Eco-friendly travel guide to Sicily advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Sicily, Italy.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Bus connections: 3 / 5
- Train connections: 2.75 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 3 / 5
- National parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $110
- Budget per day: US$80 - $130
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Have you ever wondered why people love to travel to Sicily? It is because of the freedom that this island guarantees.
Some people may describe this place as a lawless island and even go further to call it an edgy area. Such conceptions form from some activities that happen on the island.
However, Sicily is a great holiday destination, especially if you are looking for a place that differs from your regular life.
To be a responsible traveler on this island, you must treat water as a precious resource and support recycling. These help to improve the environment and make the island a better place to live.
You are also a responsible traveler when you buy local drinks and food on this island.
Air Quality and Pollution
Is air quality one of the determinants you use in visiting a place? If yes, we know that you wish to know about air quality in Sicily.
In determining this, it is best to check out the whole of Italy, which plays host to this island. You will realize that air pollution is one of the top issues in Italy. Thus, we cannot say that air quality is best in Sicily.
However, this does not mean that you cannot live on the island. The people engage in harmful activities that tend to affect air quality, but there are days when it is manageable.
Thus, the air quality of the island should not stop you from visiting it. Instead, you can have things in place that will help to protect your health.
Respect the Culture
The best way to live in any place is to learn the proper etiquette of the area. It helps foreigners to flow better with the locals.
Your dressing goes a long way when you are on this island. We are not saying that it is a conservative island, but you should dress to suit the occasion. Thus, it is wrong to show skin or expose certain parts of your body when you go to church.
It is also best that you avoid discussing any mafia-related issue when you are on this island. This is to ensure that you do not say something wrong or get the wrong group upset.
Minding your business shows that you are respectful and will put you in the locals’ good books.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Here are some of the top places you can visit in Sicily:
- Aegadian Islands: It is a combination of five mountainous islands on the Mediterranean Sea. You have the assurance that you cannot have a dull moment when you visit this place. Some people say that the waters will always get the attention of anyone. People engage in various water activities at this place while some go on hiking. It depends on your preference. However, you are sure to have fun.
- Norman Palace: Research shows that this is the oldest royal building in Europe. You will love to see this place as it gives you an insight into how royalty works in the city. Thankfully, it is open for exploration by the public. You get to see art exhibitions at this place, increasing your knowledge.
- Teatro Antico di Taormina: If you are a lover of entertainment, you will have to visit it as it is a Greek theater. One of its highlights is the view you can get as it gives coastal views. It is always a delightful place to visit, especially as you meet new people and enjoy performances.
- Stair of the Turks: It is one of the best places to get a fantastic view when you are in Sicily. It overlooks a sea and gives a certain peace that cannot be compared to any other. Some people visit this place to look at the sunrise and sunset. If you are not scared of staying on a cliff, you should visit it. It also makes a perfect location to take pictures and add to your memory book.
- Cattedrale di Palermo: if you are looking to get a mix of culture and history in Sicily, you should visit this place. The building’s architectural features are one of its top highlights as it is irresistible to the eyes. It has a mix of different centuries infused into its structure. There is a lot of new things to see and learn at this place.
- Cattedrale di Monreale: Both the interior and exterior of this place are always a delight to behold. It is a captivating sight for the eyes, making it a popular place on the island. For starters, it is a catholic church. Different vibrant mosaics make people want to keep exploring once they visit. It is not surprising that it is one of the top places to visit in Sicily.
- Quattro Canti: We are sure that this is one of the top places people will recommend when looking for tourist attractions on the island. It is a grand square that is easily accessible. Its symmetric fountains have a way of attracting many people, locals and foreigners alike. You may be surprised that it is in the city center. However, this is one of its strongholds.
- Massimo Theater: How does visiting an opera house sound? We know that some people already imagine the fun tunes and more that can be enjoyed in this place. Instead of speculating, you should add this theater to the list of places you must visit when in Sicily. We know that you will not regret it, as the acoustic sounds are always blissful to the ears.
