Sicilia

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Is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana. Sicilia is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, and one of the most active in the world, currently 3,329 m high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate.

The terrain of inland Sicilia is mostly hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the mountain ranges of Madonie, 2,000 m, Nebrodi, 1,800 m, and Peloritani, 1,300 m, are an extension of the mainland Apennines. The cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast. In the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains, 1,000 m. The mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century, but have declined since the 1950s. Thanks to the regular growth of the last years, Sicilia is the eighth largest regional economy of Italy in terms of total GDP. A series of reforms and investments on agriculture such as the introduction of modern irrigation systems have made this important industry competitive. In the 1970s there was a growth of the industrial sector through the creation of some factories. In recent years the importance of the service industry has grown for the opening of several shopping malls and for a modest growth of financial and telecommunication activities. Tourism is an important source of wealth for the island thanks to its natural and historical heritage. Today Sicilia is investing a large amount of money on structures of the hospitality industry, in order to make tourism more competitive. However, Sicilia continues to have a GDP per capita below the Italian average and higher unemployment than the rest of Italy. This difference is mostly caused by the negative influence of the Mafia that is still active in some areas although it is much weaker than in the past. Wikipedia