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The Northern Aegean Islands Travel Guide


Beginning in the 14th century, the Genoese founded 20 or so fortified inland villages in southern Chios. These villages shared a defensive design with double-thick walls, a maze of narrow streets, and a square tower, or pyrgos, in the middle—a last resort to hold the residents in case of pirate attack. The villages prospered on the sales of mastic gum and were spared by the

Turks because of the industry. Today they depend on mastic production, unique to the island—and tourists.

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