safty-facts and travel tips
Posted by Md Khann on March 27th, 2020
Sicily is becoming increasingly popular as a destination. There is plenty to see and experience on the largest island of the Mediterranean, and compared to eg. Northern Italy, prices are extremely reasonable.
Travel time - seasons
Where to stay?
Prices - price level
Money and exchange
Siesta - opening hours
Sports & activities
Literature & links
The weather and the food are fantastic. There are beaches, mountains, volcanoes, sleepy villages where time stands still, hectic cities and lots of past memories from a long and varied history. Sicily has had many masters and some of the best-preserved Greek temples are found in Sicily. On this page, I have gathered some facts and practical travel tips that can be useful when visiting or planning a trip to Sicily. in my travel descriptions from Sicily ( links at the bottom of this page ), you can read about our personal impressions and experiences. There are also photos and from 2012 onwards video clips. Low-cost airport minicab service Bournemouth
See a map of Sicily on Google Maps (opens in a new window).
Residents: approx. 5.1 million
Population density: 198 / km2
Coin base: Euro
Country code: 00 39
Travel time - seasons - the weather
It is very hot in Sicily in the summer. In July, August and early September, temperatures can reach above 40 ° C, which is deadly for any activity. Most Italians hold summer holidays in August. Then there is congestion on the beaches and the prices get an extra boost. So unless you just want to lie on the beach, spring and fall are the best travel time.
Temperatures and precipitation in Sicily
Note that there is a lot of rain in October - almost 100 mm, which is more than in Denmark (76 mm).
There are three important airports in Sicily: Palermo and Trapani in the west and Catania in the east. Trapani is mostly used by low-cost airlines such as Ryan Air.
From Palermo and Catania airports it takes approx. half an hour to drive to respectively. Palermo and approx. 20 minutes to Catania. There are regular bus departures to Palermo / Catania and it costs approx. 5 euros. In Catania, the express bus runs via Catania's bus terminal at the railway station to Syracuse or Giardini Naxos and Taormina ( www.etnatrasporti.it ). There are also trains from Palermo Airport. A taxi to the city center costs less than 50 euros, and from Catania airport to Taormina / Giardini Naxos you have to count on approx. 80 euros. It is more expensive in the evening/night than during the day.
Public transport - train and bus
The railway network in Sicily is not so developed, but you can drive to most major cities. Search the Trenitalia website. Usually, coaches are more flexible than trains and preferred by most Sicilians. There are several companies so it may be a bit complicated, but a good place to start (for eastern Sicily) is www.etnatrasporti.it.
In Palermo, Catania and most major cities, the bus terminal is at the train station. The buses are blue, while city buses are yellow/orange.
When driving on a city bus, always buy a ticket beforehand, which is then stamped immediately in a vending machine on the bus. Tickets are usually purchased at tobacco and newsstands, "Tabacchi". There are frequent checks and a hefty fine if you get caught driving without a valid ticket.
The ticket for buses can be purchased from the driver when you board (it is a good idea to have even money or small money so the driver does not have to change!). However, if you get on the bus at a bus terminal, you have to buy a ticket at the ticket office.
Train tickets must also be stamped (validated) before boarding, unless (admittedly!) You have a seat ticket.
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I don't drive a car myself, but many say it is a nerve-wracking and stressful experience in Sicily. Land and motorway traffic is not that bad, but in major cities traffic is bad. In Catania, traffic was at least as crazy as in Rome, and Palermo should be even worse. Be prepared that every section of the Traffic Act is an insult to personal freedom! Italians - and Sicilians in particular - have a relaxed relationship with Prohibition.
Where to live?
Most Scandinavian tourists come to Sicily on a charter holiday and usually live in Taormina, Giardini Naxos or Cefalù. For individual travelers, Syracuse (Syracuse) in the Southeast is popular. If you drive yourself, there are many opportunities for agriturismo, a holiday form that is gaining ground throughout Italy. There are also good options for bed and breakfast, which is especially smart if you drive around the island by car.
Many have fallen for Cefalù on the north coast, and from here it is not far to the Liparian Islands, located north of Sicily. The old Cefalù is a charming medieval town with narrow streets where laundry from many balconies hangs. The old cathedral of the city is famous, and the shopping enthusiasts can enjoy their pleasure in the many small shops. Just outside the old town, there is an excellent beach and a long boardwalk. Just behind the town, there is an impressive rock cliff, and if you have the air and the power to reach the top, you can see beyond the view the remains of an ancient temple. Many tourists have caught the eye of Cefalù's charm, and so does the city. We were there for a week in May 2010 and you can read about the city and our experiences on this trip on Holidays in Cefalù.
Taormina is famous and undisputed Sicily's tourist destination No. 1. You can see it clearly when visiting the city; Taormina is beautiful and in a great location, but it is also wildly overrun by tourists, and everything revolves around the axis of tourism. On the main thoroughfare, the Corso, there are an awful lot of day tourists. They come in buses and the guides ride them across the Corso like sheep flocks. On the Corso, people with an itch in the credit card can also get their shopping pleasure managed in numerous exclusive stores.
