Favignana is an island gem off the coast of Sicily that will have you questioning whether you’re in the Maldives or in Italy.Read More →
Technically, Sicily remains as an autonomous region of Italy. Although most of its autonomous rights aren’t practiced now but they're still written in laws.
Italy is on Central European Time (CET) during most of the year, and Central European Summer Time (CET+1) during daylight savings time/the summer.
Italy is part of the Schengen Agreement, meaning that entering Italy from most other parts of the EU is pretty easy. There are no border checkpoints or customs. Document and customs checks remain standard if arriving from (or departing to) a non-Schengen country.
If you are an EU or Swiss citizen, you can travel to Italy with your national identity card alone. All other nationalities need a valid passport. Visas are not generally required if you are staying less than 90 days (or at all for EU citizens), for citizens of countries including, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA.
If you are entering Italy for more than 90 days or for any reason other than tourism (such as study or work) you may need a specific visa. See vistoperitalia.esteri.it or contact an Italian consulate for details.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your departure date from Italy.
Sicily is generally safe for tourists, including female solo travelers. None of the island’s nine provinces cracked the top-10 list for crime rate in Italy in 2019, making it a far safer region than Milan or Florence. Visitors should still remain alert to prevent petty crime, though.
Sicily has a Mediterranean climate, which consists of hot summers and short, mild winters. It rains most in the winter months, while there are approximately 2,500 hours of sunshine each year. July and August are the island’s hottest months, while its coldest ones are January, February and March.
Sicilian is still spoken on the islands but most locals speak Italian. Here are a few words to get you through a trip.
Hello/Goodbye = Ciao (informal)
Good morning/Hello = Buongiorno
Good afternoon/Good evening = Buonasera
Goodbye = Arriverderci
Goodnight = Buonanotte
Yes = Sì
No = No
Please = Per favore
Thank you = Grazie (grah-tsee-eh)
You’re welcome = Prego
I’m sorry = Mi dispiace
Excuse me/I’m sorry = Scusa
Do you speak English? = Parla inglese?
I don’t speak Italian = Non parlo italiano
Here are some things to keep in mind when staying in Sicily:
- When greeting a stranger, shake their hand and say “buongiorno” or “buonasera.” When greeting a friend, kiss both their cheeks and say “come stai?”
- Say “mi scusi” when trying to grab someone’s attention and “permesso” when you’re trying to pass someone.
- Cover shoulders and thighs when visiting churches and other religious sites.
Italy uses Euros (€) as their currency. You’ll be able to find ATMs everywhere throughout the country. Most places will accept credit cards but prefer you pay with cash. They also don’t like splitting the bill with multiple cards so keep that in mind if you’re with a group.
Tipping! It’s not necessary, as many places have a service charge already included in the bill.
Like the rest of Europe, Italy uses one of the two European standard electrical socket types, with voltage of 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts.) Your converter should look like this:
Although most Sicilians have mineral water with their meals, you can fill up your bottles from public drinking fountains almost anywhere on the island. The tap water is safe.
Several towns in Sicily offer free Wi-Fi, allowing users to access the Internet in parks, public squares and train stations. Many hotels and restaurants also offer Wi-Fi to their patrons.
Taxis are expensive in Sicily, and Uber and Lyft do not operate on the island. To get around, you can take a bus or train, as both are generally affordable, or use a carpooling service like BlaBlaCar.
Catania and Palermo are among the most popular cities for LGBTQ+ travelers. Known for their authentic food and bustling nightlife, these locations are home to several gay bars and clubs.
You can check out EXIT10 & LOVE, which features dance parties, go-go dancers and drag shows, or South Factory Club Sauna Cruising, which has a Finnish sauna, large hot tub, darkroom and massage services.