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Founded by the Siculi and colonised by the Greek Chalcidians people from Naxos in 729 BC, Catania was conquered by the Romans in AD 263 and eventually became the most prosperous city in Roman Sicily. Since the eighteenth century, Catania has been the second most important city of Sicily. It is defined by two facts, geography and nature, Etna (the volcano) and the Ionian Sea. Catania boasts an important culinary tradition owed to its thriving agriculture and is renowned for being the birth place of famous figures such as musician Vincenzo Bellini and writer Giovanni Verga.