The Mani Peninsula, also long known by its medieval name Maina or Maïna (Μαΐνη), is a geographical and cultural region in southern Greece, that is home to the Maniots (Mανιάτες, Maniátes in Greek), who claim descent from the ancient Spartans. The capital cities of Mani are Gytheio and Areopoli. Mani is the central peninsula of the three which extend southwards from the Peloponnese in southern Greece. To the east is the Laconian Gulf, to the west theMessenian Gulf. The Mani peninsula forms a continuation of the Taygetos mountain range, the western spine of the Peloponnese.