- Levanzo: It is one of the small islands within Sicily. Many people may forget that this place exists. However, it is a great place to explore, so we recommend it for any foreigner. Asides from the views that you get to enjoy when on a boat trip, it also has cave art. We know that many people will be eager to explore this cave.
- Arethusa Spring: You should expect nothing less of a conducive environment when you visit this place. It is usually cool and breezy and has many plants, helping people connect with the environment. If you are looking for a getaway, this is one of the best places to visit.
What do you do when you are in a new place or area? The most obvious answer is o explore. This plays out, especially when there are many exciting and interesting places in the region.
We see that such places have a higher inflow of foreigners than others. A foreigner will not want to visit a place that they cannot explore. For those visiting Sicily, you will agree that it has many places to explore. Thus, we cannot say that it is not a fun area.
Some people may complain about their tight schedule when visiting a new place. However, you need to create time and explore to not miss out on any exciting activity. Else, you will have regrets when you go back to your home city.
Exploration comes in many ways, and one is to visit various city parks. Yes, you can see city parks in Sicily.
Some of them are:
- Adventure Etna Park: You do not want to miss out on the fun of visiting this place when you are in Sicily. It is an amusement park that promises a fun time for everyone. You get to go on different rides in a conducive ambiance. The staff are also always attentive and ready to offer help. You can also make new friends at this place.
- Villa Comunale Di Taormina: One cannot deny this place’s beauty, and it has a certain charm that helps to calm the mind. Many people use it as the perfect location to take quiet walks or have relaxing moments.
Sicily stands tall as a place that has both city and national parks. Thus, it only fits that you also make time to explore the national parks.
Some of them are:
- Parco dei Nebrodi: It is important to note that you can do various activities at this place. Thus, you should not be in a hurry when visiting. It has lush vegetation and waterfalls. People are always happy to explore this place as they get to engage in hiking or birdwatching. You also get tour guides to ensure that you do not do anything out of place.
- Alcantara River Park: You get to see rivers, waterfalls, and volcanic rocks at this place. The natural environment brings comfort to many people, and they lose track of time while exploring.
It will not be a complete holiday for some people if they have not hung out at the beach. It could be the cooling ambiance or other reasons. However, we have seen that foreigners love exploring the beach when in a new place.
The region of Sicily has many beaches. Some of them are:
- Mondello Beach: The cleanliness of this place makes it top-notch and attractive. People get to have a pleasant time and engage in various activities. If you know how to kayak, it is possible at this place. You will see that there are boats for hire. Some people do not mind visiting this beach multiple times before leaving Sicily.
- Rabbit Beach: Many people who have visited this place say that you will have a fantastic, unforgettable experience. Others say that it is a beautiful spot. Thus, we encourage that you visit it, create memories and also give your reviews. We can assure you that you will love this beach.
From our experience with foreigners, we see that they are always on the lookout for landmarks when visiting a new place.
These landmarks help in giving directions as they understand navigations better when a landmark is used for explanation. Thus, it is only suitable to highlight some of the landmarks you should be on the lookout for when visiting Sicily.
Some of them are:
- Elephant Fountain: As the name implies, this fountain comes in the shape of an elephant. Thus, we know that it would be hard for anyone to miss. It is sure to capture the attention of foreigners, qualifying it as a landmark in the region.
Many things can classify as a landmark. What matters is that it is captivating and can be seen from a distance.
Some people say that visiting a museum in a new region is always their first point when it concerns exploration. We would not rate any place above another. However, visiting a museum is always important to learn about the happenings in the area.
Some of the museums in Sicily are:
- Palazzo Abatellis: We are sure that this place will meet your expectations when you imagine an art gallery. It is filled with state-of-the-art exhibitions that are sure to leave a smile on your face and make you curious. You are also sure to get answers to any of your questions. It is one of the best in the region.
- Museo dell'Acciuga: It is a family museum with kind owners that are friendly to foreigners and ready to showcase their art. You are sure to learn something new about the region when you visit this place.
There are some meals that you must eat before leaving Sicily. Some people may argue or be hesitant to try them. However, once these meals hit your tastebuds, you will be craving more.
