Money

The currency used in Sicily is the Euro, abbreviation is EUR, the symbol is .

Currency Converter

ATMs
In Sicily as in Italy ATMs machines are called “Bankomat

Important: Before leaving for Sicily contact your bank and make sure that the PINs on your bank cards and credit cards will work in Sicily with a four-digit code (six digits generally don’t work).

Credit & Debit Cards

In Sicily, MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly accepted credit cards.

Credit cards are the smart way to go when ATM fees can be exorbitant and higher traveler’s check exchange rates (plus service fees).

Emergency numbers: for Visa tel.: 800-819, for MasterCard: tel. 800-870-866, for American Express tel. 06/7220-348 (collect call)

Money Exchange

Money can be exchanged in Catania and Palermo airports (remember that fees are higher) and in the main cities of Palermo, Catania, Cefalu’, Monreale, Acireale, Messina and Taormina. Although only few bank agency make the change currency.

So we recommend, since there should be little opportunity to exchange money during the trip , to arrive with a supply of Euros to avoid any inconvenience.

Banks Service Hours: Monday through Friday 8.30 AM-13.30 PM , 14.40-16.10 PM

List of addresses of some Banks operating money exchange in Palermo and Catania Provinces

ask for “Cambio valuta dollaro Americano / Euro

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PALERMO and Province

Bank: CREDITO SICILIANO S.P.A. Add.: VIA TRIONA, 21,
City: Bisacquino, PA 90032

Bank: BANCA NUOVA S.P.A. Add. : VIA ROMA,106,
City: Isola delle Femmine – PA

Bank: MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA , Add. : PIAZZA INGHILLERI, 8
City: Monreale – PA

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA, (now Unicredit Banca)
Add. : VIA BENEDETTO D’ACQUISTO, 6 – City : Monreale – PA

Bank: MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA , Add.: PIAZZA CAPITANO LONGO, Ustica

Bank: CREDITO SICILIANO, AGENZIA N. 14 DI PALERMO
Add.:: P.ZZA VERDI, 58 – Palermo – City : Palermo

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA, (now Unicredit Banca) AGENZIA di BISACQUINO
Add.: P.ZZA TRIONA, 26 – City : Bisacquino – PA

Bank:BANCA POPOLARE ITALIANA SOC. COOPERATIVA CARINI DIP. 301
Add: PIANO BARONE, 18 – City : Carini – PA

Bank: BANCA INTESA
Add: PIAZZA CASTELNUOVO, 27-30 – Palermo – PA, City: Palermo

Bank: UNIPOL BANCA, ISOLA DELLE FEMMINE FIL. 273 – PIANO LEV
Add: VIA PIANO LEVANTE, 2 – City: Isola delle Femmine – PA

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA, (now Unicredit Banca) ISOLA DELLE FEMMINE AG.
Add.: PIANO PONENTE, 57 – City: Isola delle Femmine – PA

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA, (now Unicredit Banca) MONREALE AGENZIA
Add.: P.ZZETTA VAGLICA, 50 – City : Monreale – PA

Bank: UNIPOL BANCA, MONREALE FIL. 275 -
Add: VIA PIETRO NOVELLI, 57 – City : Monreale – PA

Bank: MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA , AG. 6
Add.: : PIAZZA CASTELNUOVO, 48 – City: Palermo

Bank: CREDITO EMILIANO, PALERMO AG. 2
Add.: PIAZZA ALBERIGO GENTILI, 10 – City : Palermo

Bank: BANCA COMMERCIALE ITALIANA, PALERMO AGENZIA N. 3
Add: PIAZZA CASTELNUOVO 26 – City : Palermo

Bank: BANCA DI PALERMO S.P.A.
Add.: VIA UMBERTO I, 14 – City: Monreale – PA

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CATANIA and Province

Bank: MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA , AG. 6
Add.: PARCO DEL SOLE – City : Catania

Bank: BANCO AMBROSIANO VENETO
Add.: VIALE PRINCIPE UMBERTO, 173 – City : Caltagirone – CT

Bank: BANCA ANTONVENETA, ACI SAN FILIPPO
Add.: PIAZZA SAN FILIPPO,9 – City : Aci Catena – CT

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA, (now Unicredit Banca) ACI CATENA AGENZIA
Add.: VIA MATRICE, ANG.VIA IV NOVEMBRE – City : Aci Catena – CT

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA, (now Unicredit Banca) AG.1 CALTAGIRONE
Add.: VIALE PRINCIPESSA MARIA, 117/119/121 – City : Caltagirone – CT

