Friday, October 29, 2010

Time Change 30/31 October

A reminder that if you are in Italy or most parts of western Europe you'll have to set your clock back an hour around 2 AM on Sunday, 31 October. Or, if you prefer, late Saturday evening. What's important is that you effect the change if your computer or cell phone doesn't do it automatically.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tours of Sicily 2011

The folks in our commercial department tell me that the descriptions of our tours of Sicily for 2011 are now online, that there are more start dates than in 2010 and that the prices have not increased.

Commercial department? Yes, Best of Sicily is a commercial publication which accepts advertising. It is not published by a tour company, hotel reservation vendor, public travel bureau or media conglomerate. Advertising is what keeps this site going and that includes co-branded tours. Were it not for such advertising, this website would not exist. In fact, it had virtually no advertising from its launch in 1999 until 2005 when we began selling tours of Sicily.

That said, this site, like most newspapers and magazines, is "free press" - as you can infer from the great diversity of articles we publish on dozens of topics, often from differing points of view.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pope Benedict Visits Sicily

Tomorrow (Sunday, October 3rd) Pope Benedict will be in Palermo for a day to celebrate an open-air mass in the morning and then meet with the archbishop and seminarians for lunch. Later he'll attend an event in Piazza Politeama to meet with young people.

We can expect most of the commercial and historical districts of the city to be closed to traffic. Over 200,000 people are expected at the mass on the seaside lawns along the Foro Italico.

As you can imagine, getting around town by car will be virtually impossible, and it won't be easy even on foot. Palermitan crowds are usually undisciplined, to say the least, and consider littering public areas a birthright. I don't envy the Monday-morning cleaning crews!

It's been 17 years ago since the last Papal visit, always a big event. While some people will certainly appreciate Benedict's message (and his Italian is far better than his English), for most it's the pure spectacle that is appealing. They won't be disappointed.