Pasta con le sarde is one of the traditional local meals in this region and a type of spaghetti. We are sure that you are familiar with pasta, but you might not know this variety. There is a lot that goes on in this meal’s preparation process, and we know that you will enjoy it.
Granita con brioche is another tasty option in this region that comes as a breakfast meal. You can combine it with different fruits and enjoy it. We can also not fail to mention Arancini, a rice variety in Sicily.
You should not have any cause to worry about where you can get these meals as there are traditional local restaurants scattered around all the cities in this region.
Sicily is one of the top regions in Italy, and it gets a high inflow of foreigners. The locals in the area are always ready to showcase and showoff in different ways. One of such is through food. Thus, it is not surprising that there are many traditional local restaurants in the region.
You get to eat and enjoy many options, possibly learning how to make them so that you can continue enjoying it when you go back to your home city.
We can assure you that you will be satisfied with the services at these traditional local restaurants.
Some people who do not eat regular meals sometimes have concerns about getting their meal preferences in Sicily. These people are vegans. We are sure that this is not the first time you will be hearing about vegans or vegetarians.
If you are a vegan visiting Sicily with concerns about food, we would say that you should not have any worries. There are many vegetarian restaurants in the cities in this region.
The idea of someone being a vegan is not new in Sicily. Thus, there are equipped restaurants that attend to such needs. The same way you would see a regular restaurant is the same way you can see a vegan restaurant.
Some regular restaurants also have vegan menus. Thus, getting meals will not be challenging.
You can also get street foods in Sicily. People have different names they give such meals. Many will prefer to call them snacks.
Street foods are easy meals that you can get by the roadside. In Sicily, Panino Con Le Panelle is one of such meals. If you love eating pancakes, you should not hesitate to purchase this as it is their version of pancakes. It is usually delicious.
We do not know if you have ever tasted lamb intestine. It is a type of street food in this region, and they call it Stigghiola. Although some people may have initial hesitations about it, we can assure you that it is tasty.
There is also Pezzi Di Rosticceria, a type of snack that looks like both burgers and doughnuts. When you eat it, you will stay craving for more.
Many things come to mind when it concerns Italy, and one is their wine. Italian wine has made a name for itself worldwide, and people cannot wait to taste them. Thus, you are sure to get such wines in different varieties when you are in Sicily.
There are many drinks in this region, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It is sometimes difficult to choose an option as they are plenty. Picking an option usually depends on your preference.
We cannot start listing all the available drink options in this region. However, it is essential to note that you cannot run out of drink options.
It would be best if you do not dull yourself. Instead, go around and taste all that the region has to offer. It is not out of place to visit breweries and distilleries.
People have different things that they use as determinants before visiting a place. For some people, it is the tap water in the region.
We usually get questions from people who desire to visit Sicily asking if the tap water in the region is safe.
We are glad to tell you that tap water in this region is portable. People even go as far as drinking from the fountains due to the assurance of safety they have when it concerns drinking tap water in this region.
There are rare cases of some places in the region where the tap water is not portable. However, these are usually remote areas. Also, there will be a marking to indicate if the water is not safe for drinking.
Foreigners who visit Sicily only buy bottled water by choice, not because tap water is not portable.
Some curious minds love to know the things they can do in a place before visiting a region. It should not be a bother thinking of activities for those going to Sicily as it is an island. Thus, the first activity that comes to mind should be water activities.
If you are still confused, some of the activities one can do in Sicily are fishing and kayaking. After all, the water bodies make it an enabling environment.
You will see that it something the locals do. They will be glad to carry you along in such activities.
It could be that you are a professional in fishing and kayaking. Thus, everything will come easy. Even if you are a newbie, you can learn from others.
There are many perfect locations for fishing and kayaking in Sicily.
If you are not a fan of water, we know that you will desire to learn other activities in this region that are not water-dependent.
One of such is yoga. It is an activity that is gaining waves worldwide. However, it is more prevalent in some places than others. In a place like Sicily, this activity is famous. Thus, it is something you should consider doing. We know that this is pleasant news for professional yogis.
You will see yoga studios in most of the cities in this region. One may begin to wonder what will happen to newbies who desire to learn yoga. It is important to note that there are professional trainers in these studios. Thus, you are covered.
