|Sicilia, Latin names: Trinacria, Italian name: Sicilia the largest island in the Mediterranean, separated from the tip of SW Italy by the Strait of Messina: administratively an autonomous region of Italy; settled by Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians before the Roman conquest of 241 |
Note: Palermo's convenient location has made it an important port for trans-Mediterranean shipping for three thousand years. Settled by Phoenicia in the eighth century b.c., it has come under the influence of many civilizations, including the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. It has also come under the control of the Arabs and the French. Palermo has long been a center for art and architecture.