Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, and one of the most active in the world, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate.
Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture. It is also home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, and Selinunte.
There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Sicily. By the order of inscription: Valle dei Templi, Villa Romana del Casale, Aeolian Islands, Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, Necropolis of Pantalica, Mount Etna and Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedral churches of Cefalù and Monreale.
Throughout February and March 1974, Dick experienced a series of hallucinations, which he referred to as "2-3-74",  shorthand for February–March 1974. Aside from the "pink beam", Dick described the initial hallucinations as geometric patterns, and, occasionally, brief pictures of Jesus and ancient Rome . As the hallucinations increased in length and frequency, Dick claimed he began to live two parallel lives, one as himself, "Philip K. Dick", and one as "Thomas", a Christian persecuted by Romans in the first century AD. He referred to the "transcendentally rational mind" as "Zebra", "God" and " VALIS ". Dick wrote about the experiences, first in the semi-autobiographical novel Radio Free Albemuth and then in VALIS , The Divine Invasion and the unfinished The Owl in Daylight (the VALIS trilogy ).