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Old Perithia sits in a hollow in the mountain massif, its stone-built houses and terraced gardens surrounded
by bare hillsides. But no eyes look out from empty windows, and the only feet pacing the cobbled streets are those of visitors who have made the trip to one of Corfu's finest monumets. Perithia’s story is typical of the many almost deserted Corfu villlages, which are a feature of the Pantokrator mountain range. Old Perithia village was established during Byzantine times when pirate raids forced people to abandon fe­tile coastal plains and hide themselves in inaccessible regions. Old Perithia's location is perfect. Shut off from pirate's eye view by a ridge, it is nevertheless accessible from the coast through a succession of connecting valleys. Driven into the mountains, local villagers made the daily trip to their holdings on the coasts of Corfu, and returned in the evening.

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But there was another reason that the mountain made a better home, even after the danger of pirate raids
receded - the coastal lake, Antinioti, was infested with malaria-carrying mosquitoes, while the hill air was pure.
Then, from the 1960s onwards, two factors combined to reverse the migration into the mountains. Insecticides wiped out malaria, and devel­oping tourism drew the mountain inhabitants to the coast. The abandoned terraces which climb in staircases up every gully to provide flat land for cultivation, testify to the formerly thriving population, which inhabited the region. The solid houses of the village, many with richly carved stonework, are witness to the wealth of their builders, as are the numerous churches. Cottages border the main street and along footpaths lay crum­bling farmsteads with staircase and balcony leading to living quarters over a ground floor barn.
Many houses retain their original bread oven and even the odd scrap of furniture. A stone arch bearing a crest leads into the grounds of the Skordilis mansion, the wealthiest house in villlage. Today some houses in old Perithia are being restored to their original glory, using traditional materials and tech­niques - some by private enterprise and others as part of the Corfu Municipality of Thinali's plan, in partnership with the European Union (EU), to turn this village into a heritage centre. The Old Perithia village will remain as a monument of a past age.

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