Sicily Travel Blog – SicilyShortStay

Sicilian Culture Facts | Some tips to be polite

SicilyShortStay will identify all the Sicilian culture facts you need to know before visiting Sicily or while staying on the island. Maybe, just out of curiosity. Feel free to send us your messages by email on You may also comment on any blogs related to our Sicily Trivia posts so we can see your inquiries quickly. We are tackling this first question below. We hope it can help you, enjoy your stay in Sicily!

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Visit the best destinations in Sicily with SicilyShortStay. We have a variety of Sicily holiday rentals in popular cities and towns. Select the best places for you in Sicily. Sicily can be anything you want it to be. For one thing, it is a dream or a charming refuge.

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The Ghost Island of Sicily: Isola Ferdinandea

If the ghost island of Sicily, Isola Ferdinandea exists, perhaps Atlantis too?

Sicily is a region with lush islands at the foot of Italy. A couple of hundred years ago, almost forgotten by many, a volcanic island appeared in Sicily between Tunisia and the mainland. It is the ghost island of Isola Ferdinandea. The island erupted, submerged and had never been seen again.

Where is the island now? Continue reading

Places to visit in Palermo with kids

Are you looking for great places to visit in Palermo with kids? Travelling with kids is exciting but can be stressful sometimes. Majority of us are parents so we can relate to you. We know that it is necessary to know where to go. So to avoid such inconvenience, especially for your kids, we are sharing the list of some of the places in Palermo where you can have a visit with your kids without ignoring fun and relaxation.

Mondello Beach

photo courtesy of Jorge Franganillo

Mondello is one of the best places to visit with children, especially kids under seven years old. The sandy beach and shallow turquoise sea water are perfect for them. The beach is quite long, and there are lots of gelateria (ice cream stores), bars, restaurants, small counter street food seller along the beach, which comes very handy. Lidi(lido or bathing establishments) are usually available from May to September. During high season (around July to August), it will be quite hard to find a free beach. So if you want to have a private space, which means space at least 50 cm away from your beach towel, maybe you should consider renting a place at some lido or beach clubs. Most of them also offer a small beach park area for toddlers.

Cefalu Beach

About 45 minutes driving from Palermo, you’ll reach Cefalù. A lovely sandy beach with its beautiful fisherman village scenery. Just like Mondello, Cefalu also has private and free beach spots for those who don’t mind a crowd of people during the high season. Here at Cefalu, you can also visit the Lavatoio Medievale. It is an old medieval wash where the water is cold even during August’s summer heat. Always keep in mind that this place is quite slippery, especially during the hot Sicilian summer seasons, as most of the visitors are refreshing themselves with the fresh cold water. So keep an eye on your toddlers or children.

Puppet Show & Marionette Museum

puppet show palermo
photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis

The Sicilian puppet is very expressive and colourful. The size of the puppets may vary from city to city. For example, you can find the puppet in Catania is almost twice more prominent than the one in Palermo. Most of the puppet show’s stories are about battles, betrayals and chivalric deeds. Although classical Roman and Greece stories also cover it, it will be wiser to visit the Marionette Museum for smaller children. The following link might be useful for you.

BioPark, Carini

Biopark of Sicily is just a few kilometres away from Palermo. Inside the park, you can find a land rich in botanical gardens, prototypes of dinosaur, reptiles, aquarium and a small Zoo. It is definitely a place where adults and children can have fun and relax at the same time. A glimpse of the park can be found on below link:

Guest Farms

palermo places to visit with kids
photo courtesy of queulata00

Sicily is also famous for its lovely scenery and food. The best way to enjoy both, is to stay at least one night in one of the guest farm. There are plenty of choices arround Palermo and most of them are kids friendly too. Guest Farms are typically located on the hills or on the valley, but it is not impossible to find one near the sea. They offer activities for adults and kids based on the surrounding nature, Some of them also have a playground with children’s entertainer while the parents can have their relaxation time in the spa.

Palermo biking or walking tour

If you only have little time to visit Palermo City, bike or walking tour will be the right choice. It is one of my favourite way to spend the weekend with the kids. In about 3 or 5 hours you can visit monuments, palaces and churches while eating some excellent Palermitan street food, Cannoli or Craftsmen Gelato. There are enough choices for you and your family. It will all depend on one’s time and necessities.

Vatican City Facts | Vatican Museum

The facts about the Vatican City including the Vatican museum, its arts and history connected to Italy and other travel tips during your stay.

Vatican City Facts

The City of Vatican only has 109 acres of land. However, it is a state within a state. It has its own media outlets, banking and communication systems. The Vatican was the prime seat of the papacy. Although it lost its power when the Catholic Church moved the papal court to Avignon, France in 1309. It was before returning again after more than six decades in 1377. From the return of the papacy up to the rise of the Renaissance, the Vatican City flourished. The construction of the Apostolic Palace by Pope Nicholas V in 1450 became the permanent home of the later popes.

Pope Sixtus IV was in charge of the rise of the Sistine Chapel. The location is where the great Michelangelo did his now famous ceiling paintings in 1508. The Vatican has been the home of what was then the biggest church in the world. Pope Julius II rebuilt the new St. Peter’s Basilica. He ordered to tear down the old, 1,200-year- old basilica in the early 1500s. Aside from that, he was also active in paving the way to make the Vatican a home to valuable arts. The Vatican Museums hold main information related to the Catholic Church.

A nation within a nation

After hundreds of years of supremacy, the Papal States faced a confrontation in 1870 with the new Italian government. For the following sixty years, the territorial dispute strained the relationship between the two nations. Not until in 1929 when Benito Mussolini signed the Lateran Pact. It granted the Pope the liberty to govern the Vatican City. It was together with $92 million compensation after losing most of the Papal States. Despite being shrunk to its current size, this mini-state maintains its hold. Due to its history and religious significance, it is one of the world’s centre point of tourism.

Vatican Museums

Learn more about Christianity

Catholic or not, a trip to the Vatican Museums is a trip of a lifetime you shouldn’t miss. The vast labyrinth full of priceless world treasures collected by the Roman Catholic Church. It shows the varying types and beauty of art from each period of the world’s existence. From paintings, sculptures, almost all forms of art are present inside the Vatican Museums. They include UNESCO World Heritage Sites and of course, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting.

Touring around the Vatican Museums is often accompanied by a tour of the St. Peter Basilica. It can already take most of your entire day. Hence, it is highly recommended for prospective visitors to come to the place early in the morning. Appropriate dress code should be kept in mind. However, should you forget to dress according to the standards, there are plenty of peddlers around. You can buy the necessary clothing to be eligible to enter the place!

feature photo of the Vatican courtesy of Diego Cambiaso