Anyone been to Sicily in the summer?

Sep 17th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Anyone been to Sicily in the summer?

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip for July 05 and can't seem to get Sicily out of my head. I had told myself it would be too hot and to save it for some other year when I could go in another season. So we are tentatively thinking of driving from Barcelona through Provence to northern Italy. But I was wondering how much worse the temps would be in Sicily. Obviously it will be warm, of course it would be better to go in Spring or Fall. But I'd love to hear from people who have been there in the summer months. Would you do it again? Was it really worse than the rest of Italy (Rome north)? I've been to Italy two other July's and didn't think it was horrible but I never went below Rome. Thanks
isabel is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 03:09 PM
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The first two times I was in Sicily, it waxs in summer. But that was 40 and 32 years ago, so I don't remember all details. I do remember that it was blazing hot, dry and sunny in Agrigento in August 28 years ago, and that I regretted being out at midday, even though I wore a hat to keep some of the sun from baking my brain. I also remember that it was muggy in Palermo that month and the atmospheric conditions kept the air pollution close to the ground, as it sometimes does in NJ during certain kinds of humid summer weather. (I've been in Palermo other times of year when the air was fine, so I don't think it's a particularly polluted place.) I think it was pleasantly hot, not excessively hot or stuffy in Messina, Taormina and Siracusa 28 years ago in August. Forty years ago, it was ideal summer weather in the Nebrodi Mountains in August, definitely not excessively hot.

I wouldn't choose summer as the time to go to Sicily, but going in summer is better than not going at all. Then you can go back at other times of the year in future years and compare. I'd suggest wearing a sun hat when you're visiting very sunny places like Agrigento, Selinunte, Segesta, etc.and take long lunch breaks to get out of the mid=day sun.
cmt is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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We went to Sicily in July of 2002. Sure it was hot (temps 39 or 40 degrees Celsius, over 100F) but we didn't find it unbearable. It made the beaches at Cefalu, Capo di Orlando, Taormina and Lipari even more inviting. I'd go again.
Grinisa is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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Thanks for the replys. I'm glad to see that you'd both go again but over 100F does sound pretty hot. How about the humidity? That can certainly make a huge difference. And is air conditioning prevelent? I've always been able to find AC even in modest (2 star) hotels in the rest of Italy. How about in Sicily?
isabel is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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It was not humid except in Palermo, which was hazy, with polluted air hanging over it when I was there ~August 1972. (But I don't think it's usually like that in Palermo.) It was extremely dry and hot in Agrigento that same summer, but the other places were just pleasantly hot and fairly dry--just right, beautiful summer weather. Both of my summer trips were a very long time ago. (It's a wonder I remember anything.) I don't know about AC. In recent years I've been in Sicily in May and November, when it wasn't needed.
cmt is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 07:23 AM
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We were in Sicily during the summer of 2003, which was one of the warmest summers in history throughout Europe. It was actually a little cooler in Sicily than it was in Florence, which had several days over 105 degrees. But make no mistake, Sicily is warm in July and August. The best way to deal with it is how the Sicilians do - stay out of the midday sun. The beaches in Sicily can be crowded at 9:00 a.m., but are virtually deserted between noon and 3:00 p.m. You should definitely wear a sun hat and drink lots of water. I didn't find the humidity to be a problem, certainly no worse than NYC in August. Air conditioning is available in most larger hotels, but not always available in pensioni. You should check the hotel and specifically request a room with A/C.
rbrazill is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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I, too, am planning a summer trip (7/7 to 7/19). In fact, I've already booked rooms in Taormina and Vulcano. I'm also concerned about the heat, so I'm booking hotels with pools and/or beach access. We plan to tour in the am and in the evening, and "chill" during the day. I'm also planning to go exclusively by train and use the cities as hubs.
Any advice about that? I've heard that driving in Palermo is a nightmare best avoided by tourists.
midimania is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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It's pretty unanimous here that driving in Palermo is a nightmare. I only experienced it as a passenger and concur wholeheartedly.

I don't know how much you want to see from the city hubs you choose, but you should be aware that train service is a bit sketchy in Sicily and that while buses go everywhere (or almost...), the schedules are not always very convenient.
Eloise is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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We went in March and it was lovely--but the guide told us it gets well over 100 daily in the summer and everything closes down for 12-5 to avoid the heat of the day and people sleep then. She said the clientele is primarily from Scandinavia and Germany and Holland.
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