What is a personal driver or NCC for Italy?

What is a NCC or Personal Driver?

In Italy, NCC means Personal Driver

The main function of the Personal Driver is to provide transportation to passengers from one place to another. It is essential that they guide passengers safely, comfortably and professionally, while simultaneously keeping track of navigation, traffic and times.

Personal Drivers can work for an agency, a company or an individual. They use their own vehicle or one provided by their employer and must respond to the wishes and needs of both customers.

Why book a Personal Driver (or NCC)?

To and from the airport

The main reason why you book a car rental service with a private driver today is to go to the airport. It is a fundamental service that allows you to always be on time. This aspect is essential when you have to travel because no one is going to stay on the ground and miss the flight. Even those who land and want to go home, book an NCC because the most reliable and safe service there is, without having to rely on taxis and metro systems that are now outdated and with very few certainties.

For ceremonies

Many times the Personal Driver service is required to participate in various kinds of ceremonies. Expensive spouses require a rental car with a private driver because it is the easiest and simplest way to arrive in style. The bride and groom’s car must be luxury and thanks to the private driver, no one is forced to give up the ceremony to carry out this task. Even the parents of the spouses often request a ncc service but also friends and other relatives. In general, whenever there is a ceremony, you can request this valuable service which is perfect and affordable for everyone. You can also book vehicles with more seats than a simple car so that it is possible to travel in small groups of people.

To get around the city

Personal Driver is available in whichever case you want. Whatever the individual need, you can always call to book a rental car with its driver so you can have access to a series of unmissable benefits. Those who have to move around the city with a certain style, without deceptions and without delays, must rely on this service which is the absolute number one.

what is a NCC

What Are the Duties of a Personal Driver?

Duties and responsibilities of the driver

In order to ensure the satisfaction of their passengers, personal drivers must drive safely, provide a comfortable environment inside the car and move from one place to another as efficiently as possible. We have analyzed a number of online vacancies to identify these key Personal Driver duties and responsibilities.

  • Know the places and the streets
    An essential component of a personal driver’s job is getting to your destination while minimizing the risk of making a mistake. To ensure this, NCCs (or personal drivers) must always plan routes, take note of possible detours and monitor the severity of traffic. Although a number of modern technologies can help with this, a Personal Driver must still strive and research to ensure that driving is as smooth and fast as possible.
  • Being able to communicate with customers
    The behavior of a NCC must always be impeccable. This means that depending on the passenger, the driver must always be kind and smiling throughout the journey and know how to adapt to the customer’s character. In addition, this job allows you to work with people of any nationality, so it is important to know at least a little English, in order not to risk having difficulties in understanding the needs of the passenger.
  • Vehicle maintenance
    Regardless of whether they use their own car or a car provided by their employer, private drivers are responsible for making sure both the interior and exterior of the car are always clean and aesthetically appealing. This may involve polishing the exterior, cleaning interior surfaces, or regularly spraying air freshener between trips. Equally important, if not more, is the maintenance of machinery and vehicle components. Constantly checking the fuel and engine gauges, taking the vehicle for routine maintenance and promptly addressing any problems that arise are all critical tasks for a Personal Driver. The Personal Driver’s employer will usually use a third party mechanic for such problems, however it is often always up to the driver to organize the mechanic’s work.


No Green Pass for those who get on a taxi

05/10/2021 By Comments Off

From 15 October, the green certificate verification for those who work is triggered

Catania, the obligation of the green pass also arrives at work: both in the public and private sectors. Meanwhile, the capacity in cinemas, theaters and stadiums increases after the yes of the CTS. What changes from October 15th.
Green Pass, with the publication in the Official Gazette of the decree law 21 September n. 127, the provision containing “urgent measures to ensure the safe performance of public and private work by extending the application scope of the Covid 19 green certification and strengthening the screening system” enters into force. Employees of public and private companies, as well as self-employed persons and VAT numbers, are added to health workers, doctors, school staff for whom the obligation is already in force.

The rules for the green pass from 15 October 2021 (Taxi and NCC)

There is no obligation of the Green pass for taxi customers while those who receive a plumber, an electrician or any other technician at home for a repair will not have to check if he has the certificate as “they are not employers but they are purchasing services. It is understood that they have the right to ask for the green pass “.

However, the freelancer must have the pass “when he accesses public or private workplaces to carry out his work, he is controlled by the subjects envisaged by the decree-law no. 127 of 2021. The owner of the company that operates within it it is checked by the person identified for checks within the company “.

