Corfu, Greece

There is something textured, something different about Corfu that sets it apart. Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that the island — hanging off the northwest coast of Greece and within a heartbeat of Albania — has been occupied by so many cultures: the Byzantines, the Venetians, the French, the Russians, the British. It wasn’t until 1864 that Greece annexed Corfu, the best known of the seven Ionian Islands. Throughout its history, Corfu has been an island power. For 400 years between the 14th and 18th centuries, Corfu, under serious threat from Turks and pirates, was protected by the Venetian Republic.