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Santorini was named by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century, and is a reference to Saint Irene, from the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa – the name Santorini is a contraction of the name Santa Irini. The name Thera was revived in the nineteenth century as the official name of the island and its main city, but the colloquial name Santorini is still in popular use.The present municipality of Thera (officially: "Thira", Greek: ) of Therasia and Oia.The water at the darker coloured beaches is significantly warmer because the lava acts as a heat absorber.The area of Santorini incorporates a group of islands created by volcanoes, spanning across Thera, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palea, and Nea Kameni.The municipality of Thera includes an additional 12 local subdivisions on Santorini island: Akrotiri, Emporio, Episkopis Gonia, Exo Gonia, Imerovigli, Karterados, Megalohori, Mesaria, Pyrgos Kallistis, Thera (the seat of the municipality), Vothon, and Vourvoulos. The large island to the east is Thera, with Aspronisi and Therasia making up the rest of the caldera ring, clockwise.In the centre is the larger Nea Kameni and the smaller Palea Kameni. The two main sources of wealth in Santorini are agriculture and tourism.
Thera is built upon a small, non-volcanic basement that represents the former non-volcanic island, which was approximately 9 by 6 km (5.6 by 3.7 mi).In recent years, Santorini has been voted one of the world's most beautiful islands (2015 Travelers” Choice Awards Reader's Choice Awards, amongst others).Santorini remains the home of a small, but flourishing wine industry, based on the indigenous Assyrtiko grape variety.The most famous eruption is the Minoan eruption, detailed below.Eruptive products range from basalt all the way to rhyolite, and the rhyolitic products are associated with the most explosive eruptions.