The second period of the Venetian Domination (1386 – 1797)
The second Venetian domination in Corfu lasted 4 centuries. On the 20th of May 1386, the keys of the town were given to the Venetian admiral Joanis Miani.
The establishment of the administration was exactly the same as the Metropolis in Italy in order to control the areas in every way.
Corfu was divided in four “Vailata”: Agyrou, Orous, Messis and Lefkimmi. The first two of them were under the jurisdiction of the Vailus, the person who had the administrative and judicial control, the third to the General Supervisor and the fourth to the Board of the Town. Every “Vailiki” was divided in eight areas, the Flags (bandier), which consisted of 3 to 12 villages. Corfu had also a demographic problem because of the constant Turkish invasions. Venice declared an invitation to everyone who wanted to move and live in Corfu. Cretans, Peloponnesians, people from Epirus and many Venetians were moved to Corfu. Pieces of land were given to Venetians in order to stay on the island permanently. The feudalism was being continued and a lot of taxes had to be given to the Venetians. The olive oil was the most important tax. In 1434, the Venetians started the liberation of the bondsmen. From the 16th century, the Venetians were being forced by the political reasons (Turkish invasions) to let the Greeks be added to Libro D’Oro (the golden list of the nobles). Venice started giving the administration to the local aristocrats. Since 1518, the orthodox part started to be free by any limitation of the Latin bishops, under the Papal seal.
Corfu was the most important connection of the Venetian Empire in the Adriatic Sea. The Venetians sent the most experienced architect, the engineer Francisco Ferdinando Fratelli, to organize the fortification of the island. Afterwards, the Old and New Fortresses and the castles secured Corfu as much as it was possible. Other public buildings were the Lodge (Loggia = the arcade where the nobles gathered, which was turned into a theatre during the 18th century), the granary, the customhouse, the sanitary, the orphanage and the quarantine place (lazaretto). During the Venetian domination, the Holy Relic of Saint Spyridon was brought to Corfu.