Sicily visit summary 22

Sicily was chosen for a long weekend from 5. till 8.2.2022. I was there 20 years ago and hoped to find another option but settled for it in the end. Bostjan found great tickets from Trieste. Špela decided to join us. Soon after tickets and Airbnb was confirmed we decided to visit a few things during our 2 days in Palermo. Below you will find details. Our trip to Sicily was cheap, you can see interesting architecture, try some good food. On downside traffic is bad, buses are late and garbage is all over the place.

view of Palermo from Monreale, Sicily
view of Palermo from Monreale, Sicily

Daily review

Transport

Špela covered ride to Trieste and back with Volkswagen Tiguan, comfortable car. Highway in Italy was 1.3 € one way. Parking at the airport was 11 € daily, we paid 44 € because we were just 10 minutes over 3 days. At Ryanair, we paid for return tickets Trieste-Palermo 27 €, a classical low-budget flight. From the airport in Palermo to the city 6.3 € (0.30 € for not buying the ticket at the station). A 24-hour ticket for public transport in the city was 3.5 €. You should get used to that none of the buses is on time. The return bus ticket to Corleone was 7.6 €. The train to the airport from Palermo was 5.9 €.

train ride to Palermo airport, Sicily
train ride to Palermo airport, Sicily

Accommodation

We took an apartment from Airbnb in the city center, close to the main bus/train station. Each of us had room for himself. With city tax, we paid 180 € for 3 people for 3 nights. It was good enough, but not all things were OK. It should be a bit cleaner, the owner was confused and needed half an hour to check us in, the bed was a bit too short for me, the fridge was making noise. But the location was great, the owner left us some brioche and milk, I could smoke on the balcony.

Sicily visit summary 22 1

Food and drinks

Google didn’t map Sicily well for restaurants, some were there but closed and others were not even on location. It looked like just 20% of places are open. Maybe the reason is COVID or out of season visit But sooner or later we would find a place to eat. Before leaving and in the car we ate enough. On arrival to the city we walked around and tried some street food for free, some intestines I would guess, not bad. Next was pizza from a bakery 2 €, chaotic ordering, cheap, not the best one. In the evening we had a problem finding a restaurant, finished in Tunisian place, waited too long for kebab plate 6 €. The next day we had some cannoli in the morning 2 €, some pizza at Monreale, not great, 5 €. After some search finished in burger place in the city center, burger 3€. Last day we had cornetto for breakfast 2 €, a snack was arancini 2 €. For dinner we found a restaurant, I had some boscoiola pasta and veal steak for 11 €. Before leaving I had yogurt and cookies from Lidl for breakfast.

cornetto and macchiato
cornetto and macchiato

As for drinks it was coffee, water, beer, and wine. In general beer in the shop was a bit more than 1 €, in restaurants it was from 2 to 4 €. The wine was almost the same price as beer per deciliter, from 1 up to 2 € per dl for house wine. Of course, coffee is an institution in Italy. We would start with one at the apartment and then during the day, I had one or two more, mostly macchiato 1-2 €. As I don’t usually drink coffee I can’t comment on quality but I can say it was strong. In Corleone at Antico forno San Leonardo ai cappuccino I tried some limoncello not to sweet but strong and we got to taste some pistaccio liquer, really good. We didn’t try granita this time.

Sights

On our short trip, we had time to visit Palermo and places nearby. In Palermo, we saw some interesting buildings that combine Arabic, byzant, and norman styles. The main attraction is a Cattedrale built in Norman style, close by is Palazzo dei Normanni with Cappella Palatina. There are many interesting churches (San Giuseppe dei Teatini, Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, San Giuseppe dei Teatini, San Giovanni degli Eremiti), parks (Botanic Garden, Villa Giulia park) and theaters (Massimo, Politeama Garibaldi).

Half an hour away by bus to the north from the city center, we visited beach Mondelo. Sandy public beach at beginning of February, water is around 13 C, so you will need some courage to swim. Sunbathing is fine between 12h in 15h if it isn’t windy. There will be lots of people trying to sell you some sari-like sheets for the beach. The only useful vendor sold us cold beer 2.5 €.

Sicily visit summary 22 2
Monreale cathedral mosaic

From the beach, we went to Monreale on a hill southwest of the city center. It took us more than 2h with 3 buses that were not on time. From the hill, you have a great view of the city. But if you are here visiting the cathedral is a must, 6 €. From the outside, it is typical Norman architecture. Inside you will find an amazing mosaic influenced by Byzantine.

Visiting the town of Corleone is a bit longer ride out of Palermo, 1.5h with the bus from the main station (2 buses on a working day; 12:30 and back at 16h. This town became famous after the movie The Godfather was filmed 50 years ago by Coppola. Organized crime in form of the Mafia was the topic of a movie as it is in Museo Antimafia you can find there. One can also walk up to a double waterfall uphill, visit a church or park. Most of the places in wintertime close at 15h and we found open just Antico Forno San Leonardo ai Cappuccini.

Budget

The budget for the whole trip was around 200 €. For all the transport costs we paid 70 €, accommodation was 60 € and for food, drinks and misc we paid 70 €. I would include this trip to low budget one.

COVID

COVID also had an influence on this trip. First, we needed to fill dPLF form online. Also, you need a Green COVID pass (we were all 3 times vaccinated). Mask should be worn all the time and they should be FFP2 type.


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