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The Reality about Visiting Sicily in Wintry weather (Just right And Unhealthy)

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Visiting Sicily in wintry weather looks as if a win at a very easy look. Why no longer head to probably the most warmest puts in Europe, the place snow simplest falls at the easiest of volcanoes, break out your cold native land, and revel in the entire scrumptious meals and wine?

I’ve traveled to Sicily a number of occasions and lately took a longer commute to Palermo and western Sicily. And whilst I had a good time, the elements was once some distance worse than I had anticipated.

Each information I’ve examine visiting Sicily in wintry weather simplest tells you all about the great things, whilst comfortably telling you not one of the dangerous issues.

I see that as malpractice — an abdication of accountability.

In my 13+ years {of professional} go back and forth writing, I’ve made it a challenge to inform my readers the reality in regards to the puts they seek advice from — each the great and the dangerous.

So buckle up — this is the reality, the entire fact, and the entire fact about visiting Sicily in wintry weather.

Is Sicily in Wintry weather Value It?

I’ve visited Sicily a number of occasions, at other occasions of 12 months. Sicily, the biggest island in Italy, is house to an enchanting cultural combine, such a lot shocking herbal attractiveness, and every now and then it looks like a fully other country to Italy.

Summer season is prime season in Sicily, with busy crowds and prime costs. However wintry weather could be a breath of unpolluted air in a number of techniques.

Sicily is among the warmest puts in Europe within the wintry weather, and folks come to Sicily in wintry weather to revel in just a little of light when the remainder of the continent is frozen. Wintry weather additionally occurs to be off-season, with the bottom costs of the 12 months and the fewest crowds.

However simply because it’s hotter than your native land presently of 12 months, that doesn’t imply that you simply’ll really feel hotter presently of 12 months.

A vineyard in Sicily in winter, nothing on the vines, some small buildings in the distance.

Issues to Know About Visiting Sicily in Wintry weather

The elements may well be pretty — or horrible.

Sicily has gentle winters, proper? How gentle are we speaking, even though? Whilst you’ll have a look at the typical temperatures and rainfall in Sicily, that are indexed additional down on this piece, know that they don’t inform you the entire tale.

As a rule, you’ll revel in a number of sunshine within the wintry weather and moderately heat temperatures all the way through the day.

However that’s in the event you’re fortunate.

On my newest commute to Sicily in February, I had an afternoon and a part of light in Palermo prior to temperatures dropped considerably and it became rainstorms. 5 days of rainstorms! Wintry weather climate temperatures hovered round 43 F (6 C) and less warm at night time.

Now, in the event you’re in Sicily for a month, 5 days of chilly and rain received’t do a lot to you. However in the event you’re simplest right here for per week, it may possibly make an enormous affect in your seek advice from.

I stopped up purchasing a wintry weather coat in Palermo as a result of my midweight coats have been neither waterproof nor heat sufficient. Although the sunlight hours temperature hadn’t dropped, night time temperatures are tremendous chilly in Sicily.

And in truth, when I were given again house to Prague, it was once a lot less warm, however I didn’t really feel just about as chilly as I had felt in Sicily!

The right way to handle this: Be constructive in regards to the sunshine — however deliver an umbrella and a excellent wintry weather jacket, shawl, and gloves, simply in case.

Sicilian constructions are poorly insulated.

This isn’t distinctive to Sicily, however one thing you notice right through Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Structures in Sicily are constructed to stick cool right through the recent summers, no longer stay the warmth in.

In consequence, you may well be shocked simply how chilly it will get within.

All through our most up-to-date seek advice from to Sicily within the wintry weather, Charlie and I had deliberate on running from house for a couple of days. We labored from the eating room desk dressed in layers of shirts and sweaters and coated in blankets.

Whilst our rental did have a radiator, we had it up the entire approach it might move — which was once nonetheless a temperature that left us shivering. Even at night time, my face was once chilly, my frame buried beneath a number of blankets.

