SICILY HOLIDAY ADVICE

VOLCANO TIPS
Marta Marinelli, from our supplier Exodus, shares her tips and advice on visiting Sicily.

VOLCANO TIPS

“For me, the Aeolian Islands are the best location to visit as, depending on visibility, the active lava and views of the Tyrrhenian Sea from the summits of the volcanoes are simply stunning. We had to wear a helmet when we undertook the moderate to challenging trek up the side of Stromboli and stood just 50 metres away from the bright red lava fire. It was a breathtaking, yet totally safe, experience.”
CULTURAL ADVICE

Cultural advice

“Sicily is a melting pot of civilisations, the place in Italy where the highest amount of cultures have crossed, and much more than just the obvious highlights. The UNESCO region of Val di Noto in the southeast of Sicily is certainly somewhere that I’d recommend and you’ll find some of the island’s best examples of baroque architecture in towns like Noto, Modica and Ragusa. The temples of Agrigento are also worth seeing.”
TIPS ON WHAT TO EAT

Tips on what to eat

“Sicily’s cuisine bursts with Mediterranean flavours. It has all the classic Italian ingredients but with exotic twists coming from the various civilisations, like the Arabs, which have occupied the island over the years. The ingredients are fresh and the vegetables are some of the tastiest you can find in Europe, thanks to the fertile soil and year-round sunshine. Interestingly, juicy tomatoes, pistachios, oranges and lemon zest are used as dressing in a lot of recipes and give a really unique flavour to pasta and fish dishes, unique to Sicily.
The classic Sicilian specialities such as arancini and cannoli are now world famous and some of the most popular food choices amongst visitors, but my tip is to be adventurous and go for the dishes or ingredients combinations you would normally not go for. Who would have thought that a sandwich of pork spleen (pani ca meusa), pasta with sardines, chickpea fritters (pane e panelle) or pasta with sea urchins would be so amazingly tasty? I’d also recommend visiting Palermo. Although it is quite a dark and mysterious city, a bit like Naples, it’s also amazing for food and anyone interested in cooking or just eating should definitely give it a go.”

Our top Sicily Vacation

Family activity vacation to Sicily, Etna to Isola Bella

Family activity vacation to Sicily, Etna to Isola Bella

Family active vacation to Sicily, volcanoes, walks & water

From £910 to £1250 8 days inc UK flights
Small group travel:
2019: 25 May, 2 Jul, 9 Jul, 16 Jul, 23 Jul, 30 Jul, 6 Aug, 13 Aug, 20 Aug
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Sicily or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

HEALTH & SAFETY IN SICILY

HEALTH

Summer temperatures can be searing, especially in July and August. If planning anything active be sure to carry plenty of water, and take a break between 12-4pm to avoid the risk of sunstroke and dehydration. If you need emergency treatment – medical or dental – head to casualty (pronto soccorso) at the nearest hospital. For EU citizens, the EHIC card provides cover for most medical care at public hospitals in Italy. Be sure to also have travel insurance in place in case you need emergency repatriation. The standard of healthcare is generally good, though public hospitals may look less impressive in Sicily than in Milan, say. Hiking on Stromboli and Etna can be very dusty, and may not suitable for asthma sufferers. If you use an inhaler, seek advice before you try these treks. To call an ambulance, dial 118.

SAFETY

Italy is an earthquake zone, as it sits on the convergence of the African and Eurasian plates. The central and southern part of the country, including Sicily, is at highest risk, but you’d be extremely unlucky to be affected by one. To be on the safe side, read the advice on what to do before, during and after an earthquake on the Italian Civil Protection website. Travelers should take all the usual precautions against petty crime, particularly in larger cities, where bag snatching and pick pocketing can be an issue. If you need to call the police, the number is 113. The driving in Sicily can be unsafe. Take care at zebra crossings; vehicles are supposed to stop by law but they generally don’t! Women travelers in Sicily – particularly solo women – may find themselves the focus of attention from Italian men. In some areas, you may find yourself subject to outright staring or persistent approaches from would-be Casanovas. The best response is usually to just ignore them. If that doesn't work, politely tell your admirers you are waiting for your husband (marito) or boyfriend (fidanzato), and walk away. Remember it’s compulsory throughout Italy to carry ID with you at all times. Generally, a photocopy of your passport is sufficient, but you may need to show your full passport if stopped when driving. If you plan to walk on Etna or the volcanic Aeolian Islands, walking poles are essential to help you cope with the hilly lava, rocky ash and sandy terrain. Gaiters are also a good idea, to stop ash getting in your boots. Bring warm and waterproof clothes, too.

TIPS FROM OUR TRAVELLERS IN SICILY

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.
We have selected some of the most useful Sicily travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation – and the space inside your suitcase.
When visiting Etna make sure you have adequate warm/waterproof clothing.
Diana Grant
“Learn a bit of Italian, especially for food items – makes it just that bit easier and more enjoyable! (Makes the locals happy too).” – Meiling Aw

“Do some training riding up hills! On two of the days there are very long climbs (and very long descents afterwards). Bring clothes for a wide range of weathers if traveling in April as it can be cool and wet, but when the sun comes out it can also get pretty hot.” – Wendy Pillar on a cycling vacation

“Take your swimmers.” – Liz Adams
Be prepared for a lot of boat travel around the islands
– Hazel Geatches on a walking vacation including the Aeolian Islands
Written by Joanna Simmons
Photo credits: [Page banner: Gandolfo Cannatella] [Volcano Tips: HopeHill] [Cultural Advice: ro431977] [Tips on what to eat (market): Jeanne Menjoulet] [Tips on what to eat : Guillaume Flambeau Von ] [Health and Safety: kuhnmi] [Review introduction: Daniel Fazio] [Review 1 - Diana Grant: Daniel Enchev] [Review 2 - Hazel Geachtes: Jorge Franganillo]
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