The region of Sicilia is an island at the southwest tip of Italy. Several smaller surrounding islands are also part of this region. The mainland of Italy (Region of Calabria) is just across the Strait of Messina to the east of Sicily, which is the largest Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily is one of five Italian regions that have special, autonomous status. There are nine provinces in this region: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani. Palermo is the capital city of this region. Mount Etna, one of the largest, most active volcanos in the world, dominates the eastern part of the region.
Layers of history can be seen throughout the island. The island has impressive Greek and Roman ruins and Arab-Byzantine influences still remain in the architecture. Later Gothic and Baroque influences can also be seen. There are a number of Greek sights, including Segesta and the Valley of Temples in Agrigento. Taormina , with its impressive Greek theater, sits perched on the hillside overlooking the Ionian sea with Mount Etna in the distance. Other points of interest include the ancient city of Siracusa, the seaside town of Cefalù and the exotic city of Palermo.