It would be best if you do not forget to add yoga to your list of activities when visiting Sicily.
It is wrong to go on a journey if you have not made accommodation plans. Every foreigner needs to have accommodation plans as it is an essential factor. It is a factor that can make or mar your journey.
We know that you will have money set aside for accommodation. But you cannot have the right amount if you do not know the accommodation options in that region. It is why it is always right to research before leaving your home city.
When you know what applies to the place you are visiting, you can adequately make an accommodation budget.
Knowing the available options allows you to prepare yourself for what to expect. We know that many people do not like to be caught unawares. Thus, it is necessary always to plan your accommodation.
For those who do not understand, green hotels mean eco-friendly hotels. The importance of staying eco-friendly has spread worldwide, and people now infuse it into their accommodation preference. Thus, it is not surprising when we get questions about green hotels in Sicily.
If you are traveling to this region and prefer to stay in a green hotel, we are happy to tell you that such an accommodation option is available. You can get it in most Sicilian cities, so it is not hard to find.
We cannot tell you an amount to budget as it depends on the green hotel you pick. However, we can say that it is affordable.
These green hotels are sometimes more comfortable than staying in a regular hotel. There is no much difference between both. The difference is that green hotels have facilities that protect the environment.
Hostels and Guest Houses
We do not know if you have ever considered staying in a hostel or guesthouse when visiting a new place. It is an option, especially for those who are traveling in a group. It comes in handy as everyone can stay in the same room.
If you are traveling to Sicily and considering this option, we are happy to tell you that there are hostels available in the region. It is also safe to say that you can find these hostels in any of the cities you are visit.
It would be best if you do not have a high expectation when it concerns staying in a hostel as the facilities are not as high as regular hotels. However, hostels and guest houses will not compromise your comfort.
We are sure that you will enjoy staying in a hostel in Sicily.
It is also important to note that there is the option of staying in an apartment when visiting Sicily. Some people refer to apartments as high-end accommodation options. It is because it is sometimes more expensive than other accommodation options.
We would say that you should consider staying in an apartment if you have a high accommodation budget. Some people do not mind spending any amount on accommodation as long as they are comfortable.
Staying in an apartment is never a bad idea as you have ample space for yourself and get to enjoy many facilities. Some people say that it is like staying in your home.
Thus, we cannot help but add it to the list. It is essential not to forget that it is a feasible option.
There are cases where a person might not have enough to spend when traveling to a new region. In such cases, the person is looking for ways to cut down on expenses. When thinking about cutting down on costs, such a person will be happy to have a situation where they do not have to pay for accommodation.
Some people might say that it is not possible. However, we are here to say that it is possible with Couchsurfing.
If you do not want to pay for accommodation, you can opt to stay with a local. It is also not challenging to find a host as the Couchsurfing website is always available.
The locals of Sicily are also not difficult individuals. Thus, you will have a swell time staying with your host.
We do not know if you have done adequate research on Sicily before traveling to the region. If you did, you would see that it is a perfect place for camping. You get to have various locations that can serve as a campsite apart from the clearly stated ones.
It comes in handy for those who love to experience the environment and connect with nature. Since camping is a famous activity in the region, you are sure to find others who would not mind collaborating with you.
Going camping is usually a fantastic experience that you do not want to miss. If you are looking for how to create memories in Sicily, you should go camping. It is an experience that you will not forget in years to come.
Getting There and Moving Around
Have you considered how you will get to Sicily? We ask foreigners traveling to this region, especially those who have never been there before.
A large percentage will keep a confused face. For these people, they planned to wing it. However, it is always important to research how to get there the same way you would research accommodation options.
When you do not know how to get to a place, commuting becomes stressful. We know that foreigners do not like anything stressful when traveling. To save yourself from such stress, ask questions before leaving your home city.
We do not want a situation where you go to the wrong location or plan to use a means of transport that is not feasible. The plan is to get there comfortably.
Once you know how to get there, you should not think that everything will magically fall in place. As a foreigner, there are still other things you need to know if you want a stress-free holiday.
