Maltese and English are the official languages of the Mediterranean archipelago, situated south of Sicily. The English language is a leftover from 160 years of British colonisation of Malta. At present, Maltese is used in most sectors of public life, including parliament, the church, the press and other media, and in general conversation. However, the majority of the inhabitants of the Maltese islands operate with both languages. In addition, reflecting the close ties Malta shares with its larger neighbour Italy, Italian is also widely spoken.