Moving just a few meters away from the Corso, there is much more tranquility and you experience Taormina's true charm and beauty. From most of Taormina there is a fantastic view of the sea and to Etna, and the view is probably the best from the ancient Greek theater, which is the city's main attraction. It is definitely worth a visit, but I strongly recommend that if possible, you will arrive at business hours (9 am), with the fewest visitors.
Giardini Naxos and Recanati
Giardini Naxos, located by the sea a few kilometers south of Taormina, is quieter and more relaxed. Giardini Naxos is also a lot cheaper than Taormina. Giardini is the northern part of the city (down to the "pen church") and Naxos is the southern one (from the church to the harbor).
Here you get a much higher sense of living in a city with "real living". In the evenings and especially on weekends, locals roam in large numbers on the promenade, and there is a colorful crowd of people eating ice cream and talking in groups.
There are about 9,000 permanent residents but during the holiday season several more live. The city is also a popular holiday destination for Italians. Most hotels and apartment hotels are in Recanati. Recanati is a lovely district a little south of the actual town, but it is a holiday reserve and lacks the atmosphere found in the city itself. There are a few hotels and some bed and breakfasts in the city itself. Both in Giardini Naxos and in Recanati there are excellent beaches. Some stretches are public, while others are private "lidos" where you pay for e.g. and a sun lounger.
Syracuse is a favorite destination for people who organize the trip themselves. The town is historically interesting and it is obvious to live in the old town on the island of Isola di Ortigia. This is where the Greek colonialists settled in 734 BC. It is an old town with narrow streets and an atmosphere never found in modern cities.
Siracusa was Archimedes' hometown, and they are proud of it. Archimedes was killed by Roman soldiers in 212 BC when they entered the city. Read more about Archimedes on my blog. We were there a week in May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, May 2014, in May 2015, April / May 2017, April / May 2018 and April / May 2019.
There are more than 100 campsites in Sicily. Overview of campsites.
Prices - price level
The prices for accommodation are reasonable, but of course, you can be allowed to pay if you are picky. It is usually cheap to eat out, and wine for the food is much cheaper than in Denmark. Two people can easily dine out (with house wine) for 25-50 euros. In general, the price rents are, of course, highest in the tourist spots. Lots of fruit and vegetables are grown in Sicily and it is cheap. Gasoline prices are like in Denmark, but public transport is relatively cheap.
Money and exchange
There are lots of ATMs ("ATMs") where you can raise with e.g. WE SAW.
If you can, it is a good idea to have good with small notes and coins, because there is a widespread lack of barter money. It's not bad for example. restaurants, but in small shops and even in supermarkets it is very often a problem to give back. Anything over a tier is considered big notes, and time and time again you are asked if you do not have less or even money.
If you raise, for example. In a cash machine, you usually get big notes, and it's a good idea to go to a bank and have them switched to small notes (fives and tens).
Siesta! - and opening hours
Business hours vary from place to place. In general, it should be assumed that everything except restaurants is closed from 10 am. 13 - 16. Then there is lunch and siesta! Normally, the siesta opens up, but the few shops are open after 10 pm. 20th August is the holiday month, and here some businesses hold the holidays closed for a few weeks, and others are only open until dinner. Archaeological/historical sites are usually open from 9-12 and 16-19 Monday to Friday and 9-12 on Saturday. Of course, that may vary. Many museums are closed on Mondays, but not all.
Many churches can be visited from 8-12 and some after 7 p.m. 16th
Many restaurants have a weekly closing day, e.g. on Monday or Wednesday. Most eateries open for lunches, and then a few hours are often closed until the doors open again at 19-20. Sicilians like to eat late dinner, and at. 22, when the worst of the heat is gone, is not unusual.
Restaurants and eateries
In general, eating out in Sicily is cheap, but of course, there are also expensive places. Wine for the food is significantly cheaper than in Denmark, and a good meal with the house wine for two people can easily be obtained for under 50 euros. The pizza is cheap. Many places advertise on the tourist menu. It is usually cheap but is not the best the house can manage. You get what you pay for. The Sicilian cuisine is excellent: Italian with spice from Arabia and the Greek past. If you like seafood, Sicily is a paradise.
As a rule, a carafe with house wine costs a few euros. If you want quality wine, a bottle at a restaurant usually costs 8-16 euros. As everywhere in Italy, you pay "coperto" - one to a few euros for table cover and bread. For a review of the restaurants we have visited, see my travel descriptions. In Giardini Naxos, we can especially recommend Taverna Naxos da Angelo, Da Antonio, La Campannina and Da Roberto (a good distance north in Giardini). La Cambusa was once a good place, but the last time we were there in 2010, the standard had fallen on both food and service. In May 2013, the restaurant was opened after 2 years of renovation, but we did not visit it.
In Syracuse, I can recommend Osteria da Mariano, Trattoria do Scogghiu, Tempio di Athena (pizza) and Le Vin de l'Assasin (all on the island of Ortigia). Stay FAR away from "La Foglia". It is very common for the waiter to ask, as one of the first, whether to have water without or with a shower: "Aqua naturale o passata" or "con gas". So now you are warned and can nonchalantly respond promptly.
About the AuthorMd Khann
Joined: August 27th, 2019
Articles Posted: 59
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