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Athens

Destination

Athens

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years[citation needed] and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.
Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A center for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, and in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece.
Athens is a global city and one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe. It has a large financial sector, and its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, and the second largest in the world.100
The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called “architectural trilogy of Athens”, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is also home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of the few cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once.

Good to know

Geographic region

Central Greece

Administrative region

Attica

Regional unit

Central Athens

Area (km2)

412 km²

Varieties

Savvatiano and Roditis two Greek varieties that flourish in 80% of Attica’s fields. Other cultivated varieties are Athiri, Vilana, White Muscat, Assyrtiko, Robola, Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat of Hamburg, Fileri and Malagouzia

Attica

Most of Attica’s terrain is mountainous, therefore blocking the winds blowing from the north, but the southern flatter part is exposed to southern winds. The sea cools temperatures in coastal areas, with the largest part of the region being among the driest and warmest areas of Greece. the thermal sum exceeds 2,300dd while annual precipitation is no more than 19 inches, of which a mere 4 inches falls during the summer months. The soil of Attiki is mainly calcareous, the result of river and lake silt deposits, and of low fertility because of its sandy loam composition and little organic matter. Savvatiano is perfectly comfortable under these conditions owing to its great resilience to drought and the manner in which it is cultivated in densely planted vineyards and in which the vines are trained into goblets.

The vineyards of Attiki (Attica), mainly in the Mesogia area, together with those of Viotia and Evia -in the valley of Chalkida and the plain of Lilantio- account for most of Greek Retsina production, traditionally from the Savvatiano and, to a lesser degree, the Roditis varieties. The area also features a number of international cultivars which are often planted in linear vineyards.

 

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