Located close to the northwestern corner of Sicily, Palermo is the capital of the autonomous region of Sicily and its largest city. The area around Palermo has been settled since at least the 8th millenium BC and Palermo itself was founded by the Phoenicians in 734BC. Over the course of the centuries Palermo was ruled by the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs and the Normans. In the 19th century it was united with the kingdom of Naples and later, in 1860 with the kingdom of Italy. Due to its long history Palermo has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, some of which however was destroyed in World War II. Palermo was a wealth of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches, palaces and buildings. Palermo has an international airport and is a major tourist centre in Sicily.
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