And that’s the case for eating places, too. Ceaselessly we might be seated subsequent to a window, which had chilly air flowing within the joint between the window and the wall. Once more — deficient insulation.

Past that, a variety of bars, eating places, and pasticcerie stored the doorways open all day, protecting the interior as chilly because the outdoor.

By the point we rented a automotive for our previous couple of days, I just about wept in aid — when we grew to become at the warmth, this was once the warmest I have been in days.

The right way to handle this: Convey heavier garments than you assume you want, particularly layering choices like base layers and sweaters. Plan on dressed in your wintry weather coat in eating places. See in case your lodging can give further blankets and/or an area heater.

A skier skiing down shallow white snow on Mount Etna, the Aeolian Islands in the background.
Snowboarding Mount Etna, by way of Shutterstock

Wintry weather brings distinctive occasions in Sicily.

However there are numerous good stuff about wintry weather in Sicily, too. One of the vital strange issues to do in Sicily within the wintry weather? Ski Mount Etna! Sure, Sicily’s most famed lively volcano has ski inns within the wintry weather!

Is it the best snowboarding you’ll ever do in Italy? No. This isn’t the Dolomites; this isn’t even the Apennines. Other people generally tend to ski Etna simply to mention they’ve executed it.

Any other in style wintry weather tournament in Sicily is Christmas markets. Sicily’s Christmas markets most often run within the month of December. You’ll be able to in finding Christmas markets within the towns of Palermo, Catania,

Residing Nativity scenes are discovered right through Sicily as smartly, some full of as many as 200 folks. Essentially the most well-known Residing Nativity performances are in Giarratana in Ragusa province, Custonaci in Trapani province, and Gangi in Palermo province, even though there are masses extra. (There’s even one in my circle of relatives’s ancestral native land, Castanea delle Furie in Messina province!)

And, in fact, there are many non secular fairs in Sicily within the wintry weather. The Festa di Sant’Agata takes position February 3-5 and is Catania’s biggest competition (even though you’ll see celebratory pastries as some distance west as Palermo!).

Any other in style competition is the Almond Blossom Pageant in Agrigento, happening over the process per week in early March.

And don’t omit Martedi Grosso — Fats Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, or Carnival — celebrating one closing around of hedonism prior to Lent starts. Martedi Grosso normally takes position in February.

The right way to handle this: Take a handy guide a rough glance to peer in case your keep will coincide with a competition, as a result of that might make a large distinction on the subject of puts being open, lodging being costlier, or events on the street till overdue.

An empty street in a Sicilian village underneath a cloudy sky.
The place are the entire folks in Castellamare del Golfo?

Sicilian villages are empty in wintry weather.

Probably the most pleasures of visiting Sicily is exploring a number of little villages right through the island. Public transportation isn’t in depth in Sicily, so renting a automotive is one of the best ways to discover a number of other cities.

Alternatively, we quickly discovered that small cities are particularly quiet all the way through the wintry weather months. It wasn’t strange to visit probably the most better cities within the area — like Marsala, inhabitants 83,000 — and in finding the entirety closed within the town middle except for the bar in entrance of the Duomo.

In contrast to many different international locations, Sicilians don’t mark their companies as seasonally closed on Google Maps. So you’ll be riding round, in search of a cafe, in search of eating places which are “open now” — and they are going to if truth be told be closed.

Let me provide you with an instance: San Vito Lo Capo, a seashore village with impressive cliffs about an hour’s pressure from Palermo. We visited on a Saturday in February, the primary sunny day after 5 days of rain.

Consistent with Google, there have been greater than 40 eating places lately open within the town middle that day. In truth, there have been precisely 0 eating places open, with simplest two bars serving meals: a large bar on a piazza, which drew a crowd, and a tiny bar across the nook.

The right way to repair this: Keep in a town all the way through your seek advice from to maximise your eating and sightseeing choices. I like to recommend Palermo, Catania, or the Ortigia house of Siracusa, which every have sufficient occurring in wintry weather to make it a profitable keep. We had a really perfect week in Palermo and ate at such a lot of cool eating places!

