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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z

Eating out

Opening hours

Lunch is served quite late in Sicily from 1-2.30pm and dinner from 8.30-11pm.



Chemists are open Monday-Saturday, 8.30am-12.30pm and 4-8pm. The names and addresses of out-of-hours doctors and chemists are posted outside. The chemist opposite Palerma railway station is open 24/7.


Credit cards and traveller’s cheques

Payment by credit card is developing fast, but remains less widespread than in the UK. Credit cards are rarely accepted in small restaurants and family-run trattorias. Euro zone residents should note that bank charges for withdrawals and payments are identical to those in their country of origin.

Two types of payment by card exist in Italy: Bancomat payments, which require a PIN code and are charged a commission of €1.55/payment, and the credit card system which does not charge a commission and only requires a signature. Request a “credit card” payment if you are asked to type in your PIN code.

Visitors to Sicily should make sure they travel with sufficient cash, particularly if heading for the smaller islands and Sicilian hinterland.

Budget / cost of living

The cost of living in Sicily is no cheaper than in Northern Italy.

Those travelling on a small budget should plan on spending around €80-100/day per person for a room in a basic hotel and meals in pizzerias or trattorias. Add 30% for large cities, such as Rome.

Those on medium budgets can expect to spend around €150/day per person for a room in a charming hotel and restaurant meals.

If you have more to spend, a night in an upmarket hotel and a meal in a gastronomic restaurant will cost around €250/day per person. This is not however a “luxury” budget, because hotels in this category, particularly in the cultural cities, can be exorbitant.

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