Bank: BANCO AMBROSIANO VENETO AGENZIA 1
Add.: Indirizzo: VIA ROMA, 4 – City: Caltagirone – CT

Bank: CREDITO SICILIANO, AGENZIA AGENZIA DI ACICATENA
Add.: PIANO UMBERTO, 24 – City: Acicatena CT

Bank: BANCA COMMERCIALE ITALIANA, AGENZIA DI CALTAGIRONE
Add.: VIA MADONNA DELLA VIA, 43 – City : Caltagirone – CT

Bank:BANCA AGRICOLA POPOLARE DI RAGUSA AGENZIA DI CALTAGIRONE
Add.: VIALE DELL’AUTONOMIA, 2-A – City: Caltagirone – CT

Bank: MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA , AG. DI CALTAGIRONE
Add.: VIA ARCOLEO, 164 – City: Caltagirone – CT

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA (now Unicredit Banca) AGENZIA CALTAGIRONE AG. A
Add.: PIAZZA UMBERTO I,16/18 – City: Caltagirone – CT

Bank: CREDITO SICILIANO, AGENZIA N. 1 DI CALTAGIRONE
Add.: : VIA VITTORIO EMANUELE, 2 – City: Caltagirone – CT

Bank: BANCO DI SICILIA, (now Unicredit Banca) AGENZIA DI BRONTE
Add.: PIAZZA CASTIGLIONE, 3 – City: Bronte – CT

Bank:BANCA AGRICOLA POPOLARE DI RAGUSA AGENZIA DI GRAMMICHELE
Add.: CORSO CAVOUR, 94 – City: Grammichele – CT

Bank: CREDITO SICILIANO, AGENZIA DI GRAMMICHELE
Add.: P.ZZA CARLO MARIA CARAFA, 43 – City: Grammichele – CT

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SICILY BY CAR & BUS

Driving in Sicily can be difficult for a stranger for few simple but significant reasons: rules are very often not respected and traffic is chaotic, although driving a car or a bike on motorways is relatively easy, in city center you might experience some unpleasant surprises. Italians drive very fast as if they always have a very important appointment and are in late! Scooters and bikes have they own rules independent from the rest of other vehicles passing from right to the left of your car and sometimes do not stop at the red lights.

So if you really want to rent a car and drive keep calm and observe how Sicilians drive. It might appear strange but the percentage of accident in Sicily are lower then other part of Italy, all despite this “organize chaos”! You may hire an English speaking driver !

Speed limits on

Highways: 90-120 Km/h;

Super Strada: 50-90 Km/h;

city streets and internal routes: 30-50 Km/h

Highways, Super Strade or Strade Veloci, (super roads), Strade Statali (roads)

In Sicily big cities as well as main tourist destinations from East to West or North to South are connected by modern highways (follow the signs A as in Autostrada) and, this is a good news, majority of them are free of charge!

Sometimes you find the internal routes as “Super Strade or Strade Veloci” (super roads, sign SS or SV), where you can drive faster. They are wider roads then the “strade statali”, generally very narrow specially in the historic city centers.

For further information go to : Sicily Maps MAPPA AUTOSTRADALE SICILIA

TARGA FLORIO FOR CAR RALLY LOVERS

If you want to relive the excitement of driving the oldest circuit rally in the world you “must” head from Palermo to the mountains of Madonie (Palermo province) where the famous open road endurance automobile “Targa Florio” has been held since 1906. The race was created in 1906 by the wealthy pioneer race driver and automobile enthusiast, Vincenzo Florio, who had started the Coppa Florio race in Brescia and Lombardy in 1900. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973.

By the mid-1920s, the Targa Florio had become one of Europe’s most important races, as neither the 24 Hours of Le Mans nor the Mille Miglia had been established yet. Grand Prix races were still isolated events, not a series like today’s F1.

Over the years, the greats of Grand Prix racing and Formula One such as Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio, Belgium’s Olivier Gendebien and Britain’s Stirling Moss came to challenge Italian champions Tazio Nuvolari, Alfieri Maserati, Achille Varzi and others, like local hero Nino Vaccarella

DRIVERS QUICK TIPS Highways, Super Strade , Strade Statali (roads)

Autostrade per l’Italia (highways for Italy)
Web (only Italian) www. AutostradeSiciliane.it

Emergency Numbers
113 Police or 112 Carabinieri

SOS pedestals, connected to “Centro Radio del CAS”, are located, in both directions every 2 Km. Users, alternatively, can directly call the Centro Radio Tel: 090 364373 – active 24 hours in case of breakdown.

