Saturday, March 19, 2011

The War Next Door (Part 2)

After several weeks of meditation and debate, the United Nations Security Council decided to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and French, British and American forces are now undertaking the first air assaults on planes, tanks and other military targets. Meanwhile, Libyans and other refugees continue to arrive on Sicily and its islands in the Sicilian Channel. People on Lampedusa are protesting the presence of thousands of refugees being housed on their island for an indefinite period.

Will all of this have an effect on your visit to Sicily? Not at all. The island and the Mediterranean are a lot bigger than they look on the map, and in the event Libya doesn't have many missiles capable of reaching Sicily's southern coast. It is possible that some cruise ships might alter their itineraries in the central Mediterranean, though keeping their scheduled stops in Palermo, Messina and Catania. (Cruise lines cancelled calls in Egypt and Tunisia for the entire 2011 season.) Travel by air and sea to Malta is not being interrupted.

Here on the Med's largest island day-to-day life is mostly untouched by events in Libya except for more activity at the US-NATO base at Sigonella near Catania and the Italian air force base outside Trapani. That said, we hope the conflict is resolved soon though we doubt that it will be.

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