Sicily Travel Information
Please Read This Very Important Travel Information
- Emergency Phone Numbers in Sicily
- Ambulance: call 118
- Police: Call 113
- In case of an accident or other car problems on the road in Sicily, call the Automobile Club of Italia, ACI, at phone number: 803-116.
- Italian Embassy in Palermo: +39 091 305 857
- U.S. citizens travelling to any destination outside of the United States will be required to present a valid U.S. passport. Passports must be valid for 6 months past your return date. The name on your passport must match the name on your photo I.D., and that exact name must match what appears on your airline tickets. Please check the State Department website at http://travel.state.gov for further information. If you lose your passport in Sicily, contact the embassy in Palermo at (+39) 091-305-857. The address is: Via Vaccarini, 1. They are open Monday - Friday 9:00 - 12:30 by appointment. Email: email@example.com
- An International drivers permit is required in Italy. It is easily obtainable from AAA.
- When renting a vehicle, La RosaWorks strongly suggests purchasing the insurance offered by the rental car agency. You should examine the rental car thoroughly before driving it and note with the rental agency any existing damage.
- If you rent your car online, be certain to print the entire rental agreement and present it to the rental counter in Sicily.
- The rental counters open at 8:00 am, so passengers on flights arriving in the early morning may have to wait. Similarly, if you return your car for an early departure, you may have to leave the key and the car, and receive your bill via email. Make sure to ask about this prior to leaving with the car.
- Be sure to ask if your car takes gas (benzina) or diesel fuel.
- Local parking rules can be confusing. Always ask to be certain.
- Be aware, many gas stations are closed on Sundays.
- In case of an accident or other car problems on the road in Sicily, call the Automobile Club of Italia, ACI, at phone number: 803-116. Police: Call 113 Ambulance: call 118
- Travel Insurance
- La RosaWorks strongly suggests purchasing travel insurance to cover unforeseen occurrences such as cancelled flights, lost luggage, and medical emergencies. Insurance is offered by many airlines when you book your flight. Credit card and other outside providers are available as well. La RosaWorks is not responsible for unforeseen occurrences.
La RosaWorks acts as an agent in acquiring transportation, hotel accommodations, sightseeing, activities, and other services for your trip and on the express condition that La RosaWorks will not be held responsible for any loss, accident, injury, delay, omission, or unforeseen occurrence that may occur, whether by act, negligence or default, of any company or person engaged in, or responsible for, carrying out any of the arrangements in connection with your tour.
Helpful Travel Information
Go with the flow. Drink cappuccino in the morning and enjoy espresso during the day. The best way to absorb the flavor of Sicily and to be thoroughly enriched by it, is to let go a little, and enjoy it!
You will no doubt be walking into many churches to see outstanding art works. Short, short clothes and bare shoulders are frowned upon. Hats are recommended for warm weather months. Tours to see architecture, archeology, Mount Etna, wineries and water activities, are all enjoyed out of doors. Sun block is also a good idea. Streets are often cobbled and sometimes hilly. Comfortable shoes are a must.
In Sicily they supply 220v. For computers, phones and camera chargers, you will need a 2 or 3 prong plug adapter designated for 'Southern Europe’. You can buy these at the drug store and they are not expensive. A converter is necessary only for heat drawing electronics such as a hair dryer or razor. They cost more than plug adaptors.
The typical Sicilian day sees businesses opening around 7:30-8:00 a.m. and closing for lunch (pranzo) around 12:30-1:00. They generally reopen around 4:00 and close around 7:30-8:00 p.m.. This tradition is based somewhat on weather and agriculture but also on the paramount importance they place on family and food. In some towns the smell of cooking pasta fills the streets around 1:00.
Sicilian is indeed a language, if mostly an oral language. It has many dialects across the island and, for the most part, is spoken in families and between friends. All Sicilians speak Italian. Sicilians are generally pleased when you make an effort to communicate in their language. Many do not speak English. Carry a small dictionary with you for help. Arms, eyes, hands and shoulders can communicate a lot, though.
If you are driving, I recommend the Touring Club Italiano: Sicilia map or Globetrotter Sicily. They are big but the most accurate. Many car rental agencies now offer GPS systems. I would still bring a map. Keep in mind that phone service may not work well in the hills or remote places, so do not rely exclusively on your phone GPS. I like “The Rough Guides” tourbooks for carry along information, but you can now also find online APPS.
Sicilians use cash more than credit cards, although most credit cards are accepted in hotels and restaurants. ATM’s are all over the island but not as accessible as we are used to. In the larger towns they are centrally located, but in the small towns, you may have to ask. Some have cash withdrawal limits around E250. Always make sure you have cash on hand. Sometimes the ATMs don’t work or are “down.” In general they are slower than the ones in the US and there may be a line.
Make sure you alert your home bank and credit card company that you will be travelling to Italy so they make note on your account. With the many additional security precautions, your card could otherwise be denied.
Sicily is no less safe than anywhere else, but good travel habits include: Keep valuables in sight. Leave unnecessary valuables, credit cards you will not need, and other unnecessary wallet contents at home. Petty crime, like pick-pocketing, happens in crowded places. Be aware of who and what is around you. You can read more here: The Truth about Safe Travels in Sicily
Tipping is always appreciated but not expected as it is in the USA.
- Taxis - generally round up.
- Guides, private bus drivers - generally 5 euro per person.
- Restaurants - If you are pleased with your service, 10% is customary. This is on top of the ‘coperto’ or cover charge. Restaurant owners and servers always appreciate compliments.