Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is politically a region of Italy, whose official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna, enjoys some degree of domestic autonomy granted by a specific Statute, it is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city, with Cagliari being the region's capital and its largest city. Sardinia's indigenous language and the other minority languages spoken on the island are recognized by the regional law and enjoy "equal dignity" with Italian. Due to the variety of its ecosystems, which include mountains, plains uninhabited territories, rocky coasts and long sandy beaches, the island has been defined metaphorically as a micro-continent. In the modern era, many travelers and writers have extolled the beauty of its untouched landscape, which houses the vestiges of the Nuragic civilization; the name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *srd- romanised as sardus.
It makes its first appearance on the Nora Stone, where the word Šrdn testifies to the name's existence when the Phoenician merchants first arrived. According to Timaeus, one of Plato's dialogues and its people as well might have been named after a legendary woman going by Sardò, born in Sardis, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia. There has been speculation that identifies the ancient Nuragic Sards with the Sherden, one of the Sea Peoples, it is suggested that the name had a religious connotation from its use as the adjective for the ancient Sardinian mythological hero-god Sardus Pater, as well as being the stem of the adjective "sardonic". In Classical antiquity, Sardinia was called a number of names besides Sardò or Sardinia, like Ichnusa and Argirofleps. Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 24,100 square kilometres, it is situated between 8 ° 8' and 9 ° 50' east longitude. To the west of Sardinia is the Sea of Sardinia, a unit of the Mediterranean Sea.
The nearest land masses are the island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia, the Balearic Islands, Provence. The Tyrrhenian Sea portion of the Mediterranean Sea is directly to the east of Sardinia between the Sardinian east coast and the west coast of the Italian mainland peninsula; the Strait of Bonifacio is directly north of Sardinia and separates Sardinia from the French island of Corsica. The coasts of Sardinia are high and rocky, with long straight stretches of coastline, many outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, many inlets and with various smaller islands off the coast; the island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike Sicily and mainland Italy, is not earthquake-prone. Its rocks date in fact from the Palaeozoic Era. Due to long erosion processes, the island's highlands, formed of granite, trachyte, basalt and dolomite limestone, average at between 300 to 1,000 metres; the highest peak is part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island. Other mountain chains are Monte Limbara in the northeast, the Chain of Marghine and Goceano running crosswise for 40 kilometres towards the north, the Monte Albo, the Sette Fratelli Range in the southeast, the Sulcis Mountains and the Monte Linas.
The island's ranges and plateaux are separated by wide alluvial valleys and flatlands, the main ones being the Campidano in the southwest between Oristano and Cagliari and the Nurra in the northwest. Sardinia has few major rivers, the largest being the Tirso, 151 km long, which flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas and the Flumendosa. There are 54 artificial dams that supply water and electricity; the main ones are Lake Coghinas. The only natural freshwater lake is Lago di Baratz. A number of large, salt-water lagoons and pools are located along the 1,850 km of the coastline; the climate of the island is variable from area to area, due to several factors including the extension in latitude and the elevation. It can be classified in two different macrobioclimates, one macrobioclimatic variant, called Submediterranean, four classes of continentality, eight thermotypic horizons and seven ombrotypic horizons, resulting in a combination of 43 different isobioclimates. During the year there is a major concentration
The Appalachian Mountains called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed 480 million years ago during the Ordovician Period, they once reached elevations similar to those of the Alps and the Rocky Mountains before experiencing natural erosion. The Appalachian chain is a barrier to east–west travel, as it forms a series of alternating ridgelines and valleys oriented in opposition to most highways and railroads running east–west. Definitions vary on the precise boundaries of the Appalachians; the United States Geological Survey defines the Appalachian Highlands physiographic division as consisting of thirteen provinces: the Atlantic Coast Uplands, Eastern Newfoundland Atlantic, Maritime Acadian Highlands, Maritime Plain, Notre Dame and Mégantic Mountains, Western Newfoundland Mountains, Blue Ridge and Ridge, Saint Lawrence Valley, Appalachian Plateaus, New England province, the Adirondack areas. A common variant definition does not include the Adirondack Mountains, which geologically belong to the Grenville Orogeny and have a different geological history from the rest of the Appalachians.
