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top tips to know for planning a winter break in sicily


Sicily may seem a little forgotten down at the toe of Italy’s boot, but it is a wild and wonderful holiday destination and makes for a great place to visit during the winter months. The crowds are smaller, the weather cooler and interchangeable and there is still a lot to see and do.
Book a holiday in our luxury villas in Sicily for your winter holidays now, and be prepared for your trip with these top tips:
Plan ahead and be flexible
Like many other tourist hotspots, a winter trip to Sicily requires some planning ahead to confirm opening days and hours. In large cities like Palermo, Messina and Syracuse, tourist businesses tend to open all year round, but you can still come across a few closed signs. To avoid disappoint, be flexible with your plans, so if you turn up to a castle or church that is said to be closed, have something else close by ready to visit too.
Remember siesta
Even in the winter, many attractions and businesses close for siesta from around 1 and 4pm each afternoon, so it is best to plan your day around the siesta. Try a late lunch to take up some down time, or go for an outdoor adventure during the siesta time. Alternatively, indulge in a siesta yourself at your luxury villa. 
Wrap up with layers
Although Sicily is in the Mediterranean and you will often look out to clear blue skies every morning, the weather can get quite cold during winter, with temperatures getting to 10C, and 5C during the night. The weather can also change quickly and dramatically, so it is important to wrap up accordingly. Coats, jumpers, hats and scarves are ideal to keep the biting wind away.  
Take a phrase book
Though there will be English speaking staff at the tourist attractions to help you, it is a good idea to bring a phrase book along with you as signs and menus among other things rarely have an English translation. A phrase book can also help you with some polite conversation with any locals you meet along your travels.
Bring good walking shoes
A handy tip to remember no matter what time of year you visit Sicily, a good pair of walking boots or shoes will make your holiday a lot better than if you had to suffer from sore feet and blisters. Many of the attractions in Sicily can be found off the beaten track and comfortable shoes make getting there a lot easier. 
Use a GPS when driving
If you hire a car to travel around Sicily, make sure to use a GPS as driving can get a little crazy. Roads are not always well marked, so be sure to be on the lookout for the right turnings. A GPS can help you from getting lost as frequently!
Image by Allie Caulfield, available under Creative Commons
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