spianada, in the Old Town of Corfu. The entrance fee, including the guided tour, depending on the age is from 3 to 10 euros.