Link for Gas Station and Services Areas

Sicilian Highway codes A19 Palermo-Catania, A29 Palermo-Mazara, A8 Messina-Catania- Siracusa , A 20 Messina-Palermo, A18 Siracusa-Gela (not completed yet)

SS624 Palermo-Sciacca

CAR RENTAL
You can rent a car directly at the airports or in the biggest cities and important tourist destinations.

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SICILY BY BUS

Going around Sicily by bus can be fun and even faster then by train. Here the list of bus transportation companies and routes

A.S.T. Azienda Siciliana Trasporti Palermo 091.6208111, Catania:+39 095.7230535
Web:
www.aziendasicilianatrasporti.it/ (only in Italian) mail: info@astsicilia.it

Catania Tel: 095.7230511

Main routes: Acicastello – Acitrezza – Avola – Belpasso – Buccheri – Caltagirone – Cassibile – Catania Aeroporto – Chiaramonte Gulfi – Donnalucata – Ferla – Grammichele – Gravina – Ispica – Mazzarone – Melilli – Milazzo – Milo – Mineo – Misterbianco – Modica – Motta S.Anastasia – Nicolosi – Noto – Palagonia – Palazzo Acreide – Pedara – Piazza Armerina – Pozzallo – Ramacca – S.Alfio – Scicli – Sigonella – Siracusa – Sortino – Terme Vigliatore – Viagrande – Vittoria – Zafferana Etnea.

From Palermo Tel +39 091.6208111

Main routes: Bagheria – Borgetto – Burgio – Caltagirone – Caltanissetta – Caltavuturo – Campobello di Licata – Campofiorito – Capaci – Carini – Castelbuono – Castronovo di Sicilia – Chiusa Scafani – Cinisi – Comiso – Corleone – Ficarazzi – Gibellina – Isnello
Lercara Freddi – Marineo – Mezzojuso – Misilmeri – Modica – Monreale – Montelepre – Palazzo Adrano – Partinico – Poggioreale – Ragusa – San Giuseppe Jato – Termini Imerese – Terrasini – Ventimiglia – Villabate – Vittoria.

SAIS Autolinee Tel +39 095.536168 Via D’Amico, 181.
Web: http://www.saisautolinee.it/regionali.htm

From Catania: Terminal Bus Piazza Staz. FS (Train Station Square)
Main routes: Palermo – Messina – Enna – Agrigento.

From Enna: Terminal Bus Viale Diaz Tel +39 0935.500902
Main routes: Aeroporto di Catania – Aidone – Calascibetta – Caltagirone – Caltanissetta – Catania – Cefalù – Enna – Gangi (Palermo) Gela (Caltanissetta) – Mazzarino (Caltanissetta) – Mirabella Impaccari (Catania) – Palermo – Piazza Armerina – Pietraperzia (Palermo) Raddusa.

From Messina: Terminal Bus P.zza Repubblica,6 (P.zza Staz. FS) Tel +39 090.771914
Main routes: Catania – Palermo.

From Palermo: Terminal Bus Via P. Balsamo,16 (P.zza Staz. FS) Tel +39 091.6166028
Main routes: Aeroporto di Catania – Caltagirone – Catania – Enna – Gela (Caltanissetta) – Messina – Pergusa (Enna) – Piazza Armerina (Enna).

Etna Trasporti
Web: http://www.etnatrasporti.it/
From Catania: Terminal Bus via D’Amico, 181 Tel +39 095.532716

Main routes: from Catania airport to: Aidone – Caltagirone – Fiumefreddo – Floridia – Gela – Giardini Naxos – Giarre – Linguaglossa – Mazzarino – Niscemi – Palagonia – Patti – Piedimonte Etneo – Raddusa – Ragusa – Randazzo – Ramacca – Recanati
Licata – Piazza Armerina – Ragusa – Marina di Ragusa – S. Croce Camerina – Taormina – Valguarnera – Vizzini.

Interbus
Web http://www.interbus.it/Home.aspx

From Catania Terminal Bus via D’Amico 187 Tel +39 095.532716
or from Catania Airport:

Main routes: Agira – Alì – Assoro – Avola – Catania aeroporto – Enna – Fiumefreddo di Sicilia – Floridia – Furci Siculo – Giardini Naxos – Leonforte – Letojanni – Messina – Nicosia – Nizza di Sicilia – Noto – Pachino – Portopalo – Regalbuto – Roccalumera
Santa Teresa di Riva – Scaletta Zanclea – Siracusa – Solarino – Taormina – Troina.