Therefore, the government clarifies that you do not have to have a green pass to get into a taxi, therefore it is possible to travel by taxi even without having the green certification and the same applies to NCC services up to 9 seats.

Obviously, those who travel on taxis, whether or not they have a Green Pass, are always required to respect the usual rules to avoid the risk of contagion:

  • mandatory use of the mask;
  • prohibition to occupy the seat next to the driver;
  • maximum two people for each rear row of seats.

The limits on capacity can be exceeded only if the passengers are all relatives or in any case cohabiting under the same roof (circumstance to be proven with self-certification).

For their part, taxi drivers must provide for the daily sanitation of the vehicle. It is also recommended to fit partitions between the rows of seats.


Green Pass: rules from 1st September

01/09/2021 By Uncategorized Comments Off

Mandatory green pass for those traveling from September 1st.

These are the new rules envisaged in Italy to contain the fourth wave of infections that cannot find a stop due to the no vax (it is now confirmed: nine out of 10 of those who end up in hospital have refused anti-Covid prophylaxis). With the provisions in force from Wednesday, the first day of September, the Green pass becomes mandatory for long-distance journeys. City buses are excluded, also because it would be difficult to check. But let’s see in detail how the new rules are foreseen by the decree-law of 6 August and valid until 31 December work.


The Green pass will be mandatory on all domestic flights (from July it is required for European flights). Outside the EU, the rules change from state to state. In our country (Italy), from September the 1st, at least one dose of vaccine will be required. Or you need to be already recovered from Covid or have a certificate done in the previous 48 hours attesting to the negativity of the virus. Wearing the mask is mandatory. On airplanes, there is no limit to capacity (it is 100 percent), while on shuttles it is 80.


For those who travel by train, the Green pass is not needed on regional routes, even if they travel between multiple regions. This happens because there is the possibility to open the windows. The Green pass is instead required for Intercity, Intercity Night, and High Speed. The capacity for trains, which is 50 percent until August 31, goes from September 1 to 80 percent. Except on Italo trains, which will be 100 percent, as these carriages have Hepa filters that guarantee a continuous and complete change of air in the carriage, as happens in airplanes. On fast trains, the mask can be removed for eating and drinking.


In the case of public road service, the Green pass is required only on inter-regional routes, or when you travel, for example, with rental service with driver, except in cases where this type of transport is added to the public, says the August decree. Wearing a mask is always mandatory. Capacity to 80 percent.


No obligation of Green pass for city buses. It remains only to understand if the Ffp2 mask will become mandatory and not just the surgical one. The Technical Scientific Committee will deal with it. The capacity will be 80 percent in the white area and perhaps it will drop to 50 in the yellow area. But it is still to be decided.


Also in this case, from September the 1st, people travel without a Green pass because taxis are equivalent to local public transport. Nobody will be able to sit next to the driver and the use of the mask will be equally mandatory. For cars up to 5 seats, passengers can only be two (three in case of a family).


For traveling by sea, the Green pass is also mandatory. Only if the connection is regional, for example, the routes from La Maddalena to Palau or from Carloforte to Calasetta and Portoscuso, the Green pass will not be required.


People who, for whatever reason, cannot get vaccinated, have the possibility to travel without the Green pass anyway, but they will have to show a medical certification that certifies the reasons for the lack of vaccine. Doctors must issue the certificate based on the provisions laid down by the Ministry of Health.


The obligation to wear a mask on public transport – or in any case in all closed places – does not apply to children under the age of six and to disabled people who, for some reason, cannot wear it.

Source: https://www.sardiniapost.it/

The car designed for Taxi and Rent with Driver – Mobilize Limo

31/08/2021 By Uncategorized Comments Off

Mobilize Limo, the 100% electric sedan designed for Taxi and NCC

“In Europe, the ride-hailing market (taxi and rental with driver) is in full growth: it should reach a value of 50 billion euros in 2030, against the current 28 billion. This market should also undergo a rapid and massive electrification process ”, explain Renault. From these forecasts, “Limo” was born, the first result of the Mobilize brand, a joint-venture created between the Renault Group and the Chinese Jiangling Motors Group in 2018.

The car has been designed for the taxi service, for rentals with drivers, and is available exclusively by subscription. Mobilize Limo is the result of the joint venture created between the Renault Group and Jiangling Motors Group Co.

