Trip to Sicily

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lindsy.williams
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Trip to Sicily

Post by lindsy.williams »

Hi all,

My husband and I are planning an extended trip to central Sicily, where my grandfather's family comes from. This will be our first trip there (first trip to Europe even), we'll be bringing our children- ages 5 & 10, and we do not speak Italian. I've heard Sicily, specifically central Sicily, is not tourist friendly and most people do not speak English. We don't plan to do many touristy things, more just live life there and absorb the culture. It'd be nice to meet up with some extended family members, but I have yet to make contact with anyone. Does anyone have any helpful information, tips, or tricks for us??
frankcsr
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Re: Trip to Sicily

Post by frankcsr »

Hi, I made a trip there to Messina 7 yrs ago I speak some old Sicilian did not know anybody went to town both my gparents were from in Ali Sicily in the mountains my wife speaks no Sicilian we were welcomed as family(which we were distant cousins) people were very friendly learn a few phrases hello, thankyou goodevening excuse me etc. Sicily is more what Italy was about 50 yrs ago. sample all the food logal wines and deserts in local bars soak up the laid back culture by the way we have been back 7 times and are going again in August. It is hot there in summer not much airconditioning except in larger hotels enjoy
frankcsr
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Re: Trip to Sicily

Post by frankcsr »

Ps I think if you are looking for relatives go to the town hall and if you know names and dates they will try to help you
Frank
lindsy.williams
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Re: Trip to Sicily

Post by lindsy.williams »

Thanks so much!!
frankcsr
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Re: Trip to Sicily

Post by frankcsr »

I have brought my sons and their family, kids really enjoyed a tour of mount Etna. Try all the fruits, veggies, nuts,honey, and any local specialties they are fantastic
frank
bbivona
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Re: Trip to Sicily

Post by bbivona »

It may not be tourist-friendly in the sense that central part of the island doesn't have much tourist development, but I have never had anything but wonderful experiences with the people. The people are warm, the food is good just about everywhere, plenty of interesting local wines. Be bold, and try as much local food as you can, even if you think you wouldn't like it.

I assume you'll rent a car. I suggest the smallest one you can manage. You'd be amazed how tight some of the turns and parking are in small town Sicily. The rental agencies will often try to "upgrade" you to a larger one. Just say no.

You likely will find little English spoken. Sicily on the whole doesn't have near as many English speakers as the rest of the island, and away from Palermo and Catania, even fewer. I would suggest spending some time trying to pick up at least some language skills. Maybe Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, etc. My wife has had good luck with Rosetta Stone. You won't be mistaken for a native speaker, but it can get you functional. If you go that route, do some every day or you'll backslide. Ideally 30 minutes to an hour a day. The people will try to work with you on language, but you'll find it more rewarding if you can communicate some with their language.
Researching Gibellina, Sicily surnames Bivona, Bonafede, Zummo, Ponzio, Bevinetto, Beninati, Fontana, Cipolla, Bruno, Manfrè, Lanfranca, and Navarra
lindsy.williams
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Re: Trip to Sicily

Post by lindsy.williams »

Wonderful tips! Thank you!!
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