Palermo is the capital of the main Italian island of Sicily, located on the north coast of the island.
The capital of Sicily was founded by Phoenicians under the name of "Ziz" (which means "flower", but the meaning is still uncertain) and later renamed by Greeks "Panormos", which means "all port". It reached its golden age during the Arab domination (9th to 11th centuries AD) when it became one of the most prosperous cities in the Mediterranean and Europe, known as "city of delights" for its marvelous and lavish gardens, as well as for magnificent mosques and palaces. After being conquered by the Normans (1060-1080 AD), most of palaces and mosques were destroyed, but the new rulers exploited the cosmopolitan environment of Palermo and the artists, architects and masters from different cultural roots giving the birth to a unique architectural style, the so-called "Arab-Norman Style of Sicily", which is an original mixture of arabesque decorations, Romanesque architecture and Byzantine mosaics. After being home to one of the most famous emperors of the Middle Ages, Frederik II of Swabia, named "Stupor Mundi" by contemporaries, Palermo began its decadence under the influence of several dominations In the mid-19th century, Palermo was one the leading revolutionary cities in Italy, strongly contributing to the success of the "Mille" (literally "one thousand"), a patriots' expedition lead by the famous Italian national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi which ended with the reunification of Italy under the Savoy dynasty from Turin (1860).