Going to Italy and not going to Sicily should be considered a crime. It is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Even the ancient Romans could confirm this. Here we have some useful information for your Sicily trip.
This Mediterranean piece of heaven has a vivid history that you can feel while walking the ancient streets. You can explore the mountains, forests, water and cuisine or ski down the nearby active volcanoes. Yes, you really can!
Most locals consider Sicily to be a separate entity from Italy. This is mainly due to their dialect. Even if you have studied your Italian, it will be difficult to talk to your locals. Yet, cuisine, architecture, and culture do much more for it. The locals use their hands to describe everything to the tourists!
When is the best time to visit?
Sicily is a place where you can go any time of the year and have a great trip. Because it is one of the southernmost destinations and it is quite close to North Africa. If the season is generous, you can also swim at sea in November. Additionally, summers are not so hot because the island is inhabited by endless winds from all around.
Now, let’s come to the specification. The tourist season starts in June or July depending on the year. Until mid-September, you can expect high prices and lots of people on the streets. If you plan to visit during the summer, be sure to book all your experiences in advance. Reservations sell out very quickly.
March, April or May would be a good time to visit if you don’t like dealing with crowds all the time. You’ll have plenty of places to visit, but you’ll need to check online to see if certain services are open to business. Locals usually close at the end of the season for repairs or renovations and they may be out of discipline at the moment. This is true for restaurants, shops and a few resorts.
How to get closer?
There are two primary choices when it comes to travel. The first is renting a car and the second is using public transport. You will want to avoid the latter. Public transport schedules are like guidelines rather than actual schedules. It is very normal for a bus or train to be 15 minutes late. Because you want to see everything under the sun, it is better to rent a small car.
You need a smaller vehicle because the island has a huge parking problem. In addition, the roads are quite narrow, and you may feel anxious to drive on tight roads. What’s more, the locals drive like crazy. Seeing you follow all the rules, they will probably understand that you are a foreigner. Then, they will cut you off from all sides or take you out without the right signal. The same rule applies to motorbike drivers. Be sure to check more than once to see if there are any scooters nearby.
You are going to leave using your credit card while traveling without taking money from the ATM. The euro is like the dollar in terms of their value, and you have to pay for granites, wine, coffee and dinner. The same thing applies to large street markets and tolls.
However, this does not mean that you should always carry a thick wallet in your back pocket. Bring a little more than you need, keep the lion’s share of your money at home or go to the ATM regularly. It is better to use those issued by banks as private banks have high transaction fees
Live the Sicilian life
Try to adapt to the local way of life. If they have a siesta, take one! Also, no trip to Sicily would be complete without shopping at the local market. It is better to go very early because fresh produce is produced then. If you decide to sleep, nothing will be left.
Forget about your food and enjoy some fresh bread while you are there. It is fresh in the morning or after siesta. All your taste buds will be delighted by the sound, smell, color and taste of your experience!
Don’t talk to locals about the mafia
Most stereotypes about Italians are true. They like to eat pizza, pasta and salads. They drink wine and take breaks from work during the day to sleep. And, of course, when they talk, it looks like they’ll start fighting at any moment. Okay, the same thing is true about the Mafia.
Blockbuster movies are filled with Italian mafia bosses, but Sicilians have to stay with them. Although criminal activity is close to zero, some stores only have to pay a “protection from danger” fee.
As a tourist you will not experience any kind of crime or violence. In fact, it is an incredibly family-friendly place to visit. However, you should pay attention to how you use your internet. Hackers are more prominent than the mafia, and they are waiting for tourists to take the bait of public Wi-Fi.
Since you will not always have data, it is wise to install a free VPN with limited features when you are using a public network. This way, you can safely enjoy the Internet and be protected from malware, ads and intruder cookies.