Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island (25,460 square metres) with a basically triangular shape where the capes Boeo (or Lilibeo), Passero, and Punta del Faro (or Peloro) are the corners of the triangle. It is separated from the continent by the Strait of Messina and lapped by the Ionian, the Tyrrhenian and the Mediterranean Seas. Around it there is a series of smaller islands: to the north the Aeolian Islands and Ustica, to the west the Egadi, to the south the Pelagie and Pantelleria. Sicily’s coast, prevalently rocky to the north and sandy to the south, is 1000 km long.
There is great movement in the Sicilian landscape: the island is mountainous and hilly, with only one big plain near Catania. Along the northern coast the Peloritans, the Nebrodi and the Madonie mountains form united chain as they were continuation of the Apennines. The highest mountain is Etna volcano. It is in the eastern part of Sicily and the whole area of it is protected by a big nature park. The volcano, 3300 m. high, is active, and is the biggest one in Europe.
The most important rivers are Simeto, Belice, Alcantara, Salso and Platani. All the rivers are torrential character, what means dry in the summer and full in the winter. The lakes of the Sicily are very small. In the middle of the island there is Lake of Pergusa, that offers an unusual phenomenon at times, that is that to let become waters all redheads because of a natural trial of certain microorganisms that live inside.
Sicily, with the islands around it, is an Autonomous Region with a main town, which since 1946, has been Palermo, and since 1947 it has had its own Parliament. Its population is estimated to be about 5.000.000, with a density of 190 inhabitants per square kilometre.