My favourite place: Saul David

In the June 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine, Saul David selects the Greek island of Corfu as his favourite historical destination. HistoryExtra caught up with him to find out more...

Q: When did you last travel to Corfu and why were you there?

I last visited Corfu with my wife and three daughters in the summer of 2014 for two weeks’ sailing and another week in a villa. It was great, but we almost came a cropper during the last week of sailing when we got caught in a storm. We survived.

 

Q: Why do you love the location?

It's a wonderful combination of history, beauty and old-fashioned charm

 

Q: What top 3 sights would you recommend people visit while they are there, and why?

For history, the Venetian-built Palaio Frourio (or old citadel) in Corfu Town; for the view, the abandoned Byzantine village of Palea Perithia in the mountainous north of the island; and for entertainment the sight of Perikles, the proprietor of Nikolas Taverna in Agni Bay, dancing every Thursday at the climax of ‘Greek Night’.

 

Q: During what period of its history would you most wanted to have visited Corfu and why?

I'd love to have visited Corfu in 1716 when the Venetian rulers repulsed a fourth attempt by Ottoman forces to storm the Old City. It was one of the few parts of Greece never conquered by the Ottomans.

 

Q: Where else in the world would you most like to visit and why?

A place I would like to visit before I die is the fabled city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, the capital of Tamerlane’s Mongol Empire and the site of the beautiful early 15th Century Bibi-Khanym Mosque.

 

Next month, Professor John Morrill visits Inishbofin in Ireland. Share your tips for would-be travellers on Twitter  (@HistoryExtra) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/HistoryExtra)

 

Professor Saul David is a historian, broadcaster and author. You can read his feature on Corfu in the June 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine – out now

 

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