On this map, the cities of Cammarata and Valguarnera Caropepe can be found. The town of Motta d'Affermo is not labelled. It is located inland, a short distance from the seaside community of Santo Stéfano di Camastra. The area of Sicily is 10,315 square miles (about the size of Massachusetts), and its population is about 5 million people.
The Phonecians were the first foreign power to take control of Sicily, whose geographic location made it stragically important. The Greeks conquered the island in 750BC, and established Siracusa as the most important city. The Greeks were defeated by the Romans, who took control in the year 262BC. Sicily remained part of the Roman Empire for more than 700 years. Following the fall of the Roman Empire in 476AD, Sicily was invaded in 488 by the Goths of Germany. Their possession of the island was brief, and, following the Gothic Wars of 535-550, the island was conquered by the Byzantines, who ruled until 850. About that time, an Islamic army from Tunisia began a long struggle to conquer Sicily, which ended in their victory at the Battle of Taormina in 902. In the year 1068, Roger I of Normandy began a siege of the city of Palermo, and finally took control of the island in the year 1091, “freeing” the “Sicilian people” from Islamic rule. The Norman rule resulted in prosperity, and Sicily became a very wealthy country, then recognized as a kingdom. The Normans reëestablished Latin as the national language, and Catholicism as the national religion. In the year 1266, the last of the Norman rulers died, and the control of Sicily varied by virtue of political intrigue, until an insurrection in 1282 (known as the Sicilian Vespers) resulted in Spanish control of the island. Spain loosely controlled the island until 1713, when a series of treaties resulted in Austrian control of Siciliy. Following the battle of Campo Tenese in 1806, France took control. The French regime was very oppressive, and local resistance resulted in the formation of the Mafia. In 1848, under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Sicily regained its independence, and voluntarily joined the then newly formed nation of Italy in 1867.