Sicily (Italian and Sicilian: Sicilia) is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Several much smaller islands surrounding it are considered to be part of Sicily.
Throughout much of its history, Sicily has been considered a crucial strategic location due in large part to its importance for Mediterranean trade routes. The area was highly regarded as part of Magna Graecia, with Cicero describing Siracusa as the greatest and most beautiful city of all Ancient Greece.
The island was once a city-state in its own right, and as the Kingdom of Sicily ruled from Palermo over southern Italy, Sicily, and Malta. It later became a part of the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons, a kingdom governed from Naples that comprised both the island itself and most of Southern Italy. The Italian unification of 1860 led to the dissolution of this kingdom, and Sicily became an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Italy. Sicily is today an autonomous region of Italy. Of all the regions of Italy, Sicily is the one that covers the largest land area at 25,708 sq km (9926 sq mi) and currently has just over five million inhabitants.
Sicily has its own unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, cuisine, architecture and language. The Sicilian economy is largely based on agriculture (mainly orange and lemon orchards); this same rural countryside has attracted significant tourism in the modern age as its natural beauty is highly regarded. Sicily also holds importance for archaeological and ancient sites such as the Necropolis of Pantalica and the Valley of the Temples.
Sicily is well known as a center of organized crime. The major Italian mafia centers of Naples and Palermo (of Sicily) have given rise to mob families far beyond the shores- in the US and other parts of Europe. The reputed income of Italian mobs, of which Sicilian families Cosa Nostra are preeminent, was estimated to be 63 billion Euros annually, or 7 percent of Italian economy, according to estimates by the Confesercenti, Italy's leading retail association.
Alternate versions of Sicily have been discovered in the multiverse:
- Kingdom of Cycae (The Sicans)
- Kingdom of Sicily (British Louisiana)
- Kingdom of Sicily (Hauteville Empire)
- Kingdom of the Three Sicilies (1648: Kingdom of the Three Sicilies)
- Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (13 Fallen Stars)
- Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (l'Empereur Est Mort)
- Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Much ado about Nonsuch)
- Republic of Sicily (Chinese World)
- Republic of Sicily (Finland Superpower)
- Sicilian Republic (1983: Doomsday)
- Sicily (Chaos)
- United Kingdom of Naples and Sicily (Washington Shot at Murdering Town!)
- Sicily (Arabized Sicily )
- Sicily (Great Nuclear War)
Alternate versions of Sicily have also been discovered to belong to other nations:
- Anglo-Iberian Empire (Anglo-Iberia)
- Italian League (Vegetarian World)
- Parthenopean Republic (Day of Glory)
- Southern Italian Republic (Sino Roman)