The oldest sports car racing event in the world!


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.

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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USA Embassy in Sicily and South of Italy

US Consul General Naples
U.S. Consul General Colombia A. Barrosse
Naples Embassy Address
Piazza della Repubblica
80122 Naples, Italy
Tel.(+39) 081.5838.111
Fax (+39) 081.7611.869

For Sicily and all the regions of South of Italy the USA Embassy to be referred to is the USA Embassy of Naples : The Naples consular district includes the regions of Campania, Molise, Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria, and Sicilia.

Web: USA Embassy Web-site

Emergency telephone number: (+39) 081.583.8111

U.S. Consular Agency, Palermo

The American Mission to Italy has Consular Agents located in Palermo. These agents provide emergency services to American citizens, along with limited passport assistance. This includes the forwarding of passport applications to the appropriate office for processing.

Adrress: Via Vaccarini, 1 – 90143 Palermo Phone: (+39) 091-305-857

Service Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00-12:00 noon

Web: http://naples.usconsulate.gov/about-us/regional-offices.html

Health Issues

Web: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/health/health_4971.html

Travel tips for American Citizens

Country Specific Information:
Italy, Holy See (Vatican City) and San Marino

Web: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1146.html

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USEFUL EMERGENCY NUMBERS and INFORMATION

Communication in English

Although majority of Sicilians study English at schools the comprehension and conversation via phone with representatives can be a problem. In case of emergency make sure that at least you’re able to give your name, location and/or address.

In case of an Urgent or life-threatening situation we suggest that you contact the Police or Carabinieri emergency numbers first. Emergency numbers are national and always diverted to the nearest local police station.

Carabinieri CARABINIERI Tel: 112 toll free (numero verde)
Web: http://www.carabinieri.it/CCWeb/cc_sito.jsp
This police department has a station also in all cities and little villages of Sicily.
Carabinieri Polizia Tel: 113
POLIZIA di STATO (State Police) Tel: 113 (toll free)
web: http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10619-English/
List of Police Stations in Italy (questure)
Web: http://questure.poliziadistato.it/
Car emergency (ACI) Tel : 116
Environmental Emergency toll free number 1515
Legambiente Sicilia Web: www.legambientesicilia.it
Coast Guard emergency at sea
Tel: 1530 Emergenze in Mare, Guardia Costiera

Sicily is the biggest Island of the Mediterranean sea with more then 1000 Kilometers of coastline. Together with the “minor islands” off the coast: (Aeolian Islands, N-East), (Egadi Islands, N-West), Ustica, North of Palermo, ( Lampedusa and Pantelleria, far South), Sicily is the ideal place for a boat-tour or a beach vacation.
Please visit this link to know about the 47 Coast Guard Commands in Sicily

For further information about “Sicily by boat” visit: Siciliana.it/Sicily by boat

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MEDICAL EMERGENCY

farmacia logo Ambulance and Health emergency Tel: 118 toll free (numero verde)
In case of illness go to the nearest First Aid (Pronto Soccorso). Another option is to go to the doctor on duty (guardia medica) or the guardia medica turistica at vacation resorts they are present in all villages and cities and open to the public by law 24/7.
farmacia logo Drugstores/Pharmacies
Most doctors in Sicily understand English, but just in case, you can ask your hotel concierge or a friend to explain the symptoms or the issues with your health.
If you need medicines urgently, in Sicily by law every municipality must have at least one pharmacy on duty 24/7. That includes Sundays and. Each pharmacy will have a sign posted indicating the name and address of the local pharmacy on duty for that date.When in doubt you can search online typing the frase: “Farmacie di turno” and/or “Farmacie Notturne”.
Mushroom’s IntoxicationIf you love going for mushroom picking in Sicily be very careful, as you know they can be very poisoning!