From Enna: Terminal Bus: via Roma, 353 Tel +39 0935.565111
Main routes: Adrano – Agira – Biancavilla – Catania – Leonforte – Nissoria – Paternò.

Main routes: Acireale – Bronte – Castiglione di Sicilia – Fiumefreddo di Sicilia – Gaggi – Giarre – Letojanni – Maletto – Mistretta – Reitano – S.Alessio – Taromina.

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Sicily By Train

Unfortunately Sicily has one of the oldest and worst and train service in Europe . Think about this negative record that due to: lack of investments by the national rail service, old cars, sometimes in some rail routes still have 50 year old locomotives. Although the Sicilian coastal railway lines are very suggestive along the north coast such as (Palermo – Messina , a route that still has only one rail track ) or th “Ferrovia Circumetnea” which runs along the Mount Etna. In few words believe or not the Sicilian train system is slower then one hundred year ago: for instance if you want to reach Siracusa from Palermo would take you more then six hours, instead less then three hours by bus or car.

While in the north part of Italy we have “Freccia Rossa”(FRECCIAROSSA are trains that run through the high-speed rail tracks between Turin and Salerno traveling up to 300km / h with fast and frequent connections) in Sicily we might have the “LUMACA VERDE” (green like the bile of Sicilian travelers and slow as the snail).

Long delays are considered “normal” although good services are guaranteed to and from Palermo and Catania airports. So if you really want to take the train in Sicily: good luck, ” “keep calm and take it easy’!

Ferrovie dello Stato Tel: 892021 in Italy , from abroad: Tel +39 06.68475475

Web link : Trenitalia.com (English)
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Sicilian Festivals, Traditional Celebration and Events all year around

In an land with such rich and complex history as Sicily’s, the variety and number of cultural events and local traditional festivals is enormous. Whatever the seasons and everywhere in the island, there will always be something going on.

All towns and villages have its patron saint who is duly celebrated with processions through the streets, spectacular firework displays and plenty of traditional food and drink. Two of the most spectacular and important are in Palermo and Catania, dedicated to Santa Rosalia (U’ Fistinu every in the first half of July fro 3-5 days) and Sant’Agata (celebrated twice a year, first on 3rd – 5th February, to remember her martyrdom, and on 17th August, records the return of her mortal remains to the city from Constantinople in 1126) Both remembered with enormous celebrations and huge crowds coming from all over the world.

The Good Friday and Easter in Sicily “Venerdi’ Santo e la Pasqua”

Easter certainly is a great time to come to Sicily, here is where mother nature shows her first signs of Springtime or “Primavera”. Here pagan traditions religious festivities that have been incorporated to celebrate “the awakening of life ” both spiritual and physical.

“The masked processions on Good Friday” are certainly some of the most moving expressions of Sicilian religious culture, and can be seen in towns, city boroughs, large and small villages, all over in Sicily.
One of the most picturesque is the “ Processione dei Misteri” of Trapani”, in which twenty wooden sculptures are carried through the town.

Very unique are the “Ballo dei Diavoli” at Prizzi (PA)

Man can not live on religion alone, however, and even the most revered saint may be forgotten when a Sicilian’s stomach begins to rumble. As a result God Food is celebrated with earnest devotion, and most small towns and villages in the hinterland spend a few days every year celebrating the fruits of their agricultural labours, whether it be artichokes in Cerda, pistachios in Bronte, Slow Food capers in Salina, cous cous in San Vito Lo Capo or sausages in Caccamo. These sagre – food festivals – offer an excellent excuse to visit places you might otherwise have neglected while having an excellent meal at the same time!

While most Sicilian towns can claim a patron saint or a gastronomic speciality others prefer to celebrate their uniqueness in other ways. Piazza Armerina, for example, celebrates its history with a Norman-Arab jousting tournament, Caltagirone annually illuminates the 142 ceramic-tiled steps of the Scala di Santa Maria del Monte, Sciacca, Acireale and other towns launch themselves into a good old pagan carnevale, San Vito Lo Capo puts on a kite festival, while Noto invites artists to cover one of its streets with petal mosaics – the Infiorata.

Culture with a capital C is also wonderfully varied and includes international opera seasons at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Greek theatre festivals and other events in the original theatres of Syracuse, Segesta and Tindari, and a WOMAD festival in Taormina.

So, if you really want to get under Sicily’s skin and learn what makes its people tick, just turn up to one of these events (or one of the hundreds we haven’t had space to mention here) and let yourself be swept along by the passion, the sense of fun and the hospitality of your fellow revellers.

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