Visit Sicily Italy, ultimate guide for better planning your trip

Sicily is a wonderful island with many traditions and a lot of history behind, so don’t be surprised that you will have many beautiful attractions to see when you visit Sicily Italy.

With a total surface of 25.700 square meters, Sicily is the biggest island for the Mediterranean Sea.

Known as the Land of Sun and passions, Sicily is a great holiday destination with many tourists all over the year.

Visit Sicily Italy map
Visit Italy Sicily map

Just to have you a clue about how wonderful this island is, I want to tell you that it has 7 Unesco World Heritage Sites, the highest volcano in Europe, which is Mount Etna, 5 Natural Regional Parks and many amazing islands around.

 

1. Location

Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea in the south part of the Italian Peninsula. The island is separated by the Italian mainland by the narrow Strait of Messina.

map of Sicily Italy
map of Sicily Italy

Let me be more specific!
Italy has the shape of a boot! On the top of the boot is a strip of land split up by the mainland. That piece of land is Sicily!

The island is an autonomous region of Italy and is known as Regione Siciliana.

With a total population of 5 million inhabitants, Sicily is the first Italian autonomous region.

2. Is it safe to visit Sicily Italy?

I know that many of you associate Italy and especially Sicily with the Italian mafia. But this is no longer relevant!

I can say that Sicily is even safer than the other main Italian cities!

It is a very beautiful and safe place even for female travellers and for solo travellers!

The main risk when speaking about Sicily is the one related to pickpocketing! As you know, wherever there are tourists there are pocket thieves too!

Sicily Italy Mount Etna Catania Sicily Italy
Italy Sicily Mount Etna Catania Sicily Italy

My advice is to split your money and to put them in different places and to have a different wallet for your ID, passport and other documents.

Generally, Italians are very friendly and welcoming! You don’t have to be worried!
If, by any chance, you are rubbed go to the police in the next 24 hours and report the theft! Before leaving the police ask for a statement! No insurance company would pay out any money if you don’t have police reports about the theft!

3. Visit Sicily Italy after COVID 19 crisis

Luckily, the southern part of Italy was not as affected as the northern part of the country.
The diffusion rate in Sicily is currently low and the national authorities advice us to keep the safety and security measures indicated by the World Health Organization.

Still, the Italian government does their best to attract tourists and have a very welcoming policy for the ones who are interested in visiting their country.

Sicily in Italy
Sicily in Italy

The Italian island is willing to pay for half of your flights and a third of our accommodation costs.
In other words, you pay your ticket to Sicily and the returning one is paid by local authorities.

As about the accommodation, if you book three nights, one is paid by local authorities and the other two are paid by you.

Entrance to some of the museums and archaeological sites might be free of charge.

All these reductions are available based on vouchers offered by Sicilian authorities.

400.000-holiday vouchers will be available for tourists to cover the attractions and the accommodation costs when the borders will be opened for tourists.

If you take into consideration what the national authorities are talking about, then Sicily is for sure, one of the best destinations to travel this year!

4. Which is Sicily’s currency?

Planning to visit Sicily Italy and don’t know what currency you need?
I will tell you that!

Siciliy is part of Italy, so the national currency of Italy is also the currency you’ll need when travelling to Sicily.

Starting with January 2002, the national currency of Sicily and Italy is EURO.

1 EUR = 1.11 USD

There are 3 ways to have money during your holiday to Italy:

  1. Withdraw from a local ATM in the local currency and the conversion rate is the one applied by your bank. Some ATMs might have some withdrawal costs, so you’ d better check in advance.
  2. Bring cash with you. There is a certain amount of cash which could be brought in the country. I don’t advice you to bring a lot of cash with you because it is pretty risky (pickpocket thieves might take everything you have).
  3. Pay with cards as many things as you can; here I am talking about meals, souvenirs, entrance fees and so on.

We always use all these three ways when we travel abroad. We withdraw some local currency when we arrive at the airport just to have it for bus tickets, taxi and other similar things. We pay with cards wherever we can because there is zero commission when paying with cards.

And if we are lucky and have some euros at home, we bring them with us just in case we need them.

5. Is Sicily expensive to travel?

As I just told you, you need euros to buy all kinds of things when in Italy. And now there is another question: how expensive is it to visit Sicily Italy?

I will tell you how much money you need for a day spent abroad.

