Travel informations

  • Airports
    Sicily has two international airports:
    Punta Raisi, that is 30 km west of Palermo, and Fontanarossa, 8 km south of Catania.
    The Trapani airport, which is about 15 km south of Trapani, serves only domestic and national flights.

Business hours

  • Banks
    These are open Monday to Friday, 8:30am-1:00pm.
    There are also more and more banks that open for a few hours in the afternoon from about 3:00-4:30 pm.

    Since 2002, currency is the EU. In average, the exchange rate is US $ 1 = € 1.130.
    You will get a better exchange rate at the major banks. Large hotels, airports and railways stations also provide currency exchange services, but the rates will be lower than in the banks.

  • Churches
    Most are catholic and open only for services, which generally take place in the morning or in the evening between 5 and 7 pm.

    Church-museums open according to official opening times.

  • Museums
    Usually these are open every day, from 9:00 to 1:00pm and in the afternoon, from 3:00 to 6:30pm.
    On Sunday most of them close in the afternoon.

  • Post offices
    Open Monday to Friday, 8:15am -1:15pm. On Saturday and the last days of the month, they are open 8:15am- 12:30pm.
    They are always closed on Sundays.
    Stamps are available at post offices and authorized tobacco shops. Postcards and letters to USA cost € 0.80.

  • Restaurants
    Sicilians have their meals rather late. Restaurants usually serve at 12:30- 2-30pm and again at 7:30-11:00pm.
    Bars and cafés close earlier than restaurants, but not all of them.
    Most restaurants accept credit cards.

  • Shops
    Most shops are open 9:00-1:00pm and again in the afternoon 4:00-8.00pm.
    They are usually closed on Sundays, while there are more and more that stay open also during the “siesta time”.

  • Telephone
    Public telephones are available all over the place.
    The most common ones accept only telephone cards.
    Some accept both cards and Euro coins. You can buy phonecards at post offices, newsstands and tobacconists.
    They come with a value of around € 2.50 to € 10.00

    Remember to snap off the perforated corner before using them. Dial 00 to get out of Sicily, then the country code (1 to the US and Canada), the city codes followed by the telephone number (1 for the US for example).

  • Time
    The time in Sicily is one hour ahead of London, six hours ahead of New York and nine hours ahead of Los Angeles.

  • Electricity
    The electrical current almost everywhere in Sicily is 220 volts.

    Bring along with you an adapter for electrical appliances such as hair dryers and portable irons.

  • Language
    In most hotels and restaurants there is someone who can speak English.
    Young people tend to use it more nowadays and like trying out their skills.
    If you want to try your Italian, Sicilian will appreciate your efforts and regard them as a sign of respect.

  • Tipping
    Tipping or “mancia” is always welcome.
    In a bar is customary to pay the cashier first, then present your receipt at the counter to receive your order.
    You are not expected to tip, but you can eventually leave an extra coin.

    In a restaurant, if you are satisfied, certainly leave a tip over and above the service, which is almost always included in the bill.
    If there is no service charge, the customer might consider leaving a 10-15% tip. But do not feel obliged to do so.

    In a hotel, a porter or doorman , if he calls a taxi for you, will expect a tip.
    If you take a taxi, round off the fare shown on the meter. It is customary to tip the guides, drivers and tour leaders.

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