A quiet, empty street in Italy with a motorbike parked.
Our excursion to Monreale was once to begin with booked however cancelled because of loss of sufficient bookings, so we simply went on our personal.

Many excursions and actions in Sicily are unavailable in wintry weather.

I am getting it — you needless to say you received’t have the ability to move on a snorkeling excursion in wintry weather. That is sensible.

However you may well be shocked that you simply fight to discover a lately working meals excursion, historical strolling excursion, or day commute to close by ruins all the way through the wintry weather months. Many corporations don’t run their excursions within the wintry weather months as it doesn’t make monetary sense.

Need to take the cable automotive from Trapani to Erice? Sorry, it’s closed from early January thru overdue March. You’ll be able to nonetheless seek advice from; you’ll simply need to do the switchbacky pressure up the mountain your self. And if you’re in Erice, don’t plan on discovering any place to consume.

Every so often you’ll achieve out to the excursion corporate for a personal excursion in the event you’d like, however this would possibly finally end up being greater than you need to spend.

The right way to repair this: Analysis your actions prematurely, see what’s to be had all the way through the time of your wintry weather seek advice from, and come to a decision what’s a dealbreaker for you.

The view from a stone amphitheater perched high on a hill, hills and the ocean in the distance.
What a view from the amphitheater in Segesta!

Archaeological websites are nice to seek advice from in wintry weather.

Are you keen on classical historical past who can’t get sufficient of historical ruins? You’re going to love visiting Sicily. This island is wealthy in ruins, maximum of them Greek ruins, with a couple of Roman-era treasures thrown in.

And it’s a lot better visiting ruins in Sicily within the wintry weather. Ruins seldom have a lot coloration and are ceaselessly crowded, however within the wintry weather you’ll crave that sunshine and there might be no crowds.

Any individual who’s visited Agrigento in August has felt like they have been getting into the gates of hell! Agrigento in January? A fabulous position to seek advice from, even with low temperatures.

So which internet sites are value visiting? Indubitably don’t leave out the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento; Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica; and Villa Romana del Casale; every of which is a UNESCO International Heritage Web page.

Past UNESCO, The Segesta ruins as regards to Palermo have been a spotlight for me, particularly the impressive view from the amphitheater. Selinunte Archaeological Park in Trapani Province is every other website value visiting.

A beach in winter with big frothy waves and a kitesurfer surfing across them. Pastel-colored square beach buildings in the background.
Mondello Seaside, Palermo, in wintry weather — empty except for for kitesurfers and dog-walkers.

Sicilian islands and seashores aren’t a smart selection in wintry weather.

Sicily is house to probably the most most lovely seashores in Italy (which is why it kind of feels like part of mainland Italy decamps to Sicily in August!). From the Aeolian Islands (my non-public favourite spot) to the Egadi Islands to cities like Cefalù, Avola, and San Vito Lo Capo, this islands are at their highest in summer season, which is prime season in Sicily.

Past due spring and early fall might be a lot quieter and maximum Italians will believe it very a lot no longer seashore climate, however it may possibly nonetheless be a great time to swim within the Mediterranean Sea (and the ocean temperature is hotter in October than Would possibly).

However within the wintry weather, those cities are completely useless. The majority of companies in seashore cities shutter solely all the way through the chilly wintry weather months. Even in style spots like Cefalù are ghost cities.

Moreover, public shipping is restricted to those puts in wintry weather, particularly ferries to the smaller islands. For those who in point of fact need to move to the Aeolian Islands in wintry weather, a minimum of keep in Lipari, which has the largest town middle of the islands and a couple of puts keep open within the wintry weather.

Learn Extra: Whole Information to the Aeolian Islands, Sicily

People sitting at street side restaurants, drinking spritzes and eating fried food.
Placing out at L. a. Vucciria, an excellent spot for aperitivo.

Palermo is numerous amusing in wintry weather.

As I stated prior to, towns are the most productive puts to seek advice from in Sicily in wintry weather as a result of folks are living there year-round. You’ll be able to in finding a variety of eating places to make a choice from, and heaps of amusing issues to do.

