The island was once a nation in its own right, and as the Kingdom of Sicily ruled from Palermo over southern Italy, Sicily, and Malta. It later became a part of the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons, a kingdom governed from Naples that comprised both the island itself and most of southern Italy. The Italian unification of 1860 led to the dissolution of this kingdom, and Sicily became an autonomous part of theKingdom of Italy. Sicily is today an autonomous region of Italy. Of all the regions of Italy, Sicily covers the largest land area at 25,708 square kilometres (9,926 sq mi) and currently has just over five million inhabitants.
Sicily, like all regions of Italy when viewed separately, has its own rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music,literature, cuisine, architecture and language, having given birth to some of the greatest and most influential people in history. The Sicilian economy is largely based on agriculture (mainly orange and lemon orchards); this same rural countryside has attracted significanttourism in the modern age as its natural beauty is highly regarded. Sicily also holds importance for archeological and ancient sites such as the Necropolis of Pantalica and the Valley of the Temples."