aside Gronda’s Additional Tips Based On The May 2016 Trip To Sicily

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Quattro Canti / Four Corners/ Palermo-Sicily

Let’s  review some basics that I have learned so far from my trip. First, travel light. Make sure that you can easily pull and pick up the carry on luggage with spinning wheels with a 2nd smaller bag that attaches on top. Second, take time to review thoroughly all tickets/ invoices (train, air, ferry, hotel) that you purchase for any errors or pertinent information like a hotel reservation requiring 14 days notice to cancel or notice that your credit card will be charged prior to arrival. The third point is to avoid the overnight slow intercity train from Italy’s mainland to Sicily. It is better to be transported by air or ferry. Finally, let the shops ship your overseas purchases for you whenever possible. Otherwise you can purchase an inexpensive bag to pack allowable items in your carry on and bring anything of value with you on the plane. Put things like your dirty laundry in the checked bags.

Remember that when you spend over 155 euros at one shop, that you can save at least 10% on their VAT taxes. The store agent will present you with some forms which need  to be turned into the airport’s tax office to obtain your reimbursement.

Another reminder is to have your credit card charges be in euros versus US dollars whenever the shop’s sales person offers you this choice. Their conversion rates will not be in your favor.

It is important to know that most museums and attractions are closed on Mondays, so be sure to make alternate plans for this day. Also, as you travel further south, more churches, museums and attractions are closed for the hours from noon to about 3:00 PM or later.

italy teatro-massimo-en-la-plaza-giuseppe-verdi_galeria_principal_size2
Teatro Massimo

Laundry Issues

Because in May, 2016, I and my friend were residing in Sicily for a couple of weeks, I wanted to have some laundry done without paying the high hotel rates. Our hotel, Massimo Plaza was located across the street  from the Teatro Massimo. Behind the teatro within a short distance, we found the Laundromat, Lavanderia l’Oblo Self Service at Via Volturno, 62, 90138 Palermo, Italy; Phone:+ 39 091 550 1697. The English speaking owner who had lived in the Boston area was kind enough to do our laundry for us while we went to a nearby café for a refreshing drink and treat.

My friend purchased underwear on line that she was able to wash in the sink and which dries quickly. She plans to do the same with nightwear for the future. This way she can limit the number of items that she brings. Popular travel shopping sites for quick drying clothes are Magellan, Travelsmith, Zappos, Target, and Amazon. For more hints, see Rick Steve’s link below.

Ortygia-Siracusa-Sicily
Ortygia–Sicily

Traveling around Sicily:

If we were comfortable in driving around ourselves with a rental car, this would have been the preferred option. This choice would have saved us a lot of monies because we would not have incurred the expenses of numerous side day tours or the hiring of a car with a driver to take us to the various hot spots in Sicily and for transit between the west (Palermo) to the east coast (Taormina) and to the south (Ortygia in the Syracuse area). The highways were in good shape. In short, rent a vehicle if you can, for the ease of getting to and from destinations. Within the cities themselves, we did fine without a car. If you go outside of the cities, most of the sights can be adequately explored with a tour guide book and a map and so having a car is a plus. The one exception would be the Aeolian Islands located north east of Sicily.

Ragusa
Ragusa

Length of stay

If I were to visit Sicily again, I would stay 5 days in Palermo (west) with 3 days of side tours to Cefalu, Erice, Segesta and Agrigento; 4 days in Taormina (east) with 2 days of side tours to the Aeolian Islands and Mt Etna and 3 days in Ortegia (south) with 1/2 day trips to other baroque towns like Noto and Ragusa. Any extra days would be for spa days, enjoying the beach and relaxing.

Eating at cafes/ Bar (Coperto- cover charges/ tipping advice)

Be aware that sitting in a café in a beautiful piazza as you enjoy the theater of life, the sea view and the enchanting atmosphere, you maybe charged a cover fee of a few euros. I have added a link below by “Walks of Italy,” to explain your restaurant/ café bar bills.

italy best cafe scene buca-di-bacco-positano-50098
Positano

Related Articles:

The Best 10 Dry Cleaning & Laundry in Palermo, Italy – Yelp http://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=drycleaning laundry&find_loc Palermo Top Dry Cleaning & Laundry in Palermo, Italy – Lavanderia L’ Oblo’, Speedy Wash, Lavanderia di Vita Rosalia, Marchese / Maria, Oliveri / Rosalia …

Floreal Laundry – Dry Cleaning & Laundry – Via Dionisio 18 – Taormina http://www.yelp.com › Local Services › Dry Cleaning & Laundry/ Floreal Laundry in Taormina, reviews by real people.

Doing Laundry in Europe by Rick Steves https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/health/laundry To make things easier, I bring a quick-dry travel wardrobe that either looks OK wrinkled or doesn’t wrinkle. (I test-wash my shirts in the sink at home before I let …

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Shipping souvenirs from Italy and France – Rick Steves Travel Forum  https://community.ricksteves.com/travel…/shipping-souvenirs-from-italy-April 13, 2011 – 10 posts – ‎9 authors…Will some shops ship it for you or is it better to use UPS/Fedex ? Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO,USA … I know we will want to purchase some  gifts but also realize our …options I’ve used that were reasonable: Buying an extra bag from a street vendor and checking a bag on the way home…

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Car Hire Sicily, Italy – Save on Car Rental with Auto Europe www.autoeurope.co.uk/go/car-hire-sicily/ Car Hire Sicily. Get the cheapest … Get the cheapest prices on car hire with Auto Europe. Book online your car rental in Sicily

The Dos and Don’ts of Eating in Italy http://www.walksofitaly.com › Home › All Articles › Travel tips… from choosing the right restaurants and cafes to getting … or even “No service!” or “No cover chargeSicily

Italy: Useful Information for Tourists | Italy Heaven /http://www.italyheaven.co.uk/useful-information.html/ Monday is the traditional day of closure for museums and heritage sites. … In the hotter months opening hours often change to allow for a longer lunchtime  closure  and … As you head southwards in Italy, the long lunchtime closure is more common … 

2 comments

    • Dear Ekasringa Avatar,

      Grazie Mille! Thank you a million times for enjoying my travel blogs on Sicily and for the reblogs.

      With warmest regards, Gronda Morin

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