Sicily is part of Italy. The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily lies just off Italy's west coast. The island is one of Italy's five autonomous regions.
Though politically part of Italy, Sicily has a much different history than much of the rest of Italy. It has been ruled by numerous cultures including Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Normans, Arabs, Byzantines and Ostrogoths. After rule by Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, Sicily became a part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the early 19th century. Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi landed in Sicily in 1860, setting in motion the revolution that led to a united and independent Italy. This varied history has created a unique, cosmopolitan cuisine and culture in Italy, and the island also has its own distinct language.