Palermo was once an extremely amusing position to have as a base all the way through the wintry weather months. Whilst we didn’t success out with the elements and it was once chilly each outside and inside, Palermo temporarily muscled its approach into my checklist of favourite Italian towns due to the folks, meals, and total vibe.

Palermo is colourful, pleasant, and really reasonably priced. The meals is unbelievable and the road meals scene is very good, even within the wintry weather months. It’s the most productive position to really feel such as you’re splurging for an extremely low worth. And Palermo occurs to be a bit bit sunnier and hotter than Catania and Japanese Sicily.

I might completely return to Palermo for every other lengthy wintry weather seek advice from.

Learn Extra: 23 Amusing Issues to Do in Palermo, Sicily

A couple standing in a medieval tower in Erice, Sicily, looking over the mountainous landscape underneath a cloudy sky.
Erice on a cloudy, chilly wintry weather day.

Sicily Climate in Wintry weather

Sicily enjoys a Mediterranean local weather with sunny summers and cold winters. Here’s knowledge on temperature and rainfall, month by means of month, in Catania within the east and Palermo within the west:

Sicily in December

In December, the elements in Palermo, Sicily, is normally gentle with a mean prime temperature of 61°F (16°C) and a mean low temperature of fifty°F (10°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 3.7 inches (94 mm).

In Catania, Sicily, the elements in December may be gentle, with a mean prime temperature of 62°F (17°C) and a mean low temperature of 44°F (7°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 3.1 inches (79 mm).

Sicily in January

In January, the elements in Palermo is moderately cooler with a mean prime temperature of 58°F (14°C) and a mean low temperature of 46°F (8°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 3.2 inches (82 mm).

In Catania, the elements in January is the same with a mean prime temperature of 60°F (16°C) and a mean low temperature of 41°F (5°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 3.3 inches (85 mm).

Sicily in February

In February, the elements in Palermo begins to heat up once more with a mean prime temperature of 60°F (16°C) and a mean low temperature of 46°F (8°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 2.6 inches (66 mm).

In Catania, the elements in February may be milder with a mean prime temperature of 60°F (16°C) and a mean low temperature of 41°F (5°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 2.8 inches (72 mm).

Sicily in March

In March, the elements in Palermo continues to heat up with a mean prime temperature of 63°F (17°C) and a mean low temperature of 48°F (9°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 2.5 inches (63 mm).

In Catania, the elements in March is the same with a mean prime temperature of 62°F (17°C) and a mean low temperature of 44°F (7°C). The common rainfall for this month is round 2.5 inches (64 mm).

The medical city of Ragusa, Sicily, all sand-colored with lots of staircases and twisted paths.
The Baroque town of Ragusa, a beautiful position to seek advice from in Sicily.

Easiest Time to Seek advice from Sicily

So when is the most productive time to seek advice from Sicily, for actual? For those who’re in search of a trade-off of great climate, sunshine, heat temperatures, and manageable ranges of crowds, goal for Would possibly, September, or October.

Those months are completely pretty (and September remains to be very a lot summer season), nevertheless it’s no longer “summer season” to Italians, who’re in autumn mode once September hits. Plus, children are again in class, this means that the crowds are fewer crowds.

For those who’re no longer keen on heat climate and would quite seek advice from within the shoulder season, believe overdue March, April, or November. Early spring and overdue fall deliver cooler climate that makes the easiest prerequisites for a lot of out of doors sightseeing.

And in the end, visiting Sicily in wintry weather will also be completely superb in the event you’re fortunate with the elements. And in the event you keep for longer, likelihood is that you’ll have the ability to enjoy numerous sunny days.

By means of now, if you wish to plan a wintry weather vacation to Sicily, that’s nice! I’ve executed my process, which is telling you what to anticipate — for actual.

Extra on Sicily:

Cool Puts in Southern Italy:

Making plans a Commute to Italy:

Have you ever been to Sicily in wintry weather? What are your guidelines?

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