The engine

The electric engine – powered by a liquid-cooled, 60 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery – delivers 150hp of power and 220Nm torque, good for 0-100km/h acceleration from 9.6 seconds; while the maximum speed is limited to 140 km / h. The driver can choose between three driving modes (Eco, Normal, and Sport) and three intensity levels of regenerative braking on the vehicle’s controls.

Limo, the very first model signed by Mobilize – commented Clotilde Delbos, General Manager of Mobilize – is the answer of our new brand to the evolution of the passenger transport market.

This offering, which combines a flexible vehicle and services, demonstrates Mobilize’s full ability to accompany users to meet their new needs. It also demonstrates exclusive know-how, the result of the Renault Group’s experience in mobility services and the strength of RCI Bank and Services in financial solutions”.

auto elettrica


This is a 100% electric sedan that will be available exclusively by subscription and dedicated to the taxi market and rental with drivers. 4.67 meters long, it will be presented in the world premiere at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, at the Renault stand, and will guarantee an approved range of 450 km. The generous wheelbase, 2.75 meters long, ensures great roominess for rear-seat passengers, while the trunk has a volume of 411 liters.

The electric motor – powered by a liquid-cooled, 60 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery – delivers 150hp of power and 220Nm torque, good for 0-100km/h acceleration from 9.6 seconds; while the maximum speed is limited to 140 km / h. The driver can choose between three driving modes (Eco, Normal, and Sport) and three intensity levels of regenerative braking on the vehicle’s controls.

The multimedia system onboard Mobilize Limo includes the Smartphone Replication function via the central 12.3 ″ touchscreen display. “In fact, most drivers use their phones for navigation or access to platforms (Uber, for example),” they explain from Renault.

mobilize limo

Taking advantage of the fast recharge, then, you can recover 250 km of autonomy in about 40 minutes. The driving aid features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, lane departure warning, and lane maintenance assistance. It will be marketed with flexible packages that will include the vehicle and services for professional operators starting in the second half of 2022.

How to move in Catania? – Sicily Transfer Taxi

06/08/2021 By Uncategorized Comments Off

Catania is the center of the most densely populated metropolitan area in Sicily, but despite the large extension of the Catania area, public transport such as city buses are not very adequate. In fact, there is a risk!

How to move in Catania?

Getting around in the city center and reaching the most important places can become a chaotic experience, despite the great variety of vehicles available.

In Catania, there is a subway line and 50 bus lines, but despite the offer, the transport system is not always efficient and it may happen that the buses do not respect the set timetables. Consequently, moving on foot is a valid alternative to visit the city.

From the airport to Catania city center

Vincenzo Bellini Catania-Fontanarossa airport is one of the busiest Italian airports. It is about 10 km from the city center of Catania and can be easily reached by bus or taxi.

What we can suggest, however, is the use of taxis, because unfortunately the buses, due to the intense traffic, are often late and remain a very uncomfortable vehicle, especially if you have a lot of suitcases to take with you. In fact, the bus stops at the stop, the rest of the journey will have to be done on foot.

Taxi price Catania airport – Catania city center

If you want to travel comfortably and get to your destination, the Taxi is a simple, comfortable, and effective solution, which will take you to your destination at fairly affordable prices. For three people, we are talking about only € 25.00

Advantages of the taxi in Catania

Limited Traffic Areas

As in many other cities, Catania is equipped with Limited Traffic Areas that serve to limit pollution and traffic. It allows both tourists and locals to enjoy the wonderful historic center of Etna city. The ban on transit and parking is valid every day 24 hours a day and concerns certain streets (for example Via Etnea, with “center” Piazza Bellini); the only vehicles allowed to transit are electric ones, taxis, and car rental with driver and police vehicles

Parking in Catania

Finding parking in Catania is not always easy. So if you are thinking about booking a rental car, know that this city is often crowded, and being able to park your car safely can be an exhausting experience. The safest alternative would be to go to a private car park. Obviously, the distance between the point where you want to go and the car park must also be evaluated and the fact that you will have to pay hourly rates must also be taken into account.

Reaching Etna

Reaching Mount Etna is an opportunity not to be missed and it is possible to do so thanks to the service offered by us at Sicily Transfer Taxi. Just go up this page and book your excursion to Etna in comfort.

Catania Airport Taxi Service: 6 reasons to take a taxi

29/07/2021 By Comments Off

Taxi Service Catania – Airport

Taxi transport services have evolved considerably since their introduction. They have replaced standard passenger cars with private cars to travel in luxury at affordable costs.
At Sicily Transfer Taxi, we offer transfers from Catania airport to Catania City Center or other Sicilian cities.

