THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO SICILY
Make sure your passport is valid 6 months after your return date. Have air ticket reservations confirmed and bring a hard copy of your air ticket and passport packed separately. Visas to Italy are not required for U.S. citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, please check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to Italy. Please carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or accommodations.
Download the app: Whats App (works only with WI-FI). We will create a group chat to keep everyone updated. Add these numbers to your contacts:
Anna Maria Collura – (c) (717) 507-3606
Deb Rizzotto – (c) (717) 903-0177
Pete Collura – (c) (717) 507-3602 or (local) (331) 886-3642
Please have working phones on arrival because your cell phone will not work in Italy unless you add an International plan. (Please check with your carrier as these can be expensive). You can communicate with the states on WI-FI through Facebook or Whats App.
WI-FI is available in most accommodations. WI-FI is not available on any motor coach.
The country code for Italy is 39. When calling to Italy from overseas, dial your international access code (011 from the U.S./Canada), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Italy are eight digits in length. Dialing from the U.S./Canada: 011 39# ### ####.
Before you leave the US, exchange dollars into Euro. Check with your local bank for best rates. Many tourist attraction places and restaurants will accept Visa and Mastercard. American Express is less accepted, because of the high service fees. Luggage carts, local street vendors, coffee bars, or gelato stores accept cash only. If you plan to use credit cards in Italy, call your credit card company and let them know the dates you will be in Italy using your cards.
The official currency of Italy is the Euro.
Dealing with banks in Italy is not recommended, however banking hours are listed below:
8:30 a.m. to 1:15/30 p.m. and 3/3:30 p.m. to 4/4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday
1 EURO (€) = 100 Cents (c)
Banknote denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500
Coin denominations: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, €2
The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person.
- The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is €1- 3.
- An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water or a glass a wine starts at approximately €10.
- Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with appetizer, main-course, dessert and a glass of wine, starts at approximately €20-30 (seafood will be slightly more expensive).
- Tap water is generally not served, choose from a bottle of natural or sparkling water.
Where restaurant service charges are already included, round up the check by the equivalent of a few Dollars to show appreciation; otherwise 10% is a reasonable amount, depending on customer satisfaction/quality of service. In most Italian restaurants there is also a per person cover charge, which will be added to your check as their tip.
Purchasing optional excursions on tour
You may purchase excursions while you are on tour. We can accept cash (in euro only there) or Visa, or MasterCard as payment on our website at: Sicilywithfriends.com
For luggage sizes and weight restrictions, check with your airline.
Some airline may impose additional fees if you check any luggage. Don’t forget to pack your suntan lotion. Any liquid over 3 oz. are to be packed in your checked bag. Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bags.
If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered. • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify us as soon as you register.
CLOTHING & PACKING TIPS
We recommend packing lightweight clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket. • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing. • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance. • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
TRANSFERS AND ARRIVAL INFORMATION
Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers only on Itinerary arrival and departure dates. Travelers who need transfers on different dates may request airport transfers for an additional cost. • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
RENTING A CAR
If you choose to rent a car, many options are available (Europcar, Autoeurpoe, Hertz, Avis, Dollar, etc. You can book online on sites list Expedia and Orbitz). Don’t forget to bring your International Driver’s License. (You may get that at AAA for approx. $35). When picking up your rental make sure to take a video of your rental as a precaution.
Additional excursions are available at the port. Booths are set up with lots of options (boat, rentals, scooters, jet skis, and tours). Credit cards are accepted.
Castellammare is a quaint little town with much to see and do. Check out the trip advisor list, Things to do in Castellammare del Golfo.
To get around town there are a few options:
- Eco car (little golf carts with a driver for 4-6 passengers) short to long hauls are 1 to 5 euro
- Trolley rides are 3 euro
You will walk some days across uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved roads, at high altitudes. • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour. • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at all times • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact us.
POWER & AIR CONDITIONING
Voltage for outlets is 220V. North American voltage is generally 110V. Therefore, you will need a converter for your travels. Adapters will be necessary to adapt your plug into the outlet, but these may not convert the voltage, so both devices are necessary. We recommend packing a universal adapter. The strength of the air conditioning in Sicily is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to home. When air conditioning is available, it is usually controlled by each accommodations.
Buy Travel Adapters
Look at the 10 Best Travel Adapters, according to TripSaavy.com
- Travel Smart Adapter Plug Set from Best Buy ($17)
- Conair All-In-One Power Adapter with USB from Best Buy ($30)
Temperatures in Sicily range from 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit. To convert to Celsius, subtract 30, then divide by 2. While not exact, this simple formula will give a close estimation. Click here to see an online conversion website.
Please: Per favore
Thank you: Grazie
You’re welcome: Prego
Do you speak English?: Parla inglese?
I don’t understand: Non capisco
How much?: Quanto costa?
Where is…?: Dov’è…?
Bottled water: Acqua minerale (carbonated=gassata, non-carbonated=naturale)
Restaurant check/bill: Il conto
Have a nice day!: Buona giornata!
Good morning/day: Buongiorno
Good evening: Buonasera