Practical tips and safety
Is Sicily safe? To get a yardstick on this, you are 27 times more likely to get murdered in the USA and 4 times more likely to get raped (that’s official data). On the other hand, I would say in Sicily you are approximately 100 times more likely to get a market trader fiddling your change (I just invented that statistic myself).
Sicily is one of the world’s safest places overall. This is based both on published crime statistics, and on the fact that I spent 13 years walking around semi-derelict side streets in central Palermo with a large map and my baby in a push-chair humming “God Save the Queen” to him, and the most dangerous thing that ever happened to us was when my spike heel got jammed between two cobblestones.
People regularly message me asking if Sicily has become “dangerous” since it is “overrun” by African refugees. Firstly, it is not overrun by African refugees. Secondly, the few refugees you will see in Sicily are not there to do anyone any harm; they went there to get out of harm’s way themselves.
Please relax, and enjoy a laid back family holiday.
If you want to know what you should be eating while in Sicily, visit my food page for lots of suggestions!
Some of these are not links because I haven’t finished making the pages yet. I’m on it.
Scroll down for a few of my very favourite ideas…
Baroque things to do on holidays in Sicily
Some totally weird things to do on holidays in Sicily
Sicily is a place where you can taste the biblical food manna (in Castelbuono), or have a spleen sandwich (Palermo).
You can swim with turtles (Lampedusa) and walk into the crater of Europe’s largest volcano (Etna). You can see a cathedral which has a passage of the Koran carved into its wall (Palermo), or buy cactus fruits in a street market founded by North Africans over 1,000 years ago (Il Capo).
You can visit a church crypt (in Gangi) where they have mummified every priest since medieval times and propped him up against the wall. You can walk around a bank vault containing the most precious collection of coins in the world (Siracusa). You can even attend mass in an underground cathedral carved entirely out of salt (in Realmonte).
If you are lucky, you just might meet a real life knight in shining armour (Caccamo).
I don’t buy content
This is my personal blog. No, I don’t want to pay you to write “great content” for me. After living in Sicily with my Sicilian family for 13 years, I have enough insight into Sicilian culture, and enough experience of what there is to do in Sicily, to write this stuff all by myself.
And, of course, I am Dangerously Truthful about all of it.
Also, don’t offer to write me a “guest post” which is a thinly disguised advertisement. Particularly if your “guest post” is a candidate for Naff Headline of the Year called something like “This topless model tried a spleen sandwich in Palermo: You won’t believe what happened next!” or “Top Ten Hip Hotels the Sicilians DON’T want you to know about”, number seven of which will “blow my mind”.
A novel depicting the reality of life in Sicily. Kind of.
AN ENGLISH WOMAN TAKES ON PARENTHOOD, THE MAFIA AND A SICILIAN MOTHER-IN-LAW, ALL AT ONCE
When career-girl Veronica flies to Sicily for a friend’s wedding, she accidentally falls in love with one of the groom’s three-hundred cousins. A year later she has given up her job, house and friends, and is planning her own wedding with her Latin Lover in the shimmering heat of Sicily.
She suspects her seaside dream-villa is being built by the Mafia when the stubbly foreman visits, brandishing a large hammer and demanding more money. In shock, she learns her Sicilian spleen-sandwich and prickly-pear cravings are because she is pregnant. Still reeling, Veronica is challenged to a duel fought with wooden spoons over who is the better woman, when her rosary-flailing mother-in-law starts checking her son’s vests are ironed and inspecting the toilet bowl for subtle skidmarks.
Can resourceful Veronica solve her problems by pitching one adversary against the other?Join her on an unpredictable journey of hilarity, reckless driving and dangerously large portions of spaghetti in this almost true travel-novel, for people who need more belly-laughs.
TIMES OF SICILY review:
“The diary is filled with biting wit, an astute knack for observation and a powerful sense of determination which makes it a joy to read. Di Grigoli’s strong personality comes out as she deftly sketches out the intricacies of life on the complex island of Sicily at the heart of the Mediterranean.”