You will need money for accommodation, food, transportation and sightseeing. Bear in mind that the costs are for an average budget, not for luxury neither for backpackers.

Hotels

The accommodation price per room per night is somewhere around 100 eur ( 111 USD). And here I am talking about an average hotel, located not very central nor on the beach, with decent services and breakfast included.

If you want to travel on a budget you should look after renting an apartment or a studio, without breakfast.
For those who want to travel in style, there are plenty of hotels which offer beautiful rooms, great services and amazing views. These hotels are generally located right on the beach or in other top locations from the islands.

Meals

A meal in an average restaurant costs around 30 eur (33 USD) per person ( one dish and a glass of local wine).
The prices vary depending on the restaurant category and location.

Sicily Italian Food Pizza
Sicily Italian Food Pizza

The cheapest way to eat when visit Sicily Italy is to buy food from the supermarket and cook at your accommodation or to eat more fast food.

Don’t forget about the tips! All sit-down restaurants put into your bill the “coperto” or the tips, which is a percentage from the bill value.
This thing is not valid for fast foods and take-away restaurants.

Transportation

There are buses which travel around the island, but you depend on a strict scheduler.
Local bus tickets cost on average 7 eur (8 USD) per day, but the price varies a lot depending on the distance.
There is also another option, the one I like most. I am talking about renting a car.

Sicily Transportation Bus
Sicily Transportation Bus

It might look expensive on the first sight but you have the mobility and freedom to move around the island and explore it as you wish.

You will pay around 30 EUR (33USD) per day for a small car. It is cheaper than using a taxi and more safe and comfortable than buses.

Get the best price for your car rental today

So, to sum up, what I said about cost, you will need about 100 eur (111 USD) per day with a car rented and sleeping in an average hotel.

6. Best time to visit Sicily Italy

Sicily has a Mediterranean climate with wet and mild winters and dry and hot summers.

Summer months might be too hot for exploring the island or even for going to the beach.

July and August are peak season in Sicily! The number of tourists is really high and the temperatures are even higher. It is so hot and dry that you cannot breathe!

To be honest August is the worst month of the entire year! The prices explode, the crowds are everywhere and you cannot go outside because of the hit!

Sicily weather
Sicily weather

It is true that there are no rainy days during summer months and this might guarantee you a wonderful holiday, but most of the days are too hot to handle!

Shoulder season is always great to visit Sicily!

Shoulder season means May to the beginning of June and late September to October.
This is the ideal time to explore Sicily! The crowds are gone, the prices are still low and the weather is absolutely perfect for visiting and going to the beach!

Late autumn, winter and early spring is usually characterised with many rainy days and lower temperatures.
During this time of the year, most of the hotels and restaurants are closed and everybody stays at home because it is windy and wet outside. We somehow could say that this time of the year is the rainy season for Sicily.

During winter months, especially around winter holidays, things come back to life. The number of tourists who visit Sicily Italy increases, the restaurants and hotels open as you can celebrate Christmas and New Year on this beautiful Mediterranean island.

Otherwise, the low season is quiet. The resorts are empty, the restaurants are closed and the days are too cold to go to the beach.

7. Best places to see in Sicily Italy

Sicily is such an amazing island! It is home to the highest volcano from Europe and has many wonderful beaches and beautiful attractions!

It is the ideal place to spend your holiday! I prepared for you a list with the best places to see in Sicily Italy:

1.Taormina

This wonderful town located on the eastern coast of the island is one of the most popular places to go among artists and tourists as well.

Taormina is located very close to Mount Etna and to the trails which lead you to the summit.
The town is famous for its ancient Greco-roman theatre, Teatro Antico di Taormina, which is home to many concerts and theatre plays even in our days.

Taormina Sicily Town Italy
Taormina Sicily Town Italy

Actually, the city itself is a wonderful attraction! It is located on top of a hill, overlooking the sea and Mount Etna.

You can relax on one of the many sandy beaches near the town or take a tour of Isola Bella, a beautiful island connected with the Sicily island by a beautiful beach.

2. Palermo

The capital of the Italian island of Sicily, Palermo is one of the most beautiful towns from the island and should be on your list when you visit Sicily Italy.

The town is full of wonderful places to visit and beautiful cafes where to drink a coffee and rest your feet after a long day of exploring the island.

Palermo street Italy
Palermo street Italy

Palermo is home of Norman Palace, an amazing palace built in the 9th century. Cattedrale di Palermo, a cathedral built in the XII century and Cattedrale di Monreale which was built in 1100 are two of the main attractions from Palermo.

