Athens has ranked among the most popular European cities written about in literature, according to British printing company Aura Print.
To compile the list, experts at the company researched the vast expanse of the Google Books corpus (a repository boasting 25 million books) to identify the cumulative mentions of 31 prominent European cities across books spanning from 1920 to 2019.
Athens ranked 8th on the list with a total of 15.1 million mentions in books with the 1960s being its most popular decade of literary occurrences.
From Henry Miller’s 1941 The Colossus of Maroussi which is considered the writer’s best, to Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 Two Faces of January and Sofka Zinovieff’s more recent Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens, the Greek capital transforms into a city of myths and legends entrancing novelists for decades.
The second Greek entry on the list was the city of Heraklio, 31st and last on the list, owning its appearance in best sellers like Victoria Hislop’s The Island or popular Greek literature by Nikos Kazantzakis.
Beating all its European counterparts by a landslide, London managed the top spot on the list to be crowned Europe’s most popular city in literature. Being featured an astonishing 286,675,501 times, this is nearly three times more than all other cities analyzed.
Trailing behind London, comes the French capital of Paris with 95,290,475 literary mentions. Rome, Berlin and Moscow rounded up the top 5.