Here infos about the official center for mushroom’s intoxication in Sicily:

PALERMO:
Centro di riferimento Tossicologia Clinica Complesso di Anestesia e Rianimazione

Ospedale Bucchieri La Ferla

address: Via Messina Marine, 197, 90123, Palermo
Tel: 091 479 499, Fax: 091 621 62 40
mail: lanza@unipa.itamedeo@pc3bucchieri.unipa.it

CATANIA
Rianimazione “Antonella Caruso”  Ospedale Garibaldi  Dipartimento di Emergenza

address: Piazza S.M. Gesu’ Tel: 095 7594032 Toll free: 800 410989 Fax: 095 325 686
mail: serpi@rianimazione.org

 

Here some web-links but only in Italian and we do not guarantee the up to date of data, in any case can be useful:

PALERMO and Province list of pharmacies
Nocturnal (search for “notturne”)
Link: http://www.ordinefarmacistipalermo.it/index.php?page=farmacie&sub=notturne
On Duty (search for “di turno”)
Link: http://www.ordinefarmacistipalermo.it/index.php?page=farmacie&sub=turno

CATANIA and Province
Nocturnal (search for “notturne”)
Link: http://www.ordinefarmacisticatania.it/turni/searchturni.aspx
On Duty(search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link http://www.ordinefarmacisticatania.it/turni/searchturni.aspx

MESSINA and Province
On Duty (search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link : http://www.tuttocitta.it/farmacie-aperte/messina

TRAPANI and Province
On Duty (search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link: http://www.tuttocitta.it/farmacie-aperte/trapani

ENNA and Province
On Duty (search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link: http://www.tuttocitta.it/farmacie-aperte/enna

AGRIGENTO and Province
On Duty (search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link: http://www.tuttocitta.it/farmacie-aperte/agrigento

CALTANISSETTA and Province
On Duty (search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link: http://www.tuttocitta.it/farmacie-aperte/caltanissetta

RAGUSA and Province
On Duty (search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link: http://www.tuttocitta.it/farmacie-aperte/ragusa

SIRACUSA and Province
On Duty (search for “ farmacie di turno or aperte”)
Link: http://www.tuttocitta.it/farmacie-aperte/siracusa

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TELEPHONE AND INTERNET

You can bring your own cell phone with you making sure that your device supports the European telephone network carrier (must be a new generation device or tri-quadruple-band). It’s better to contact your cell phone company and get further information before your departure.

In Sicily you could also rent an Italian cell phone “pay as you go”. You can call abroad using an International phone card (carta telefonica internazionale) asking that you need it for USA and Canada. Remember call from the hotel can be very, extremely expensive!

Call USA and Canada from Sicily: dial 001 for US + area code + your number

Call Sicily from USA and Canada : dial 011 + area code + your number

All cities and major tourist destinations are covered with internet service, mostly high speed, although to find “free WIFI” is very rear. Internet Service points are also available almost everywhere in Sicily.

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SHOPPING IN SICILY

From luxury to convenience stores and big mall are available in Sicily. Here you can find very original creations and unique handicraft such as the famous ceramics, elegant jewelry and fashion, leather and prêt a porter items.

Business Hours — Monday to Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM and 4 to 8 or 9 PM. The lunch break (mid-afternoon siesta) is observed in Sicily, though the shops on big malls (generally located outside the city center) and main thoroughfares in the big cities (for ex. Via Ruggero Settimo, Via Maqueda, in Palermo and Via Etnea, Corso Italia in Catania) stay open through lunchtime. Shops, unless in special occasions are generally closed. Popular Tourist destinations might have different business hours specially in Summer, and Christmas. Banking hours vary from town to town, but in general are Monday to Friday 8:30am to 1:20pm and 3 to 4pm.

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Mail & Post Offices

Mail delivery was infamously bad, but nowadays all post offices are mostly private corporations and better organized.

In certain days the main reason why post offices are so crowded just for even simple things like parcel-shipping or buying stamps may require a frustratingly long wait. You can avoid lines buying stamps at Tabacchi (tobacco shops). A stamp for a postcard within the E.U. costs .65€, for the U.S. & Canada .85€, for Australia and New Zealand 1€.
Other Private shipping companies are available in big cities, medium towns, and popular tourist destinations, such as: United Parcel, Fed Ex and so on.

To locate the nearest post office and other information or visit www.posteitaliane.it.

