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Good to know – tips! Useful information for your vacation in Sicily

We have gathered information about the following topics: Adapter, stamps, store opening times, parking spaces, security, language, Tabacchi shops, tips, contamination, currency


On Sicily, or rather, in Italy there are three different sockets, including the (also in Germany and most of mainland Europe) standard “Euro” socket. Those tourists, who want to take electrical appliances with them, should take an adaptor to be on the safe side. The telephone sockets are also different, the Italian sockets have a three point connection and if you are considering using your notebook PC through this connection, it’s necessary to use an adapter.


Stamps can be bought in tobacco shops, identifiable by their blue “T” sign, and also at the post office. The Italian word for stamps is “Francobolli”, postcards to foreign parts need 62 cent stamps, the same as letters. Within Italy you have a choice between first and second class stamps. First class post is supposed to be quicker, therefore second class post costs less (45 cent) and takes longer.

Shopping hours

A lot of shops close at midday, and midday or siesta time can last a long time! The shops often shut at noon and don’t open again until 4 pm. In this case they usually stay open till around 8 pm. So, if you are planning a shopping trip, it’s better to either get up early, or start off late.


You can easily find the parking areas in the towns because the are marked blue – these parking paces are fee-parking! There are not usually any ticket machines, but you can get tickets in the “tacchi” shops – these are scratch cards and you can scratch the time and date to make it visible on the card.
The spaces marked white are free. Some of the parking areas have an unofficial parking attendant, whom you can give 50 Cents or an Euro. There is no set payment.
And last but not least there are the official parking areas with a fee payment.


Security on the island is better than one is let to believe. It is really not plausible to think you’ll get shot as soon as you leave the plane – this is practically impossible! All the same, it is sensible not to take risks: Do not leave expensive articles in the car, take care of your wallet and don’t put it in your back trouser pocket. Never leave articles lying on the beach without keeping an eye on them.
Surely it is good to know that the Mafia do not pose a threat to tourists – they are pleased when they come, as they bring money with hem. The local population have more of a problem with the Mafia.


The spoken language on Sicily is Italian, but many locals speak a dialect “Siciliano”, which is strongly influenced by Sicily’s history and the bordering countries. One could say that Sicilano is a language in itself, and THE dialect is a bit of a misnomer as well, as there are so many different regional variations that one could almost talk of Sicilian dialects!
If you can speak a little Italian, but cannot understand what is being said, and can pick up a lot of “U’s”, then you can be sure that you’re hearing Sicilano.

Tabacchi Shops

In these shops you can buy nearly everything – tobacco goods, stamps, parking tickets, newspapers, magazines etc. The shop is easily identified by a blue “T”.


Tips are left on the table, usually on a plate with the bill and not given directly to waiters. Service charges are usually included in the bill and therefore the tip can be rather small. It is perfectly normal to leave just a few cents, especially if, for example, you had only a coffee. If, on the other hand, you have enjoyed a lovely meal, then a larger tip is welcome.


Unfortunately there is a lot of rubbish and dirt to be seen on the streets, although it differs from place to place. It is a great pity, especially if you are looking forward to enjoying an unspoiled countryside. The beaches are also polluted, and only cleaned in the peak holiday season from June to August/September. If you visit out of season, there is a distinct possibility you will find a lot of seaweed and other rubbish.


As all over Italy, the currency is the Euro, although sometimes people still use the Lira when they calculate.

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