3. Syracuse and the island of Ortigia

Syracuse is the capital of the region with the same name and beautiful city with many ancient attractions around.

The city is famous for its Greek and Roman ruins and is known to be the birthplace of the great mathematician Archimedes.

According to historical writings, the city is more than 2.700 years old and played a key role in ancient times, when it was among the most powerful cities of the Mediterranean world.

Syracuse Italy Sicily
Syracuse Italy Sicily

The island of Ortigia is a small island considered to be the ancient town of Syracuse. This is why the island is known among locals as the Citta Vecchia ( Old City). It is a place full of ancient ruins and beautiful ancient constructions.

4. Lampedusa

One of the most beautiful islands located near Sicily is Lampedusa. Definitely you should include it on your list when visit Sicily Italy!

The island is famous for its wonderful beaches and rich marine life.

Spiaggia Dei Conigli with its wonderful sandy beach and turquoise waters is the most beautiful beach from the island.

Lampedusa Italy Sicily
Lampedusa Italy Sicily

Lampedusa is also part of a protected marine area known as Area Marina Protetta Isole Pelagie which is located on the south coast of the island. This is one of the very few places in the world where marine turtles lay eggs.

5. San Vito Lo Capo and the Zingaro Reserve

San Vito Lo Capo is a small beach town from the eastern part of the island famous for its wonderful beaches and shallow waters.

Among the most visited places from the town are Santuario di San Vito, a beautiful fortress from the XV century with Arabic and Norman influences and Santa Crescenzia Chapel.

San Vito Lo Capo Italy
San Vito Lo Capo Italy

San Vito Lo Capo is the best place where you should set your camp if you want to explore the Zingaro reserve.

Zingaro Reserve was the first natural reserve from Sicily. The area was declared a natural reserve in May 1981. This natural reserve is home to many rare and endemic plants and more than 40 species of birds nest and mate in these places. Peregrine falcon, common buzzard and common kestrel are among the most popular birds from the park.

8. Best places to sleep when visit Sicily Italy

1.Hotel Principe Di Villafranca is our top choice for those of you interested in exploring Palermo.
The hotel is located in the heart of Palermo, close to bars and restaurants and within walking distance from the main attractions of the city.
The rooms are spacious and modern, with parquet floors and modern art. The hotel has a very stylish sitting-room-cum library and a beautiful dining room.

2. Hotel Borgo Pantano is our recommendation if you search for accommodation around Siracusa. Set in a natural reserve, just 7 kilometres away from the town of Siracusa, this hotel offers a countryside view, relaxing atmosphere and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool.
The rooms are decorated with artworks made by local artists and breakfast is extremely tasty and contains homemade pastries and fresh Sicilian orange juice.

3. VOI Grand Hotel Mazzarò Sea Palace is a beautiful 5 stars hotel located in Taormina close to Mazzaro beach.
A sea-view pool and a wellness centre are the ideal places where to relax and enjoy the Sicilian air. For an additional charge, you can book some really great treatments at the spa centre of the hotel.
The Taormina centre can be reached by a cable car which is located just 50 metres away from the hotel.

VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace Sicily
VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace Sicily
VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace Sicily Room
VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace Sicily Room

4. For those looking for a secluded place where to relax we suggest you book a few nights at Sikelia Luxury Hotel. This is a wonderful hotel located on the island of Pantelleria in the town called Scauri.
The interiors of the hotel are amazing! Everything about this hotel is of good quality! They even have Hermes toiletries in the rooms!
The buildings are built in the traditional Dammusi style

 

Sikelia Luxury Hotel Relax
Sikelia Luxury Hotel Relax
Sikelia Luxury Hotel Room
Sikelia Luxury Hotel Room

5. Wine Resort Villagrande is a wonderful resort located in the Sicilian countryside with a great outdoor pool overlooking the beautiful vineyard from nearby.
From the window of your room, you can see the sea in the distance. For breakfast, you will have homemade cakes and for dinner or lunch a tasty glass of wine from the local production!
For those of you looking for a romantic escape, this is the right place to go!

Sicily is a great place to spend your holiday!

Book a whole week or why not 10 days to explore the island, to climb Mount Etna and to relax on one of the very many beautiful beaches from the island.

Visit Sicily Italy for great memories and amazing scenery!