Why choose a taxi?

1. Reliability:

The taxi service deserves recognition for its reliability, in fact, it arrives at the time you have set with the driver. For example, if you choose a shuttle bus, it can likely be delayed, with the risk that you will not be able to arrive in time to check-in, and the consequence does not need explanation.

2. Convenience:

Taxi is no longer as it used to be, as you can choose the pick-up time and location on our website. You don’t have to go to the driver in person. However, if you forget to make a travel reservation, you can book at the last minute thanks to a simple phone call and we will pick you up exactly where you are!

3. Cheap:

For example, if you land at Catania airport and you have to go to Syracuse, the cost for 4 people is only € 80.00. Considering that it is possible to divide the expense between passengers, with only € 20.00 per person you have a dedicated service that arrives at least 15 minutes before your arrival, helps you carry your luggage, and takes you to the exact house number you indicated. Convenient isn’t it?

4. Comfort:

Although this is a shared ride, a shuttle service offers the same convenience as a private car. Vehicles collect customers directly in front of the terminal and take them close to the hotel and other destinations.
Passengers are already exhausted after a long journey. A taxi service saves passengers the hassle of carrying luggage or looking for a rental car.

5. Good option for large groups:

Taxi service is a great option even if you are traveling in a group. The cars are no longer what they used to be and it is possible to transport up to 7 people. It means that groups can travel together using only one car for a very reasonable price if you also consider the benefits we talked about before!

6. Experience and knowledge of the area:

The taxi drivers are experienced. They know the area well and therefore refer to the tourist spots on the road. In this regard, Sicily Transfer Taxi is a really friendly service because it shows you the tourist places, but if you wish it organizes real tours, it will make you discover the most beautiful places in Sicily!

Find out more: https://sicilytransfertaxi.com/en/tour/

Taxi Service in Catania, airport and more!


What to see between Catania and Siracusa

21/07/2021 By Uncategorized Comments Off

Discovering Catania and Siracusa

If you are wondering what to see between Catania and Syracuse, this is the article for you.

Catania: what to see?

cosa visitare a catania

If you arrive by plane, probably the airport where you will land will be Fontanarossa (Catania), so why not spend at least 1 or 2 days in this beautiful city?

First of all, you must know that this city is very chaotic, so if you can, we suggest you move by taxi or private driver because finding parking is already difficult for the people from Catania. Guess how it is for someone who is not a local! Without considering that the road signage, unfortunately, it’s not the best, so if you are thinking of renting a car, we advise you to be very careful because the fine for no parking is almost always around the corner, and traffic stress is no exception.

But let’s go to the beautiful things because Catania offers many!

  1. Piazza del Duomo
    you can admire the emblem of the city: the Elephant Fountain. This fountain depicts an elephant carved in black lava, above which an Egyptian obelisk stands. Legend has it that this statue has the power to appease the wrath of the Etna volcano.
  2. The “pescheria” – The fish market
    The fish market of Catania is one of the UNIQUE places in the world where you can find the true warmth, folklore, and typicality of lands like Sicily, rich in history and tradition.
    An extraordinary spectacle for the variety and imagination of the goods that every day is crowded by tourists who visit it with great enthusiasm and amazement, taking photos and making videos to share and take home an indelible memory of Sicily.
  1. St. Agata Cathedral
    Its external facade is truly splendid, made entirely of white marble, while its interior is dedicated to Sant’Agata, a young virgin tortured after refusing the loving attention of a Roman prefect.
  2. University’s square
    This square is surrounded by two magnificent buildings facing each other: the University Building which houses the ancient university and the San Giuliano Palace. Both palaces have splendid facades and beautiful interior courtyards in Baroque style.
    Particular is the four street lamps, for which each of them represents a legendary event in Catania.
  3. Bellini’s Garden (or Bellini’s Villa)
    The Bellini Garden, (also called by the people of Catania “Villa Bellini” or “a’villa”), is the main place of recreation and relaxation for the citizens of Catania. Located in the historic center, it is the main air lung of the city of Catania. The Villa Bellini in Catania occupies an area of 70,942 square meters and is embellished with various statues, fountains, flowery meadows, and always well-kept hedges.
  4. The Roman Theatre
    Although there is not much left today, in case you have some time to spare, go and see the Roman Theater, near the Piazza del Duomo. You will be surprised by its architecture and its vaults. Seeing it there, surrounded by modern buildings, you will surely be charmed!
  5. Former Benedictine Monastery
    The must-see attraction of Via Crociferi is undoubtedly the former Benedictine monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena, which now houses part of the university. It is the 2nd largest building in Europe, and you can visit it both free and with a tour guide.
    castello ursino
  6. Ursino’s Castle
    The Ursino Castle is an ancient Swabian fortress that now houses the Civic Museum (which can be visited for free).
    Built at the behest of Frederick II between 1239 and 1250, the Ursino Castle was born within the defensive project of the eastern Sicilian coasts and stood on a promontory surrounded by the sea. Several earthquakes and the terrible volcanic eruption of Etna in 1669 totally changed the landscape of this area. The lava flows probably surrounded the castle without causing damage.
    Inside the castle today there is the civic museum, which houses an important collection: from Byzantine tablets to 19th-century oils on canvas, the museum boasts a very rich art gallery, to which numerous archaeological finds from the Hellenistic and Roman periods are added. , Greek vases, Greek and Roman coins, portals from the 13th and 15th centuries, engravings, prints, sacred vestments, and ornamental artistic objects from different eras.
  7. Etna
    The highest volcano in Europe and certainly among the most active. It is undoubtedly a very popular destination, and we at Sicily Transfer Taxi will take you to visit all the most beautiful places in the area.
  • Silvestri’s Craters.
  • Sartorius Mounts.
  • Grotta del Gelo (Forst Cave).
  • Summits Craters.
  • Silvestri’s Mounts.
  • Bove Valley (Valle del Bove).