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Mini-cruise to the Island of the Currents

An excursion by boat is the best way you can choose to cross the beautiful sea in the far south of Sicily. Boarding either rubber dinghies, motorboats or sailboats your experience starts from the Marina Marzamemi, and explores a stretch of coastline unspoilt. At 7.30am you set sail for the Isle of Capo Passero, just opposite the village of Portopalo.

You will arrive on the island by sea, but in summer, at low tide, the island can also be reached on foot from Portopalo, thanks to a sandy isthmus that joins the mainland. Navigating around the island, you can see the Cave of the Octopus and the small traps which were used to catch tuna that once swam under the tip of the island.

To the north of Capo Passero stands the fortress from the XVII century, commissioned by Philip III, grandson of Charles V, to look out for ships and fight the Saracen pirate raids. At Portopalo, at the extreme southern tip of Sicily, the rhythm is slow and life relaxed. Due to its strategic position, Portopalo was in previous centuries a trading port of considerable importance for those who had sailed the Mediterranean.

The current village, which dates back to XIX century, was established around a few old fishermen’s houses, still visible, in a stretch of coastline called Scalo Mandrie, just opposite the island of Capo Passero.

Continue sailing to the Isola delle Correnti known as surfer’s paradise. A small rocky island, round in shape, located where the Mediterranean meets the Ionian sea, creating strong currents which are also fueled by the winds that often blow up this stretch of coast. You will see the windsurfers whizzing sails, opened for their maximum enjoyment. Returning to port, go to the beach for a barbecue near the sea.

Plan your cruise with the diving center El Cachalot, they are expert and will arrange it all for you so all you have to do is have fun!

Distance 6km fromPachino (SR)

To visit Marzamemi and Portopalo:
from Pachino (Siracusa) take the SP84 and SP21

Suggested by Amuni’Sicily

El Cachalote Diving Center
Marzamemi (SR)
Tel +39 0931. 801107 Mobile +39 331.9265249 Mobile 366.3188452

Web: www.elcachalote.com

Snorkeling and birdwatching at Vendicari

To get away from the city and get touch with nature, visit the Nature Reserve of Vendicari: an oasis of sand, rocks and natural lakes. We recommend that you enter from the north gate Eloro, just 8 km from Noto, to enjoy a more complete tour of the oasis.

This takes in the Big and the SmallLakes,The Swabian Tower and The Tonnara.

All around you are, ancient ruins and archaeological excavations testifying the Hellenistic, Byzantine and Medieval tracks in the reserve. Bring binoculars, because the reserve is home to many varieties of birds, over 180. Several varieties of plants, along with freshwater and brackish lakes, creating ideal conditions for a natural balance between land and water. Some flamingos, herons and moorhensmay come close to you, as they live in the reserve. But the true stars here are the thousands of ducks wading in a freshwater lake. If you arrive from Pachino , the city of the famous “cherry tomato” and fine wines, in the South, the gate to the Reserve is Cittadella.

Halfway along SP19 road, however, you will find the Calamosche entrance, certainly the best known because it leads to a paradise beach . Almost 1km in length, the path is rough and can be done on foot only. So do not forget hats and plenty of fresh water. At the end of the path, after 120 steps, a wonderful sight is in front of you.

Crystal clear waters there to be explored by snorkeling.

N.B. bring your need for your stay as the beach is not equipped.

Distance
85 km from Catania
30 Km fromNoto

by Car
From Catania: Autostrada Siracusa-Catania (Highway E45) exit to Cassibile,take the SS115 road to Noto then take the SP19 Noto-Pachino . Proceed for 8Km then you’ll find directions to the left to Riserva di Vendicari

Parking only during the Summer season
Auto € 3
Motorbike € 3
Camper or AR € 12

Bus
AST linea Catania-Siracusa-Modica Tel +39 0931.46271

SAIS from Catania – Tel +39 095.536168


Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

Azienda Regionale Foreste Demaniali

Via Giovanni alle Catacombe – Siracusa
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To Pantalica – First caves of the Mankind

Incredible but true! At Pantalica you will see over 5000 necropoles (which are old graves) naturally formed or dug out of limestone cliffs from approximately 70.000 years ago.

