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During Christopher Columbus' lifetime, a sizable portion of the Aegean sea region was occupied by Northern Italian quasi-colonial powers....specifically, the city-states of Venice and Genoa...this included, the Aegean island of Chios-(of Homeric fame). The Genoese, had occupied Chios until the Ottomans eventually took over the island in the early 1500's.

There is a house on the island of Chios whereby the local residents of the island insist that Christopher Columbus lived in for a short while before embarking on his expedition to the East Indies-(which in reality, was the Carribean...more specifically, the Bahamas). Admittedly, the residents' claims tend to sound more Apocryphal (and less historically rooted).

However, whether or not Columbus actually stayed at a particular house on this island, is really parenthetical to a much larger question.....

Did Christopher Columbus ever sail eastward to the Aegean region and travel throughout (what at the time was)...Genoese quasi-colonial territories, including, the island of Chios? If so, would traveling (or perhaps even temporarily residing) in the Aegean region make much of a biographical difference when trying to better understand his overall legacy?

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  • Don't have time to develop an answer right now but there's clearly something to say here. books.google.com/…
    – Brian Z
    Jan 11, 2023 at 2:15
  • He said he did and we don't have proofs against it. Now, he also said he was himself from Genoa, and there were many people who doubted it from the XVth century until today, so...
    – Rekesoft
    Jan 11, 2023 at 15:09

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For what we know, Columbus traveled to Chios.

He talks about his voyages in Chios in his own diary (12th November 1492) when describing what he found in actual Cuba, when describing mastic plant:

E in questo Río de Mares, dal quale salpai questanotte, v’è senza dubbio grandissima abbondanza di mastice, la quale si potrà aumentare soltanto a volerlo, ché i medesimi polloni, piantati, prendono subito, e vi sono alberi, molti e molto grandi, e hanno la foglia e il frutto come lentisco, salvo che sono piú grandi, gli alberi come la foglia, di quelli che Plinio menziona e che io vidi nell’isola di Chio, nell’Arcipelago

Rough english translation:

And in Río de Mares, from which I sailed last night, there is without doubt abundance of putty, which can be increased at will, because the same shoots, planted, take ground immediately, and there are trees, lots and big, and they have the leaf and the fruit like mastic, even if they are bigger, both the tree and the leaf, of those that Plinio mention and that I saw in the island of Chio in the archipelago

source: diario di bordo di cristoforo colombo

Those trip may have happened in 1474 and 1475, when Genoese Republic organized expedition in Chio as supposed by many historians.

As the second part of your question, not sure what you mean.

I may suggest - even if I'm not sure they are available in English - this book

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