Siracusa: What to see?

cosa vedere a siracusaThis beautiful coastal city is well known for its incredible historical heritage and its fascinating historic center: the island of Ortigia. It is the perfect place to spend a few days during your trip to Sicily!

  1. Ortigia’s Island
    The oldest part of Syracuse, the most “historic” historical center of the city, is the island of Ortigia which is connected to the mainland by two bridges, the Umbertino Bridge and the Santa Lucia Bridge. Particular for its small streets, where there are many monuments and museums, as well as many typical and local restaurants.
  2. The Aretusa Fountain 
    It is born from a freshwater spring that flows a few meters from the sea, on the island of Ortigia. It forms a small semicircular pond full of fish and where greenery triumphs and the plants of the only spontaneous papyri present in Europe grow luxuriantly.
    The site is accessible with a ticket that includes the audio guide in Italian, English, French, Spanish, and Chinese.
  3. Acquarium
    In the space in front of the Fonte Aretusa, in the heart of Ortigia, we find the Aquarium. Particularly interesting are the tanks, built in such a way as to exactly reproduce the natural environments of origin of the hosted fish.

Among the sectors that characterize the Aquarium of considerable importance is that reserved for the aquatic life of the Mediterranean. In the tanks of this sector, we can observe the marine biotype typical of the coasts of our Province and some of the most beautiful shells of the Mare Nostrum.

Below are the reproducing tanks: one of them concerns fish and tropical freshwater plants, the other fish and tropical marine invertebrates among the most beautiful and delicate that exist in nature.

  1. Archeological Neapolis Park
    Recognized as the true attraction of Syracuse, the Archaeological Park of Neapolis contains famous masterpieces from both Greek and Roman times, evidence of the millenary history of the city.
    Inside we find:

The Greek Theatre

It is the most famous monument in the archaeological park and is one of the largest and most important in the ancient world. It has ancient origins and already existed in the fifth century. B.C.; we know from literary sources that Aeschylus staged “Le Etnee” in 476 BC. Its current form, however, is attributable to a unitary project, built in the third century. B.C. from Ierone II, as part of his program of arrangement of the Neapolis according to the principles of the Hellenistic architecture of the time.

orecchio di dionisio

Dionysus’s ear

Nel lato occidentale della Latomia del Paradiso è il famoso “Orecchio di Diogini “.
In fact, legend has it that the tyrant Dionysius (Dionysus) used to lock up his enemies inside the cave to listen to their speeches from above, unseen, amplified by the echo. In reality, the cave owes its shape to the way it was built; the excavation began from above, following the sinuous path of an aqueduct, and widened as it went deeper,

You can also visit:

  • Cave of the Cordari
  • Roman Anfiteatre
  • Thr Grotta del Ninfeo
  • The via dei Sepolcri 
  1. Syracuse Cathedral
    The Greek history of Syracuse always comes to the surface: thus, even the most important religious architecture of the city, the Duomo, was in the past a Greek temple, dedicated to the goddess Minerva. Located in the highest part of the island of Ortigia, the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Nativity of the Holy Mary of Syracuse boasts one of the most beautiful facades in Sicily, designed and completed in the first half of the eighteenth century in a mixture of Baroque and Rococo elements. The older interior also houses a beautiful crucifix from the Byzantine era and a rich treasure.castello maniace siracusa
  2. Maniace Castle
    The Swabian period is instead represented, in Syracuse, by the Maniace Castle. Built on the extreme tip of the island of Ortigia by Emperor Frederick II of Swabia around 1200, the castle must have appeared as impregnable and threatening to enemies arriving from the sea, or particularly desirable to soldiers returning from the Crusades. Today a walk among the towers and on the ramparts offers an incredible almost 360-degree view of the sea around the city.
  3. Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe 
    It has no roof, the church of San Giovanni Alle Catacombe in Syracuse, and between its naves – what remains of the ancient Norman Gothic church – bushes and palm trees grow. The charm of the place is undoubted, especially at sunset, when the stone takes on strange colors and creates a truly magical atmosphere. From the south side of the church, you can also go down to the catacombs of San Giovanni, part of the ancient underground Christian necropolis (the only catacomb complex open to the public in Syracuse).
  1. Apollo’s Temple
    The oldest Doric temple in all of Sicily has been transformed, over the centuries, into a Byzantine church and an Arab mosque, a Norman church, and – even – a Spanish barracks. So, passing in front of it (it is located in the heart of Ortigia) it may take a little imagination to imagine the majestic original structure: try it, and then continue your walk towards the center!
  1. Arenella Beach
    Visiting temples and theaters under the sun can be tiring: nothing better than a trip to the beach! An excellent choice, if you are in Syracuse or the surrounding area, is the Arenella beach. It is a beach of soft golden sand, in a small bay. The landscape is magnificent, deckchairs and sun loungers can be rented, and it is only 9 kilometers from the city center.
  1. Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum
    The Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum is one of the most important and prestigious museums in Europe for the number of finds it contains. The first museum was located in the premises of the old Seminary in Piazza Minerva, where the Alagoniana Library was also located. The discoveries and acquisitions made it necessary to create a large museum, suitable for the rich collections that over time were acquired both through donations and through excavations. The area where the Fatebenefratelli or S. Giovanni Di Dio Hospital stood in Piazza Duomo was identified as the site. The Museum, built between 1880 and 1885, was inaugurated in 1886. But even this site proved insufficient to collect the results of research and excavations and therefore the Park of Villa Landolina was acquired to build the current seat of the Museum. Archaeological, which was inaugurated in 1988, and was named after Paolo Orsi. It is one of the largest museums in Europe for exhibition spaces and several exhibits. It includes the first floor with three sectors: A, B, C, and a central hall for exhibitions and thematic exhibitions and an upper floor with three other sectors D, E, F, of which D and F are open. and chronological. Since April 2010, the museum has been enriched with the prestigious medal collection in the basement.

If you are interested in traveling comfortably visiting these two beautiful cities, you just have to contact us to book your tour



Etna: what to do and what to see

29/06/2021 By Uncategorized Comments Off

Etna, with its massive and disquieting presence, dominates the landscape of eastern Sicily. With 3329 meters of altitude, it is the highest peak in the south of Italy and the largest active volcano in Europe. Its activity is almost constant with frequent and spectacular eruptions produced by the four craters on the top, while the ordinary (and more dangerous) ones arise from the fissures and old craters on the mountainside. This activity, carefully monitored by 120 seismic stations and satellites, sometimes ends up in a ban on visitors for safety reasons.

Since 1987 the volcano and its slopes have become part of the Etna Park, which extends for 590 square kilometers and includes about 21 locations. The landscape within the park varies from the snowy mountaintop to the lunar deserts of black lava, from birch forests to lush vineyards where renowned DOC wines are produced.


The southern side is the most accessible way to climb the volcano; the starting point to reach the crater area is Rifugio Sapienza (1923 m), a tiny cluster of souvenir shops and bars that revolve around the refuge, from here there are various options to get to the craters. The easiest way is to take the cableway up to an altitude of 2500 meters and then the minibus to the Torre del Filosofo area (2920 m). Alternatively, it is possible to skip the stage by minibus and walk the route starting from the highest station of the cable car; a steep climb of 2 km. On windy days the cable car service is suspended and replaced by minibusses.