One of such is to know how the people move around. It could be moving from your place of accommodation to a tourist attraction. It is essential to understand what applies in the region.
We know that no foreigner will like to look out of place when they are in a new area. However, this will happen if you do not understand how people move around. To avoid this, you should not shy away from asking questions.
We will help highlight some options that apply in Sicily. However, we know that the locals are always ready to help.
The first option on our list when it concerns moving around in Sicily is walking. It is an ideal means of movement when you are looking to cover short distances.
It does not make sense to think that you can walk from one city to another. However, you can walk short distances within a city. Some people have a particular fear of Sicily because of the mafia stories. Thus, they are always asking if it is safe to walk around in the region. These stories should not scare you as this region is as safe as other places. Crimes may happen, but the crime rate is low.
It is not out of place to have a camera as you walk around to capture things that hold your interest.
Another way of moving around in Sicily is to use a bicycle. It could be that there are bike lanes in your home city. However, you should not expect to see such in this region.
If you are not used to cycling without a bike lane, you can stick to other options. The motorists are used to seeing people cycling around, so they are usually careful.
It will not be out of place to have a water bottle as you cycle around as it gets hot, and you do not want to be dehydrated.
Where can I get a bicycle? You will see rental shops where people rent bikes so that you will not be an issue. It is also essential to wear a helmet as you cycle around Sicily.
You can also see people using a scooter to move around in Sicily. It would be best to have experience riding one before going to rent a scooter.
It is compulsory to have a license before riding a scooter in this region. Thus, ensure that you have one so that you do not get into trouble with the authorities.
Some of the rules that apply to cycling in this region also apply to using a scooter. It is vital to have a helmet as you ride in case of emergencies. It would help if you are mindful of the motorists when using a scooter.
We usually advise that anyone who desires to use a scooter in this region should first observe how the motorists ride to understand the region’s roads.
There are many ways of getting into Sicily, and one of them is to use a plane. Everyone can agree that it is the fastest means of transportation. Thus, it is not surprising that it is a favorite of some people.
We can say that most of the cities in this region have an airport. So, getting a flight to this place will not be hard.
Since foreigners usually come in from various locations, we cannot state all the places to get a direct flight to Sicily. However, if you are somewhere within Italy already, getting a direct flight will not be an issue.
You can check if there is a direct flight from your present location to the region. If there is one, it is best to get to Italy and get a direct flight.
Fortunately, you can also use air to move around in this region. We would not say that it is a common means of moving around, but it is feasible.
Since most of the region’s cities have airports, you have high chances of getting domestic flights. Many people do not patronize this method because it is expensive.
We see that most people who use air to move around in this region are those who do not have much time to spare or people who do not care about the money spent. If you do not have a high traveling budget, we would not advise you to use air in moving around.
As a foreigner, it is always best to know all your available options. Thus, it would be best if you do not forget that this is feasible.
Typically, some persons would want to use a bus to travel. After all, it is one of the most common means of traveling. Thus, we are not shocked when people indicate interest in using a bus to reach Sicily.
When this happens, we always remind them to check if there is a road connection from their present location to this region. Those coming from distant places like other continents cannot think of using a direct bus to Sicily.
The perfect way of getting a bus to this region is if you are in Italy. People in Rome have no issues getting a direct bus to Sicily. Thus, using a bus to this region is feasible. But you should only conceive the thoughts if you are already within Italy.
What about using a bus to move around? Using a bus to move around is a perfect option and choice in this region. There is a road connection that links all the cities, so you have ease of movement when using a bus. It is safe to say that the bus system in Sicily is extensive.
You will see that it is a common means of moving around in the region, especially as it is cheap. The locals do not hesitate to use a bus and move around.
Suppose you need more details on the best places to board buses within cities in the region. It is best to get such information from the locals. They will also help you with the cost. It is essential to ask questions so that you will not be ignorant.
Another way of getting into Sicily is to use a train. Everyone would agree that using a train is dependent on the availability of a railway.
Those who have researched Sicily or been to this region before will confirm that it has a railway linked to different places.
Using a train works similarly to using a bus. You should not think of using a train to Sicily if you are not already in Italy.