The mountain range is in the United States but it extends into southeastern Canada, forming a zone from 100 to 300 mi wide, running from the island of Newfoundland 1,500 mi southwestward to Central Alabama in the United States. The range covers parts of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which comprise an overseas territory of France; the system is divided into a series of ranges, with the individual mountains averaging around 3,000 ft. The highest of the group is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet, the highest point in the United States east of the Mississippi River; the term Appalachian refers to several different regions associated with the mountain range. Most broadly, it refers to the entire mountain range with its surrounding hills and the dissected plateau region; the term is used more restrictively to refer to regions in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains including areas in the states of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, as well as sometimes extending as far south as northern Alabama and western South Carolina, as far north as Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, parts of southern upstate New York.
The Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma were part of the Appalachians as well but became disconnected through geologic history. While exploring inland along the northern coast of Florida in 1528, the members of the Narváez expedition, including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, found a Native American village near present-day Tallahassee, Florida whose name they transcribed as Apalchen or Apalachen; the name was soon altered by the Spanish to Apalachee and used as a name for the tribe and region spreading well inland to the north. Pánfilo de Narváez's expedition first entered Apalachee territory on June 15, 1528, applied the name. Now spelled "Appalachian," it is the fourth-oldest surviving European place-name in the US. After the de Soto expedition in 1540, Spanish cartographers began to apply the name of the tribe to the mountains themselves; the first cartographic appearance of Apalchen is on Diego Gutierrez's map of 1562. The name was not used for the whole mountain range until the late 19th century.
A competing and more popular name was the "Allegheny Mountains", "Alleghenies", "Alleghania". In the early 19th century, Washington Irving proposed renaming the United States either Appalachia or Alleghania. In U. S. dialects in the southern regions of the Appalachians, the word is pronounced, with the third syllable sounding like "latch". In northern parts of the mountain range, it is pronounced or. There is great debate between the residents of the regions as to which pronunciation is the more correct one. Elsewhere, a accepted pronunciation for the adjective Appalachian is, with the last two syllables "-ian" pronounced as in the word "Romanian"; the whole system may be divided into three great sections: Northern: The northern section runs from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador to the Hudson River. It includes the Long Range Mountains and Annieopsquotch Mountains on the island of Newfoundland, Chic-Choc Mountains and Notre Dame Range in Quebec and New Brunswick, scattered elevations and small ranges elsewhere in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Longfellow Mountains in Maine, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains in Vermont, The Berkshires in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
The Metacomet Ridge Mountains in Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts, although contained within the Appalachian province, is a younger system and not geologically associated with the Appalachians. The Monteregian Hills, which cross the Green Mountains in Quebec, are unassociated with the Appalachians. Central: The central section goes from the Hudson Valley to the New River running through Virginia and West Virginia, it comprises the Valley Ridges between the Allegheny Front of the Allegheny Plateau and the Great Appalachian Valley, the New York–New Jersey Highlands, the Taconic Mountains in New York, a large portion of the Blue Ridge. Southern: The southern section runs from the New River onwards, it consists of the prolongation of the Blue Ridge, divided into the Western Blue Ridge Front and the Eastern Blue Ridge Front, the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, the Cumberland Plateau. The Adirondack Mountains in New Y
Umber is a natural brown or reddish-brown earth pigment that contains iron oxide and manganese oxide. Umber is darker than the other similar earth pigments and sienna. In its natural form, it is called raw umber; when heated, the color becomes more intense, becomes known as burnt umber. The name comes from earth of Umbria, the Italian name of the pigment. Umbria is a mountainous region in central Italy where the pigment was extracted; the word may be related to the Latin word Umbra. Umber is not one precise color, but a range of different colors, from medium to dark, from yellowish to reddish to grayish; the color of the natural earth depends upon the amount of iron manganese in the clay. Umber earth pigments contain between five and twenty percent manganese oxide, which accounts for their being a darker color than yellow ochre or sienna. Commercial colors vary depending upon the color list. Not all umber pigments contain natural earths. Pigments containing the natural umber earths indicate them on the label as PBr7, following the Colour Index International system.
