Attica region includes the south-east of the mainland of Greece, Trizinia at the peninsula of Argolida, most islands of the Saronic Gulf and the islands of Kythera and Antikythera. It borders with Viotia (west) and Corinth (southwest) and the rest is surrounded by sea. The original name of the region was “Aktiki”, meaning coastline. The region combines mountains, valleys and beautiful beaches, while noteworthy is the mild Mediterranean climate. Geographically it is divided into two major subdivisions: the region of the capital city and Attica. The capital, Athens, includes the all municipalities of Athens and Piraeus. Its borders are the Saronic gulf and the mountains of Parnitha, Hymettus and Pendeli. With an area that accounts for less than 3% of the total area of Greece, Attica was characterized as having the highest density of population since it hosts 1/3 of the total population. Consequently, Attica plays a leading role in the economic life of the country producing more than 1/3 of the gross domestic product (GDP) based on its highly developed sectors of manufacturing and services. Athens is the main city of the prefecture, as well as the administrative capital of Greece. The port of Piraeus is the largest in the country and one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean.
Attica is a place with a rich history that is very much intertwined with the history of the city of Athens. The first habitation of the area dates back to the prehistoric times. The monuments of the historical times, especially the Golden Age of Perciles when philosophy and drama flourished and the concept of democracy appeared, always monopolize the interest of the visitors. After years of war and famines, Athens flourishes again during the Roman times. In the centuries of the Byzantine and Ottoman rule, Athens gradually declined and was almost deserted to the extent that during the years of the Greek Revolution it looked like a small village. The establishment of the new Greek state leads to a period of rebirth for the city. European architects such as Ziller design the new city according to the classicist European standards and a series of monumental buildings which adorn Athens till nowadays are built. Athens is a beautiful city with an active urban life for the first decades of the 20th century.
Then what follows is the difficult decades of wars, the arrival of the immigrants from Asia Minor and the difficult years of the German occupation. After the war and the civil war that followed, Athens is a “wounded” city that has to cope with rapid population growth due to urbanization. This fact, combined with the lack of a clear vision for the future development of the city lead to the creation of an anarchic urban environment. The city grows bigger, many buildings are built and the problem of air pollution makes its appearance. In recent years efforts have been made to "help” the urban area with the opening of a pedestrian network integrating the archaeological sites and the construction of emblematic buildings. Also, key projects now include the opening of major motorways in the city's periphery.
The current picture of Athens is the condensation of its history: contemporary buildings blended with classical buildings, preserved historic neighborhoods such as Plaka and Anafiotika, and Roman monuments and Byzantine churches found everywhere in the city. The urban culture of the Athenians differs from that of the average European mainly because of the lack of public recreation areas. It is, however, remarkable because of its uniqueness: Athens is one of the most vibrant cities, with intense social life throughout the day.