Venetians and Greeks - The Defense of Corfù previous_inactive 1/5 next

Corfù: the use of the territory



Throughout the eighteenth century increasingly detailed knowledge of the countryside and territory became available due to a wide range of new requirements. Examples of this include an extremely clear reproduction of the 'Topografia dell'Isola di Corfù e vicina Terra ferma' ('Topography of the island of Corfù and the surrounding mainland') published out of fear of spreading epidemics (a concern that often accompanied despatches the Venetian Provveditori sent to the Senate ). This gives an extremely clear picture of the political and administrative division of the island into districts known as 'balie' . The map even gives a visual impression of the still remarkable forested regions of the countryside of Corfù . The forested holdings of the island were depleted by a series of reasons, ranging from the need for timber for construction of ships, to fortification works to withstand the Turks, and from civilian use of lumber (such as heating and salt-work  operations) to deforestation caused by the population increase on the island, and the resulting need to extend its cultivable soil.

The rural landscape typical of the island and vine and olive cultivation suffered severe damage after the Turkish invasion of 1716. It was to be just this revival in olive cultivation which would most concern the Provveditori Generali , such as Agostino Sagredo and Francesco Grimani, who were sent out to rule the islands of the Levant .

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Venezia e il mare
Le isole, le fortezze, le difese contro i Turchi
© 1997 by the VENIVA consortium