The color shown in the box at right is one of the many commercial varieties of umber, from the ISCC-NBS color list: ISCC-NBS Dictionary of Color Names —Color Sample of Umber. Umber was one of the first pigments used by humans. Dark brown pigments were used in Medieval art; the umbers were not used in Europe before the end of the fifteenth century. The great age of umber was the baroque period, where it provided the dark shades in the chiaroscuro style of painting, it was an important part of the palette of Rembrandt. Rembrandt used it as an important element of his rich and complex browns, he took advantage of its other qualities; the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer used umber to create shadows on whitewashed walls that were warmer and more harmonious than those created with black pigment. In the second half of the 19th century, the Impressionists rebelled against the use of umber and other earth colors. Camille Pissarro denounced the "old, dull earth colors" and said he had banned them from his palette.
The impressionists chose to make their own browns from mixtures of red, green and other pigments the new synthetic pigments such as cobalt blue and emerald green that had just been introduced. In the 20th century, natural umber pigments began to be replaced by pigments made with synthetic iron oxide and manganese oxide. Natural umber pigments are still being made, with Cyprus as a prominent source. Pigments containing the natural earths are labeled as PBr7, or Brown pigment 7. Displayed at the right is one version of the color raw umber; the source of this color is: ISCC-NBS Dictionary of Color Names —Color Sample of Raw Umber. Burnt umber is made by heating raw umber, which dehydrates the iron oxides and changes them to the more reddish hematite. It's used for both water color paint; the first recorded use of burnt umber as a color name in English was in 1650. Brown List of colors List of inorganic pigments Roelofs, Isabelle. La couleur expliquée aux artistes. Editions Eyrolles. ISBN 978-2-212-13486-5.
Ball, Philip. Histoire vivante des couleurs. Paris: Hazan Publishers. ISBN 978-2-754105-033. Thompson, Daniel V.. The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting. Dover. ISBN 0-486-20327-1. "Raw Umber". Essential Vermeer. — Discussion of umber and its use by Vermeer and other painters
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxyhydroxides. Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, are used by humans, e.g. as iron ores, catalysts, in thermite and hemoglobin. Common rust is a form of iron oxide. Iron oxides are used as inexpensive, durable pigments in paints and colored concretes. Colors available are in the "earthy" end of the yellow/orange/red/brown/black range; when used as a food coloring, it has E number E172. Oxide of FeIIFeO: iron oxide, wüstite FeO2: iron dioxide Mixed oxides of FeII and FeIIIFe3O4: Iron oxide, magnetite Fe4O5 Fe5O6 Fe5O7 Fe25O32 Fe13O19 Oxide of FeIIIFe2O3: iron oxide α-Fe2O3: alpha phase, hematite β-Fe2O3: beta phase γ-Fe2O3: gamma phase, maghemite ε-Fe2O3: epsilon phase iron hydroxide iron hydroxide, akaganéite, feroxyhyte, ferrihydrite, or 5 Fe 2 O 3 ⋅ 9 H 2 O, better recast as FeOOH ⋅ 0.4 H 2 O high-pressure FeOOH schwertmannite green rust Several species of bacteria, including Shewanella oneidensis, Geobacter sulfurreducens and Geobacter metallireducens, metabolically utilize solid iron oxides as a terminal electron acceptor, reducing Fe oxides to Fe containing oxides.
