The ruins of the Roman baths at Petrites make it clear that the passage of the Romans from here was certainly not just a quick stop.
Many conquerors have left their mark on the island, the history of Corfu is fascinating, closely linked to dynasty power struggles, with the rise and fall of empires.
The Roman period is less known than later times, but it was an extremely important time for the island. The story goes that Nero watched a play in the theater in Kassiopi – a theater that has unfortunately disappeared.
One of the most famous naval battles in history, the naval battle of Aktio, where Augustus Caesar (then Octavius) destroyed the fleet of Antonios and Cleopatra, took place in the seas just south of Corfu.
And Caesar’s victory was celebrated with the construction of a large city near the city of Preveza, which was named as expected Nikopolis, or City of Victory.
On the northern canal of Corfu, on the Albanian coast, are the ruins of Vouthroto, an important archaeological site containing Roman ruins, as well as the remains of other civilizations that had colonized this area.
Corfu has always been a very important strategic area, located at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea. The main road to Rome, the Appia Road, started at Brindisi, the Italian port just north of Corfu, where ferry passengers are disembarking today.
The island was also the gateway to the Eastern Empire and an important supply center for ships traveling from the west to the eastern Mediterranean.
Roman ruins have been found all over the island, in many villages such as Acharavi, Moraitika, Benitses and Petriti to name a few. Indeed, in Benitses we can admire the ruins of a Roman Villa with baths and mosaic floor that is kept in relatively good condition.
When we say Roman baths in Petriti, do not imagine that we mean some of the great public Roman baths that existed then in many parts of the empire.
Describing the building we see that the walls are almost one meter (90 cm) thick and are built of equal size bricks and plaster, in some places the stones are irregular, elsewhere there are only bricks and plaster. This building is about 50 sq.m.
The fact that there are Roman buildings in Petriti proves that even in Roman times the present Petriti is a point of reference in the wider area.