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Lampedusa, island, 8 sq mi (20.7 sq km), S Sicily, Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and Tunisia, the largest of the Pelagie Islands and Italy's southernmost territory. Il Porto is the only town of the island. Sponge and sardine fishing are the main occupations; tourism is also important. Lampedusa was settled in the 18th cent. In World War II, it was bombed by the Allies. There is a penal colony on the island, and illegal immigrants from Africa often land on its shores.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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