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Sicily 2003

Here are some tips for traveling in Sicily:

Public: always bring your own paper, I carry those little Kleenex packages. Some public rest rooms are filthy, some are sparking clean. Sometimes they have no seat, frequently the flush does not work.
Hotels: Showers are often in corners and are minuscule. In some it would be impossible for a large person to bathe. Sometimes showers are on wall with no curtain and spray the entire room. There was a bidet in every bathroom. Few toiletries are provided, just soap and maybe shampoo. Sometimes towels are not terry cloth, but flat cotton like a dish towel.

TV, Newspapers, Internet- Nothing in English, not even CNN. One place had BBC, after that, nothing. It was hard to find the
International Herald Tribune newspaper, so we had no news for a week!

nternet: Not as available as one might think. Certainly not as available as in Thailand or even Cambodia. Very hard to find in the smaller towns.

Be careful. Pay at the coin kiosk or in a store. Italians will park their cars anywhere, double-park, on the sidewalk, in a cross walk, even perpendicular to the curb.

On two lane highways stay, to right unless you are passing on the left. A car will blink its lights if they want to pass and you are in the way. Stay off the dotted line roads (on the maps) if you know what's good for you. Trust me on this.
Italians use their horns for everything, just to say "I am here" "hello" or, "get out of the way". They will stop and chat with friend  in the street, blocking the lane, but expect you to move when stopped at an intersection trying to figure out which way to turn. If you hesitate they will go around you.
Most roads in Sicily are two lanes, one in each direction. They are slow with many stops and curves. Allow more time than the distance on the map may appear. There are a few "autostrada" bisecting the island, 2 lanes each way. These are much faster, but less scenic.

Language: Do try and speak Italian, people will appreciate it. Less people spoke English than I expected. I was glad I had some Italian comprehension and vocabulary. I bought a couple of instructional language cds to listen to in the car before I left on the trip and they helped a lot.

 last updated on 11/22/03


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