Maritime routes in the Mediterranean closely followed the coastline. This made Modon or Methoni at the tip of the western Peloponnese peninsula a strategic point on the route from the Ionian to the Aegean Sea, a key section of the route from Italy to the eastern Mediterranean. For this reason Modon and the nearby fortress of Corone were called the "eyes of Venice". In particular Modon was key to a very profitable business: the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The pilgrims embarked at Venice for Palestine on regularly scheduled sailings, June through September to take advantage of the northwest wind. From 1227 on, the Venetian government controlled the pilgrim business.
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