Visit the Palace of Anaktoron, a megalithic building dating back to the first age of Pantalica, believed to have been built between 11th – 13th Century BC. Here the vegetation is vibrant and luxurious, with many nature trails and abundant wildlife. You have to enter dark tunnels to reach the small oasis of natural stones and water (ponds formed from waterfalls) anddense green forests – remember to bring a battery torchlight with you. It’s best to stay on the designated track, but follow the signs along the trails.

The Reserve of Pantalica can be explored only on foot, so wear comfortable shoes and a swimsuit if you want to swim in the lakes.

Bill Gates visited once and fell in love with this reserve.

Please remember that cars are not allowed to help preserve the area. Pantalica is in Sortino – Ferla, in the province of Siracusa.

by Car
A18 (Highway 18) Messina-Catania-Siracusa direction Siracusa, exit Floridia, Valle dell’Anapo SP28, follow directions to Sortino, drive 9 km

GPS +37° 7′ 39.33″, +15° 0′ 15.64″


Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

The Museum of the Landing in Sicily.

The Exhibition Centre – Le Ciminiere is located very close to Catania railway station and hosts “The Museum of the Landing in Sicily”, which shows a dramatic period in the history of Italy.
It was in 1943 that the Allied forces landed in Sicily, in the area between Gela and Licata (US Forces), Catania and Siracusa (British Army) , to liberate our country from German occupation. In the 3000 square meters dedicated to the museum, the highlights of the landing are traced through historical videos and displays of authentic pictures. Children may mistake the wax figures for real people!
Film lovers will be impressed by the special effects of sound and motion that simulate a bombing raid from within a bunker! The Museum, created by Catania’s Regional Province Institution, helps to keep alive our most recent history which saw our parents and grandparents, Italian / non Italian, fight a common enemy: Fascist and Nazis.

The Museum of the landing in Sicily
“Le Ciminiere” Catania- viale Africa Tel +39 095.4011929

Opening times: Tuesday/Sunday from 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. ( last admission 12.30 p.m.)
Tuesday and Thursday also from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m. ( last admission at 5 p.m.)
Closed on Mondays.

Trekking through the Gorges of the Alcantara River

The Fluvial Park of Alcantara covers a large region between Randazzo and Giardini di Naxos. In particular the gorges and ravines of Alcantara are located at Francavilla di Sicilia. The ravines are over 25 meters high and give life to an exciting spectacular canyon, gushing with water!
Access to the gorge is via a number of steps. The waters of the river are icy: in the deeper parts they do not exceed 10 degrees Celsius – not ideal to take a dip in! However, there is an opportunity for tourists to hire waterproofs and thigh-high waders to experience the fantastic rock formations and the highest cliffs. There are opportunities for sunbathing on the banks of the Gurne, natural lakes created by the river through the canyon.

Please note “never do it on winter time”, temperature maybe too low. Horse riding lovers can go for a ride along the horse paths recently arranged. For those who love trekking why not secure the services of Byron Tours, who offer a range of excursions around the area to take in the beautiful flora and fauna of the Gurne Path of Alcantara.

by Car
A18 Messina-Catania-Siracusa exit Giardini di Naxos, follow direction to Francavilla SS185

by Bus:
AST – Etna Trasporti

Distance : 13km from Giardini di Naxos

Parco Fluviale dell’Alcantara, CT

Via dei Mulini 98034 Francavilla di Sicilia Tel +39 0942.989911
Web: www.parcoalcantara.it

Suggested by Amunì:
Escursioni Byron Excursions

Tel +39 095.2936637; mobile +39 340.6006591
Web: www.byronge.com

ETNA TOURS

On the slopes of Etna, in the resort of St.Alfio, stands the oldest tree in Europe: ” The Chestnut of a Hundred Horses”.

So called because the legend tells that Queen of Sicily, Joanna I of Angiò, who ended the battle of ninety years of Catania in 1347, during a hunting expedition on Mount Etna, was caught by a storm and found shelter, along with her hundred knights, just below the famous Chestnut Tree.