Under conditions favoring iron reduction, the process of iron oxide reduction can replace at least 80% of methane production occurring by methanogenesis. This phenomenon occurs in a nitrogen-containing environment with low sulfate concentrations. Methanogenesis, an Archaean driven process, is the predominate form of carbon mineralization in sediments at the bottom of the ocean. Methanogenesis completes the decomposition of organic matter to methane; the specific electron donor for iron oxide reduction in this situation is still under debate, but the two potential candidates include either Titanium or compounds present in yeast. The predicted reactions with Titanium serving as the electron donor and phenazine-1-carboxylate serving as an electron shuttle is as follows: Ti-cit + CO2 + 8H+ → CH4 + 2H2O + Ti + cit ΔE = –240 + 300 mV Ti-cit + PCA → PCA + Ti + cit ΔE = –116 + 300 mV PCA + Fe3 → Fe2+ + PCA ΔE = –50 + 116 mV Note: cit = citrate. Titanium is oxidized to Titanium; the reduced form of PCA can reduce the iron hydroxide.
On the other hand when airborne, iron oxides have been shown to harm the lung tissues of living organisms by the formation of hydroxyl radicals, leading to the creation of alkyl radicals. The following reactions occur when Fe2O3 and FeO, hereafter represented as Fe3+ and Fe2+ iron oxide particulates accumulate in the lungs. O2 + e− → O2• –The formation of the superoxide anion is catalyzed by a transmembrane enzyme called NADPH oxidase; the enzyme facilitates the transport of an electron across the plasma membrane from cytosolic NADPH to extracellular oxygen to produce O2• –. NADPH and FAD are bound to cytoplasmic binding sites on the enzyme. Two electrons from NADPH are transported to FAD which reduces it to FADH2. One electron moves to one of two heme groups in the enzyme within the plane of the membrane; the second electron pushes the first electron to the second heme group so that it can associate with the first heme group. For the transfer to occur, the second heme must be bound to extracellular oxygen, the acceptor of the electron.
This enzyme can be located within the membranes of intracellular organelles allowing the formation of O2• – to occur within organelles. 2O2• – + 2 H+ → H2O2 + O2 The formation of hydrogen peroxide can occur spontaneously when the environment has a lower pH at pH 7.4. The enzyme superoxide dismutase can catalyze this reaction. Once H2O2 has been synthesized, it can diffuse thro
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples and Sicily from the early 1590s to 1610. His paintings combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism, he made the technique a dominant stylistic element, darkening shadows and transfixing subjects in bright shafts of light. Caravaggio vividly expressed crucial moments and scenes featuring violent struggles and death, he worked with live models, preferring to forgo drawings and work directly onto the canvas. His influence on the new Baroque style that emerged from Mannerism was profound, it can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Rembrandt, artists in the following generation under his influence were called the "Caravaggisti" or "Caravagesques", as well as tenebrists or tenebrosi.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan before moving in his twenties to Rome. He developed a considerable name as an artist, as a violent and provocative man. A brawl forced him to flee to Naples. There he again established himself as one of the most prominent Italian painters of his generation, he traveled in 1607 to Malta and on to Sicily, pursued a papal pardon for his sentence. In 1609 he returned to Naples. Questions about his mental state arose from his bizarre behavior, he died in 1610 under uncertain circumstances while on his way from Naples to Rome. Reports stated that he died of a fever, but suggestions have been made that he was murdered or that he died of lead poisoning. Caravaggio's innovations inspired Baroque painting, but the Baroque incorporated the drama of his chiaroscuro without the psychological realism; the style evolved and fashions changed, Caravaggio fell out of favor. In the 20th century interest in his work revived, his importance to the development of Western art was reevaluated.
The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy stated, "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite modern painting." Caravaggio was born in Milan, where his father, was a household administrator and architect-decorator to the Marchese of Caravaggio, a town not far from the city of Bergamo. In 1576 the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague that ravaged Milan, Caravaggio's father and grandfather both died there on the same day in 1577, it is assumed that the artist grew up in Caravaggio, but his family kept up connections with the Sforzas and with the powerful Colonna family, who were allied by marriage with the Sforzas and destined to play a major role in Caravaggio's life. Caravaggio's mother died in 1584, the same year he began his four-year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, described in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian. Caravaggio appears to have stayed in the Milan-Caravaggio area after his apprenticeship ended, but it is possible that he visited Venice and saw the works of Giorgione, whom Federico Zuccari accused him of imitating, Titian.
