The nearest autonomous communities to the Balearic Islands are Cataluña (Catalonia) and Valencia, with whom they share a cultural background. In all three communities Catalonian is commonly spoken and they share similar customs, traditions, and gastronomy. The Balearic Islands are also heavily influenced by Italy. The Islands have been under Italian control several times during the long history of the territory. The most recent occupation occurred during the Spanish Civil War the Islands where occupied by Italian forces.
Over a million people call the Balearic Islands home and the island of Ibiza is home to 142 thousand, making it the second most densely populated island of the Archipelago behind Mallorca.
The Balearic Islands themselves are subdivided into 5 smaller archipelagos: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Cabrera and Formentera. The largest island, Mallorca, is also home to the Communities capital, and largest city, Palma.