Going up to Navarchou Sofokli Dousmani Street, next to the Corfu Reading Society, in the picturesque district of Campiello, we encounter the picturesque and much photographed arched passage that the locals call the ‘Kokkini’s Arch’. Around the middle of the walk there is a large skylight on the roof to illuminate the passage with daylight.
This passage stands there as a "gate" for your entrance to the labyrinthine, impressive Campiello, the part of the old town of Corfu that is full of images and senses of another, bygone era.
Kokkini’s Arch, the place name
The place name was established because in the same vicinity was the house of the homonymous noble family, Kokkinis, of Byzantine origin, whose name was noted in the Libro d’Oro of Corfu from 1449 and whose family coat of arms depicted a tree on a blue background. A descendant of this family, George Kokkinis, participated as a member of the Grand Council of the city, and took part in the Battle of Nafpaktos (1571), as commander (sopracomito) of his own galley, named San Michele (Saint Michael).
Another member of this family, Antonios Kokkinis, in 1699, donated the cistern of Kremasti (the well-known well of Kremasti) to the Corfiot community. In honour of this family, the current street of Saint Kerkyra (Corfu), in the years of Venetian rule, was called Kokkini. In the Municipality of Parelia there is a village that bears the name of the glorious family as well.
ΣΟΥΡΤΖΙΝΟΣ, Γιώργος Χ. (2008). “Τοπωνύμια: γλωσσικές μαρτυρίες στην ιστορική διαδρομή της Κέρκυρας“, Ιστορική – Λαογραφική Εταιρεία Κέρκυρας