He would have become familiar with the art treasures of Milan, including Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, with the regional Lombard art, a style that valued simplicity and attention to naturalistic detail and was closer to the naturalism of Germany than to the stylised formality and grandeur of Roman Mannerism. Following his initial training under Simone Peterzano, in 1592 Caravaggio left Milan for Rome, in flight after "certain quarrels" and the wounding of a police officer; the young artist arrived in Rome "naked and needy... without fixed address and without provision... short of money." During this period he stayed with the miserly Pandolfo Pucci, known as "monnsignor Insalata". A few months he was performing hack-work for the successful Giuseppe Cesari, Pope Clement VIII's favourite artist, "painting flowers and fruit" in his factory-like workshop. In Rome there was demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time, it was a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art, tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism.
Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic theatrical, use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism. Known works from this period include a small Boy Peeling a Fruit, a Boy with a Basket of Fruit, the Young Sick Bacchus a self-portrait done during convalescence from a serious illness that ended his employment with Cesari. All three demonstrate the physical particularity for which Caravaggio was to become renowned: the fruit-basket-boy's produce has been analysed by a professor of horticulture, able to identify individual cultivars right down to "... a large fig leaf with a prominent fungal scorch lesion resembling anthracnose."Caravaggio left Cesari, determined to make his own way after a heated argument. At this point he forged some important friendships, with the painter Prospero Orsi, the architect Onorio Longhi, the sixteen-year-old Sicilian artist Mario Minniti. Orsi
Ochre or ocher is a natural clay earth pigment, a mixture of ferric oxide and varying amounts of clay and sand. It ranges in colour from yellow to deep brown, it is the name of the colours produced by this pigment a light brownish-yellow. A variant of ochre containing a large amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as "red ochre"; the word ochre describes clays colored with iron oxide, derived during the extraction of tin and copper. Ochre is a family of earth pigments, which includes yellow ochre, red ochre, purple ochre and umber; the major ingredient of all the ochres is iron oxide-hydroxide, known as limonite, which gives them a yellow colour. Yellow ochre, FeO·nH2O, is a hydrated iron hydroxide called gold ochre. Red ochre, Fe2O3, takes its reddish colour from the mineral hematite, an anhydrous iron oxide. Purple ochre, is identical to red ochre chemically but of a different hue caused by different light diffraction properties associated with a greater average particle size.
Brown ochre FeO, is a hydrated iron oxide. Sienna contains both limonite and a small amount of manganese oxide, which makes it darker than ochre. Umber pigments contain a larger proportion of manganese; when natural sienna and umber pigments are heated, they are dehydrated and some of the limonite is transformed into hematite, giving them more reddish colours, called burnt sienna and burnt umber. Ochres are non-toxic and can be used to make an oil paint that dries and covers surfaces thoroughly. Modern ochre pigments are made using synthetic iron oxide. Pigments which use natural ochre pigments indicate it with the name PY-43 on the label, following the Colour Index International system; the use of ochre is intensive: it is not unusual to find a layer of the cave floor impregnated with a purplish red to a depth of eight inches. The size of these ochre deposits raises a problem not yet solved; the colouring is so intense that all the loose ground seems to consist of ochre. One can imagine that the Aurignacians painted their bodies red, dyed their animal skins, coated their weapons, sprinkled the ground of their dwellings, that a paste of ochre was used for decorative purposes in every phase of their domestic life.
We must assume no less, if we are to account for the veritable mines of ochre on which some of them lived... Iron oxide is one of the most common minerals found on earth, there is much evidence that yellow and red ochre pigment was used in prehistoric and ancient times by many different civilizations on different continents. Pieces of ochre engraved with abstract designs have been found at the site of the Blombos Cave in South Africa, dated to around 75,000 years ago; the practice of ochre painting was prevalent in ancient Australia. Pleistocene burials with red ochre date as early as 40,000 BP and ochre played a role in expressing symbolic ideologies of the earliest arrivals to the continent. In Wales, the paleolithic burial called the Red Lady of Paviland from its coating of red ochre has been dated to around 33,000 years before present. Paintings of animals made with red and yellow ochre pigments have been found in paleolithic sites at Pech Merle in France, the cave of Altamira in Spain; the cave of Lascaux has an image of a horse coloured with yellow ochre estimated to be 17,300 years old.
