(* denotes a culture rather than a country.)
Background: Sicily is an island of Italy, the largest and one of the most densely populated in the Mediterranean Sea. Together with the Egadi, Lipari, Pelagie, and Panteleria islands, Sicily forms an autonomous region of Italy. It lies about 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Tunisia (northern Africa). The island is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Messina (2 miles [3 km] wide in the north and 10 miles [16 km] wide in the South). The capital is Palermo.
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