Sunday, July 15, 2012

(Real) Tour Guides

Walking around central Palermo yesterday, I was struck by the number of small three-wheel passenger vehicles (based on the Ape or bee made in Italy) driven by "taxi drivers" offering tours to visitors. Needless to say, these are not very sophisticated "tours" of the city. The (often obnoxious) drivers can't even speak English and know very little about local history. What is more, their mediocre services are ridiculously overpriced. Frankly, it amazes me that anybody would want to see Palermo this way.

Instead of this improvised solution, get a small group together - even if it's only 3 or 4 people - and hire a real tour guide in Palermo or elsewhere in Sicily. These college-educated professionals speak at least three languages and are highly qualified to do what they do. Some are actually published historians or archaeologists. They are authorized to accompany you around the city and to lecture at historical sites (in churches and museums, for example). Check out our Sicily tour guide page for listings. This requires some foresight, but why leave your visit to chance?

And for realistic, reliable information on transportation and sightseeing in Palermo, check out See Palermo's sightseeing page.

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