The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. It is named for the Tyrrhenian people, identified since the 6th century BC with the Etruscans of Italy. The sea is bordered by Corsica and Sardinia (to the west), the Italian peninsula the Tuscany Region, Lazio Region, Campania Region, Basilicata Region, and Calabria Region to the east, and Sicily (to the south). The Tyrrhenian Sea is situated near where the African and European Plates meet; therefore mountain chains and active volcanoes such as Mount Marsili are found in its depths. The eight Aeolian Islands and Ustica are located in the southern part of the sea, north of Sicily.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Tyrrhenian Sea as follows: In the Strait of Messina: A line joining the North extreme of Cape Paci (15°42′E) with the East extreme of the Island of Sicily, Cape Peloro (38°16′N). On the Southwest: A line running from Cape Lilibeo (West extreme of Sicily) to the South extreme of Cape Teulada (8°38′E) in Sardinia. In the Strait of Bonifacio: A line joining the West extreme of Cape Testa (41°14′N) in Sardinia with the Southwest extreme of Cape Feno (41°23′N) in Corsica. On the North: A line joining Cape Corse (Cape Grosso, 9°23′E) in Corsica, with Tinetto Island and thence through Tino and Palmaria islands to San Pietro Point on the coast of Italy.
The main ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy are: Naples, Palermo, Civitavecchia ( Rome), Salerno, Trapani and Gioia Tauro. In France the most important port is Bastia. Note that even though the phrase "port of Rome" is frequently used, there is in fact no port in Rome. Instead, the "port of Rome" refers to the maritime facilities at Civitavecchia, to the northwest of Rome, not too far from its airport. Giglio Porto is a small island port in this area. It rose to prominence, when the Costa Concordia ran aground a few metres off the coast of Giglio and sank. The ship was recently removed and towed to Genoa.
In Greek mythology, it is believed that the cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea housed the four winds kept by Aeolus. Homer referred to this in his adventure of the Odessey. The winds are the Mistral from the Rhône valley, the Libeccio from the south-west, and the Sirocco and Ostro from the south.