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History

Lush green “fragrant” Chios, also known as the mastic island, has much to offer to the traveler. It is probably Homer’s birthplace, and it has an immense naval and intellectual tradition. It was inhabited since the Neolithic era, has known successive conquerors, was devastated by pirate attacks during the Byzantine years, and after a short period of Enetian domination it came under the Genoan commercial company Maona (for two centuries). It paid a high price during the Greek Revolution, with the population massacre (1822), despite the fact that the Chiotes didn’t participate initially in the uprising, since they enjoyed special privileges given to them by the Turks due to the mastic production. In the south of Chios the mastic lentisk has been cultivated for centuries; the tiny tree that after being “pinched” by the locals, responds with “tears”, offering its bounty of precious resin. Mastic, which is an exclusive Chios product, has been cultivated on the island since the 1st century A.D. and tradition has it that the lentisc started tearing down when the Saint Isidoros was tortured and martyred here by the Romans (250 A.D.). All the works in regards to the tree, the resin collection and its clearing down, are manual labour.
The politicians and scholars Alexandros Mavrokordatos, Adamantios Korais, Neoftyos Vamvas, Yannis Psycharis, Emmanouil Roidis, Lambros Porfyras and other outstanding personalities, were coming from Chios. The island extends over a surface of 841.6 km2, its coastline is 213 km long and it has 52,000 inhabitants. It is connected by ferry with Piraeus port and by air with Eleftherios Venizelos Athens airport.
Internet web page of the Prefectural Self governance of Chios:  www.chios.gr
Internet web page of the Municipality of Chios: www.chioscity.gr

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