Liston

 In front of Kato Plateia is the imposing Liston. Designed by the French mechanic Mathieu de Lesseps (father of the famous Ferdinand Lesseps, constructor of the Suez canal) began its construction in 1807.

The initial thought of the French was to construct building like the Liston all the way up to the Ionian Academy, with arches (volta as they are characteristically known in Corfu) and Venetian lanterns. Regarding the name Liston there are various theories.

One of the most prevailing ones wants the name to come from the word “Lista” (list), which included the names of all the noble ones, the Libro d'oro, who were allowed to walk in that particular area.

According to another version, the name draws its origin from ancient Greek “liston”, which means prayer and is comes from the litanies of Agios Spyridonos that passed in front of the building.

Finally there is also the version, according to which, the name Liston comes from the Venetian Liston which is referred to the straight and wide street, as is the Georgios A' Avenue, on which the building is found.

Regardless though, of the name’s true origin, the fact is that the nobles were meeting under the arches of Liston, where each family sat at a specific table. On the contrary, the “popolaroi” (as they called those who did not belong in the list) were only allowed to walk from the opposite pavement and look to the nobles with awe.