Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, located off the southwestern coast of Italy. The Strait of Messina, a small, churning passageway between mainland Italy at Calabria and Messina, Sicily, was a key location in the ancient Greek epic The Iliad.
Sicily, being such a large landmass between Africa, Europe, and the ports of the Mediterranean, has been influenced by many cultures, including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Normans. The latter came into Sicily on the way to the Crusades and left behind massive churches with golden mosaics in Palermo, Monreale, and Cefalù. These three sites are recognized as World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
The island has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters, making it a popular destination for travelers year-round.