The volcano has four summit craters: the Bocca di Nord-Est, the Voragine, the Bocca Nuova and the South-East Crater. The two most likely to see are the Southeast Crater, one of the most active, and the Bocca Nuova. The proximity that you can reach depends on the activity of the volcano. If you go up without a guide, always walk with caution because the areas near the craters are dangerous. There is the “Valle del Bove” to the east of the craters”, a large depression formed following the collapse of a cone several thousand years ago that plunges with a drop of 1000 meters.

The access point to the quieter and more picturesque northern slopes is Piano Provenzana (1800 m), a small ski resort about 16 kilometers upstream of Linguaglossa. The return to Piano Provenzana offers spectacular views. Further down you can enjoy pleasant summer walks in the midst of the pines, birches, and larch trees of the Pineta Ragabo, a very extensive forest reachable from the road to Mareneve between Linguaglossa and Milo.

The “Street Food” and the Sicilian Traditional Recipes

08/06/2021 By Uncategorized Comments Off

The “Street Food” in Sicily, has very ancient origins; in fact, since the Greek era, it was very common to eat in the streets of the cities, which is why the Sicilian culinary tradition is full of quick recipes and it is still possible to find them in the stalls or rotisseries around the cities.

The rotisserie is, therefore, the classic place where you can buy Street Food in Sicily; in the Palermo area, dishes such as bread and panelle are quite common, that is a pancake made with chickpea flour, or bread with the spleen (‘u pani ca meusa), while the tradition of arancini (or arancine), Sicilian pizza by the slice and more generally the rotisserie mignon such as calzoni, sfoglie, cipolline and focaccias of all kinds.

It should also be emphasized that Palermo is considered one of the five best cities in the world as regards street food.

Some of the most famous street foods are:

  • The arancini siciliani: that is a cone or a ball of rice generally stuffed with ragù, caciocavallo, and peas, of which however there are numerous variations.
  • The calzone
  • The cipollina: spread in the Catania area
  • The panelle 
  • The scacce: the classic focaccia made in Ragusa area
  • The vastedda: typical Sicilian loaf with variable dimensions ranging from 500 to 1500 grams 

Classic appetizers

There is also a notable tradition in terms of typical appetizers. Among the most famous are the caponata, which consists of a mixture of vegetables (especially aubergines), tomato sauce, olives, capers, celery, carrots, but numerous variations are depending on the place or tradition. Then we have the orange salad, the eggplant parmigiana (a typical traditional dish also in Campania and Calabria), raw anchovies with lemon, roasted vegetables (usually peppers and aubergines, seasoned with oil, salt, mint, and garlic), bruschetta alla siciliana, and others.

First courses

When we talk about first courses in Sicily we obviously talk about pasta, as in the rest of the Italian peninsula! Whether it is homemade pasta or packaged dry pasta, Sicilians make extensive use of it in any recipe. From fried pasta to pasta in broth, from dry pasta to baked pasta, from pasta with fish to pasta with vegetables.

Some of the main pasta dishes are based on pasta:

  • Anelletti al forno
  • Busiati
  • Cavatieddi
  • Cous-Cous alla trapanese
  • Macco di fave
  • Maccheroni alla siciliana
  • Minestra con i tenerumi
  • Pasta con le sarde
  • Pasta con i broccoli
  • Pasta al pesto di pistacchio
  • Pasta alla norma
  • Pasta o niuru di siccia (nero di seppia)
  • Pasta ca muddica
  • Pasta cco capuliatu
  • Pasta c’anciova (pasta con le acciughe sotto sale)
  • Pasta col nero di seppie
  • Pasta e fasola (pasta e fagioli)
  • Pasta con i tenerumi
  • Pasta fritta
  • Pasta “Ncasciata”
  • Pasta alla trapanese
  • Spaghetti alla carrettiera
  • Spaghetti alla bottarga di tonno
  • Spaghetti ai ricci
  • Spaghetti alla siracusana

The couscous

Despite being a typical North African dish, couscous was introduced in the province of Trapani following the immigration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to Tunisia and Libya, thus becoming one of the iconic dishes of the Sicilian culinary tradition.

