Strait of Sicily

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For waters separating Sicily from Italy, see Strait of Messina.

Coordinates: 37°12′N 11°12′E / 37.20°N 11.20°E / 37.20; 11.20

Strait of Sicily map.png

The Strait of Sicily[1][2] is the strait between Sicily and Tunisia. It is about 145 kilometres (90 mi) wide and divides the Tyrrhenian Sea and the western Mediterranean Sea from the eastern Mediterranean. Its maximum depth is 1,037 feet (316 m).

Deep currents in the strait flow from east to west, and the current nearer the surface travels in the opposite direction. The unusual water flow is of interest to oceanographers.

The island of Pantelleria lies in the middle of the strait.

The strait has no universally accepted name in English; other common names include Sicilian Strait, Sicilian Channel, Channel of Sicily, Sicilian Narrows and Pantelleria Channel. In Italian it is known as the Canale di Sicilia or the Stretto di Sicilia. In Sicilian: Canali di Sicilia or Strittu di Sicilia.

In French, it is usually referred to as the Cap Bon Channel or Kélibia Channel. Kelibia (in Arabic, قليبية) is the region in Tunisia on the southern tip of the strait, and Cape Bon is the peninsula that extends furthest toward Sicily from the Tunisian shore.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Strait of Sicily, Britannica Atlas, Encyclopædia Britannica, Chicago (U.S.A.), 1989. Page 36, Geographic coordinates 37.20N 11.20E.
  2. ^ Scott C. Truver (1980), The Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean, Springer, 1st edition.