According to some scholars, Neolithic burials used red ochre pigments symbolically, either to represent a return to the earth or as a form of ritual rebirth, in which the colour symbolises blood and the Great Goddess. In Ancient Egypt, yellow was associated with gold, considered to be eternal and indestructible; the skin and bones of the gods were believed to be made of gold. The Egyptians used yellow ochre extensively in tomb painting, though they used orpiment, which made a brilliant colour, but was toxic, since it was made with arsenic. In tomb paintings, men were always shown with brown faces, women with yellow ochre or gold faces. Red ochre in Ancient Egypt was used as a rouge. Ochre-coloured lines were discovered on the Unfinished Obelisk at the northern region of the Aswan Stone Quarry, marking work sites. Ochre clays were used medicinally in Ancient Egypt: such use is described in the Ebers Papyrus from Egypt, dating to about 1550 BC. Ochre was the most used pigment for painting walls in the ancient Mediterranean world.
In Ancient Greece, red ochre was called μίλτος, míltos. In Athens when Assembly was called, a contingent of public slaves would sweep the open space of the Agora with ropes dipped in miltos: those citizens that loitered there instead of moving to the Assembly area would risk having their clothes stained with the paint; this prevented them from wearing these clothes in public again, as failure to attend the Assembly incurred a fine. It was known as "raddle", "reddle" or "ruddle" and was used to mark sheep and can be used as a waxy waterproof coating on structures; the reddle was sold as a ready-made mixture to farmers and herders by travelling workers called reddlemen. A reddleman named Diggory Venn was prominently described in Thomas Hardy's 1878 novel entitled The Return of the Native. In classical antiquity, the finest red ochre came from a Greek colony on the Black Sea where the modern city of Sinop in Turkey is located, it was regulated and marked by a special seal
Sicily 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 referred to as Regione Siciliana. Sicily 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, one of the most active in the world 3,329 m high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate; the earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and, for the next 600 years, it was the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Sicily; the Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou and the House of Habsburg.
It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Albeit, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the parithetic committee, since 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture with regard to the arts, literature and architecture, it is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. Sicily has a triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria. To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, about 16 km wide in the southern part.
The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a straight line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, while the Autonomous Region of Sicily has an area of 27,708 km2; the terrain of inland Sicily is hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the mountain ranges of Madonie, 2,000 m, Nebrodi, 1,800 m, 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. Sicily and its surrounding small islands have some active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions, it stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km; this makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky. Mount Etna is regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily; the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, include Stromboli. The three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is dormant. Off the southern coast of Sicily, the underwater volcano of Ferdinandea, part of the larger Empedocles volcano, last erupted in 1831, it is located between the island of Pantelleria. The autonomous region includes several neighbouring islands: the Aegadian Islands, the Aeolian Islands and Lampedusa; the island is drained by several rivers, most of which flow through the central area and enter the sea at the south of the island.
The Salso flows through parts of Enna and Caltanissetta before entering the Mediterranean Sea at the port of Licata. To the east, the Alcantara flows through the province of Messina and enters the sea at Giardini Naxos, the Simeto, which flows into the Ionian Sea south of Catania. Other important rivers on the island are the Platani in the southwest. Sicily has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers with changeable intermediate seasons. On the coasts the south-western, the climate is affected by the African currents and summers can be scorching. Sicily is seen as an island of warm winters but above all along the Tyrrhenian coast and in the inland areas, winters can be cold, with typical continental climate. Snow falls in abundance above 900–1000 metres, but stronger cold waves can carry it in the hills and in coastal cities on the northern coast of the island; the interi