Withover 62 metersin circumference,25 metersin height and an approximateage of between 2000 and 4000 years, the Chestnut is now considered the oldest and largest tree in Europe. In addition it has been in The Guinness Book of Records since 18 May 2008, as part of world heritage asset, given the title ofMessenger of Peace in the World. This is because it is classed as the desired destination at any time, a refuge for men and women from all classes, all united by the common spirit to find themselves through peaceful contact with the uncontaminated nature.

San’.Alfio is also famous for the production of typical products of Etna Park such asalmond, pistachio, hazelnut, walnutandhoneypaste. In restaurants and farm holidays in the area you can enjoy the specialties such as freshhomemade pastawith pork sauce, withmushrooms, with wild fennel and with chestnuts. Try theBBQ meat and cheese.

Distance fromCatania38 km

by Train
S
Giarre/Risposto railway station 10 km from St.Alfio

by Car
A18 (highway 18) Messina-Catania-Siracusa exit Giarre, take SP5-I, drive for about 6km direction Macchia di Giarre, then Paoli Primo and Sant’Alfio.

The trails of Etna

For those who want to spend more time discovering the natural beauty of Etna Park, there are alternative ways to explore it.

Always accompanied by experienced guides you can take a tour of the volcano starting from the town of Nicolosi or Zafferana Etnea. Etna Park offers different paths, easy or medium difficulty, on foot or by mountain bike.

Some of them are:

Etna South:
Sentiero Monte Nero degli Zappini , 4 km return (2h 30m), is ideal for trekking and mountain biking. It starts from Piano Vetore and comes to Santa Barbara Refugee, passing through the lava flow of 1985.

Etna North-East:
Sentiero Pietracannone-Cubania 4 km return (2h), is ideal for easy trekking. It starts on the road Mareneve, Case di Pietracannone homes, beyond Milo and St. Alfio, it ends at the Paternò Castello Refugee, passing over the lava flow of 1971.

Etna North-East:
Sentiero Monti Sartorius 4 km return (2h), is ideal for trekking, half and half on a bike. It starts from and returns to Citelli Refuge. The trail allows you to view the craters known to “buttonhole” lava flows dating back to 1865.

Etna North:
Grotta dei Lamponi e Grotta del Gelo This is a very difficult path of about 16 km that can be done in part by mountain biking (2h) and in part on foot (3h). The starting point by car is from the refuge Ragabo north of the volcano, and is on the road Mareneve a few kilometers from Lingfield. The first cave is called The Lamp, reachable by bike or donkey. Leaving the bike near the cave, you must walk up to the Ice Cave. This is a cave constantly frozen, so we recommend this route only to experts.


Etna North-West:
Sentiero di Piano Vetore, 14 km return (4h), is ideal for biking. When you reach the Ariel Refuge, park your car at the Rangers stop. Continue on foot or bicycle, along a path that leads up to a botanical garden in deep forest.
Galvarina Refuge is there for you to rest in a sleeping bag and warm up in front of a fire.



Distance 51 km from 
Catania
; 98 Km from 
Messina
 by Car
From Catania: A18 (Highway 18) Messina – Catania – Siracusa exit Gravina di Catania, drive to Nicolosi – exit Etna Sud.
From Messina: A18 Messina – Catania – Siracusa exit Giarre, follow direction to Zafferana Etnea.

Jiménez Deredia / Trapani – Segesta


Costa Rican sculptor Jiménez Deredia presents a cycle of monumental sculptures and works in white marble on the historical-symbolic path leading to the Segesta Archaeological Park in Trapani, one of the most beautiful antique sites in the world.
A selection of the Latin American artist’s work can be seen at the Birgi Airport “Vincenzo Florio”, used for the first time as an exhibition venue for contemporary art, in Trapani’s Historical Centre with its Corso Vittorio Emanuele in front of the church Chiesa del Collegio dei Gesuiti (currently next to the High School “Leonardo Ximenes”) and the Piazza del Mercato del Pesce. A significant part of his artistic production will confront the fascinating religious venues of the archaeological site’s Agora – the largest in the Mediterranean -, the Theatre and the Doric Temple in Segesta, thereby bridging the gap between past and present. Deredia presents for the first time his new work Armonia in white Carrara marble.