Trains take more extended hours. From Rome to this region by train is about 10 hours. Thus, it would not make sense to conceive thoughts of using a train to come in from another country or continent.
One can use a train to this region from places within Sicily where there is a railway connection.
You can also use trains to move around in Sicily. Thus, it is safe to say that there is an extensive means of moving around in the region.
These trains are also not expensive, and some of them are described as fast trains. You can get them to different cities, and it is a favorite means of movement for some people.
There are various ways of moving around in this region, and you should not forget that using trains is a feasible means.
It is also possible to hitchhike in this region. The idea of hitchhiking entails getting a free ride to the island or within its cities.
It depends on the means of transport you wish to use in reaching the region. However, you might be lucky to get on them for free.
All you need to do is hang around the boarding area and plead to have a free ride. We are not saying that it is always possible, but it is feasible.
Since there are water bodies in this region, it should not be shocking that using ferries is another way of getting into Sicily.
Likewise, most of the means of getting into the island, you can only use a ferry if you are already in Italy.
Thus, you can first reach Italy using other means of movement, then use a ferry to Sicily. If this is your preference, you should relax and enjoy yourself during the ride.
We do not know your plans when it concerns staying in this region. However, we know that you will want to get along with the locals. A way of getting along with the locals and being a responsible traveler is to buy local items. This process is called sustainable shopping.
Engaging in sustainable shopping should be a favorite pastime of any foreigner. We can assure you that you will see an array of items you will love to get.
Some people do not know how to engage in sustainable shopping, while others do it unknowingly. If you find yourself buying things from the local markets in a region, you can call it sustainable shopping. After all, the locals are vendors in such places.
The food markets are perfect locations to engage in sustainable shopping. If you have not been visiting them when in a new region, you should start now.
There are many food markets in Sicily.
What do you think about buying things from a second-hand store? If you did not know, it is also a way of engaging in sustainable shopping.
Some people might complain that the items are not new. But it does not mean that they are not of correct quality.
Buying things from a second-hand store is always favorable as there is an array of items you can get from such places. We know you will find something you need.
There is also the idea of eco-fashion when it concerns sustainable shopping. It is a way fashion designers infuse using recyclable items in making clothes and other fashion items.
Some people may find it weird, but allow us to tell you that it is one of the best innovations. You will see that models use these fashion items to walk the runway.
Buying eco-fashion wear classifies as a way of engaging in sustainable shopping when in a new place.
Although eco-fashion happens in this region, the recycling rate is low. It is not that the locals do not understand recycling’s usefulness, but they are yet to engage in it actively.
As a foreigner, you can try within your means to ensure that recycling happens around you. If you are looking for a way to help the region, investing in recycling will go a long way.
Looking at Italy in general, the recycling rate is low in the whole country.
Since recycling does not happen in this region, we cannot say that it is proactive when it concerns waste management.
We cannot say that the region is dirty, but they have a long way to go when it concerns waste management. There are hopes that things will change with time in the area.
When you are in Sicily, you should ensure that you help in waste management.
Work and Study Abroad
Working and studying in Sicily is also something that can happen. It is something that gets many international students curious as they desire to know how to make plans.
If you study in Italy as an international student, you can work for not more than 20 hours per week.
Thus, we can say that international students can work while studying. The hour limitation is to ensure that nothing encroaches on your studies.
It is possible to be an exchange student in Sicily. What matters is that your school in your home city does an exchange program with a school in the region.
As an exchange student, you should take Italian classes as it makes life easier. You will see other international students in the region also, so you should not have any worries.
The region is welcoming to international students, so we are sure that you will have a swell time.
A way of getting a job in this region is through the au pair system. However, this only works with those who do not mind domesticated jobs.
As an au pair, you should be ready to coexist with the locals. It will come in handy to understand some Italian phrases, and you should also be prepared to make compromises.
However, we are sure that you will enjoy living and working for the family as Sicily locals as easy-going.
To be a volunteer in any new place, you need to check for areas where they need help. You can be a volunteer in various sectors in Sicily.
However, one outstanding sector is when it concerns waste management and recycling. Ensure that you are efficient at what you do as a volunteer.