Facts & Tips - Sicily

Facts & Tips


The climate in Sicily is typical Mediterranean. Dry in the summer and mild in the winter. The rains come mainly in autumn, less so in spring. In the summer, in coastal areas, the temperature can reach 350 C, sometimes as much as 400 C. No so in mountainous and high altitude areas. Winter snow is common in the mountains, Mount Etna at 3,359 meters is perhaps the best known ski resort. There is plenty of sunlight whether you are on the coast or up in one of the delightful mountain ranges.


In Sicily, driving is on the right. If you are not used to driving on the right, watch out at roundabouts. The speed limit on highways (autostrada) is 130 km/h. On state and provincial roads (strada statale and strada provincial) the limit is 110km/h. Secondary and local roads have a speed limit of 90k/h – (strada secondaria and strada locale). In urban areas the limit is 50k/h. Police can fine on the spot for over speeding, no-nonsense, if you cannot pay up you leave your car where it is and go fetch the money. Drink driving rules are very strict and fines very heavy.

Signposting on the autostrada is excellent.

You are best off parking in an official pay car park in large towns and cities. Wardens are generally very helpful.


The electricity supply voltage is 230V and 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are used in Sicily, like the rest of Italy. Carrying an adaptor, easily available, is advisable if you have three pin appliances, including your mobile charger.

Public Holidays

  • January 1st – New Year’s Day
  • January 6th – Epifania
  • Easter Monday [Pasquetta] – variable - (The start of the outdoor season)
  • April 25th – Liberation Day (End of the Fascist Regime and NAzi Occupation, World War II)
  • May 1st – Labour Day
  • June 2nd – Republic Day (The Republic of Italy was born in 1946 when the Monarchy of the House of Savoy came to an end.
  • August 15th – Ferragosto (The first two weeks or any holiday period in August are often referred to as Ferragosto)
  • November 1st – All Saints Day
  • December 8th – Immacolata (Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Catholic Dogma)
  • December 25th – Christmas Day
  • December 26th – Santo Stefano

Currency & Banks

Opening Hours – 08.30 to 13.30 and 14.45 – 16.00. There may be slight variations from place to place. In line with EU legislation on controls of cash any person entering or leaving Sicily and carrying cash or cash equivalent of a value of €10,000 or more has to declare it to the customs authorities. The declaration will be required irrespective of whether travelers are carrying the cash in person, in their luggage or by means of transport.

Health Services

Medical care in Italy is at the top of the world scale. Apart from the hospitals in all major towns and cities, even small towns have a well-run Pronto Soccorso, an accident and emergency service.

Pharmacy opening hours are generally from 08.30 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 19.30. These times may vary slightly. Some pharmacies are open all day, not many.

You need to make a distinction between a Farmacia (Pharmacy), with a green cross and a Parafarmacia, with a blue cross. A Parafarmacia only sells over the counter herbal and alternative medicines and non-medicinal items. Pharmacies will not generally dispense medicines that require you to have a prescription unless you have one. Do not interpret this as being unhelpful, pharmacies are very strictly regulated. You will not have any difficulty getting such over the counter medicines as the common pain killers or any other medicine that you would normally expect to buy without a prescription.