Facts About Italy and Italians
Part 2

21.  There are many Italian islands.  The largest is Sicily (Sicilia in Italian).  It has a famous flag with a red and yellow background.   In the centre of the flag is a three-legged figure called La Trinacria.  This figure has the head of Medusa and is surrounded by three ears of wheat.  It is believed that the three legs represent the three corners of Sicily - as the island is triangular in shape.  The wheat represents the fertility of the land and the head of Medusa protects Sicily.


The capital city of Sicily is Palermo.

The second largest Italian island is Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian).  The capital city is Cagliari.    Sardinia has a very interesting flag, consisting of the cross of St. George - a red cross on a white background.   In each white corner of the flag there is the head of a Moor wearing a white bandana.  The four Moors are called I Quattro Mori and they are the symbol of Sardinia.   Read more about Sardinia.


The island of Sardinia lies in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea - il Mar Mediterraneo - just south of the French island Corsica.

The north-east coast of Sardinia is called la Costa Smeralda - the Emerald Coast.  It is a very expensive holiday destination.  In the summer months, it is visited by the yachts of royal families, and famous people.

The third largest Italian island is Elba.  It is called l'Isola d'Elba in Italian and belongs to the Italian region of Tuscany - Toscana.   The island of Elba is famous because the French emperor Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte) lived there for about ten months when he was sent into exile from France in 1814.  

The flag of Elba consists of a white background, a red stripe and three golden bees.  It was designed by Napoleon.


Some smaller islands of Italy are:  Capri, Ischia, Procida, Favignana and Lampedusa.  The island of Capri is very famous for its breathtaking landscape.  It is situated in the Bay of Naples and it is high and rocky.  One of the most visited places in Capri is the