Nellina Fidanza, Operations Supervisor Corfu
What makes you a Local?
I am half Greek, half Italian, born in England and consider myself 100% a Corfu local, moving to this beautiful Greek island permanently at the age of eleven. I grew up going every day to the beach, eating fresh juicy watermelons and playing with friends in the village square. When not at the beach, I would join my grandparents in the countryside, collecting fresh eggs from the barns and wandering the vegetable garden, eating tomatoes directly from the plant, cutting ripe figs, picking pears from the tree or joining my grandmother to bake bread in a wood oven – as I write this the tastes and smells are all coming back to me!
Tell us about where you live….
I actually now live in the countryside, roughly 5km from Corfu town center, an ideal location that combines beautiful landscapes, the beach and the town center for great restaurants, bars, shopping areas and lots of life. I know “in and out” every inch of this beautiful island, its people and all related businesses. I have built great local connections and gained the respect of my colleagues, which further drives me to continue exploring and searching my destination for treasures that I can share with people that visit Corfu.
What do you love about Corfu?
I can personally relate to the culture and mentality, which has been strongly influenced by the Greeks, Italians, English and French, all of which have conquered the island and embedded part of their nation in Corfu’s heritage. Beyond its charming personality, you have an island full of breathtaking beaches and lush green scenery. I love Corfu – it is a part of me and I am proud to live in such amazing surroundings and alongside local people that are warm, passionate and outgoing.
Any unique recommendations?
The easy access to fresh fish and vegetables has seen Corfu develop a delicious local cuisine, with critically acclaimed restaurants, such as Tripas in my childhood village. Generations of families have eaten at Tripas and the local values have always remained the same, instilled by the owners who are good friends of mine. The walls are covered with framed photos of the many well-known international film actors, politicians and singers that have visited Tripas to enjoy a glass of wine and a meze (local snack). I recommend Corfu to anyone that asks, knowing they will adore it and want to return!
What will people see, smell and hear in Corfu?
Spring time in Corfu is wonderful as nature awakens from its winter slumber, with flowers and trees blooming into a multi-color spectacle and symphony of smell. The town is also alive with sights, smells and sounds; the aroma of hot coffee that locals are enjoying on a terrace, the narrow streets packed with local artisans showing off their freshly cooked local food and baked bread, as well as the market sellers announcing their fish, vegetables and fruit of the day.
Tell us about your role with Intercruises…
I have been working with cruise ships since 2009 and will hopefully be working with them in Corfu for many years to come. I am very passionate about my job, firstly because I want all visitors to have a huge smile on their face as they tell their friends about their time on my island. I also love the atmosphere and buzz of the cruise industry; the ships, port, destination discovery – every day is a new challenge to create a lifelong memory for people in just a few hours. This is something that drives me to create new experiences and always strive to deliver a better service.
What new products do you have for cruise guests?
Since 2008 we have developed many tours, including identifying the best wineries on the island and uncovering walking trails through beautiful nature to secluded coves. Now our focus is wellness tours and in particular yoga or meditation sessions on a hidden beach, followed by a balanced nutritional meal of local fresh produce – watch this space!
What does the future hold for Corfu?
In the next 10 years I don’t foresee much change at Corfu in terms of number of tourists, but I do see big changes in the type of tourism. While people will always want to see their main tourist attractions, I believe well-being tourism is on the rise. The natural setting of the island and mentality of the locals make Corfu the ideal place for nutritional activities, walking programs, yoga and meditation, something I believe will flourish in Corfu.
For more information on Intercruises operations
in Corfu, contact Nellina: firstname.lastname@example.org