Second courses

Some of the typical second courses of Sicily are:

  • Arrosto panato (Palermo)
  • Coniglio “lardiato”
  • Falsomagro
  • Involtini di carne


  • Involtini di pesce spada
  • Pesce spada alla ghiotta
  • Pescestocco alla messinese
  • Puppetti ‘i muccu (frittelle di neonata)
  • Polpette di sarde (fritte e al sugo)
  • Purpi affucati (polpi in guazzetto)
  • Sarde alla beccafico

Altri piatti

  • Bastaddi affucati (cavolfiori affogati)
  • Involtini di melanzane
  • Pizza fritta alla Siciliana
  • Polpette di finocchietto


Sicily is a land with a strong agricultural imprint that is favored by its geographical position, mild climate, and extremely fertile soil, which is why fruit and vegetable production is one of the flagships of the island.

The production ranges from apricots, figs, citrus fruits, to even some exotic fruits such as kiwis, bananas, pineapples, and others. On the island, the production of jams and marmalades, fruit salads with ice creams up to the typical granitas, and the orange peels are usually dried to make candied fruit.

The production of fruit and citrus fruits includes oranges, lemons, cedars, mandarins, apricots, melons, watermelons, pears, apples, strawberries, cherries, prickly pears, grapes, peaches, and the production and consumption of products considered indigenous such as medlars, pomegranates, carobs, mulberries, and figs!

Sicilian Food: identity and tradition! Pt.1

27/04/2021 By Uncategorized Comments Off

If there is one thing that most of all characterizes the spirit and personality of this island, it can only be the food and its traditions!

The Sicilian cuisine is that form of art that has developed in Sicily since ancient times and it is closely linked to the historical, religious, and cultural events that have taken place in its territory over the course of the millennia. Its main feature was definitively the capacity to absorb traces and contributions deriving from the past dominations that followed. That process defined a very specific style that has then been perfected and enriched according to the inhabitants’ habits over the centuries.

We can undoubtedly affirm that Sicilian cuisine is a question of identity for the island inhabitants. It is often considered, given its complexity, as the most colorful, scenic, and rich in specialties of the entire Italian panorama. It is also a source of pride for its people and an unmissable attraction for the millions of tourists who visit the island every year.

Furthermore, several typical recipes of the island are recognized nationally, but they even enjoy world fame. To name just a few, we have arancine (or arancini), Sicilian cannoli, cassata Iris, granita, la caponata, pasta with sardines, and many others.

Moreover, thanks to the mild climate and the great fertility of its territory, Sicily is a land of excellences also for what concerns the production of spices and aromatic herbs (such as oregano, rosemary, sage, and mint), citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, dried fruit such as almonds or pistachio, or olive trees, from which some of the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world are produced.

Some writings state that the fame of Sicilian cuisine began to spread in ancient times, even since the times of the Greeks, where it is said that Sicilian cooks from the powerful Syracuse, were requested to provide their services, also thanks to the relationships due to the trade routes, in Athens, Sparta, and Corinth.

In addition, Sicily gave birth to some of the most important chefs of the time including Miteco Siculo (among other things, he was the author of the first cookery book in history), Labdaco of Syracuse, and Archestrato da Gela, who is also to be considered the father of culinary critics, author of the poem Gastronomy, in which he talks about drinks and foods encountered during his long travels.

Aromatic herbs

A feature that distinguishes Sicily is the constant scent that can be breathed in the open areas, in fact, there is a huge amount of aromatic herbs in which the presence is favored by the typical mild Mediterranean climate. The most characteristics are bay leaf, basil, wild fennel, nepeta, mint, sage, thyme, rosemary, and caper. In addition, saffron is very present in the area and it was brought to the island by the Arabs.


Another specialty that distinguishes the Sicilian territory is the production of cheese. This very ancient food was already produced in archaic times and has always been highly appreciated by the population. On the island, there are different varieties of cheeses produced with both cow’s and sheep’s milk, and many of them are products with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) including:

  • Sicilian Caciocavallo: it is one of the oldest varieties and is widespread throughout the island after being introduced in the Bourbon time during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  • Sicilian goat cheese: also widespread throughout the island, it boasts legendary origins, as it seems to have also been known to the great Greek poet Homer.
  • Sicilian Pecorino: produced with sheep’s milk, is the most widespread and consumed on the island.
  • The Pecorino Rosso: this type of pecorino is also widespread in Tuscany and Sardinia, but it seems that the Sicilian one is unique in its kind as it is aged with tomato juice.

The most common cheeses in the eastern area are the Ragusano, the Caciocavallo Ibleo, the Provola dei Nebrodi, while in the western area we have the Provola dei Monti Sicani, the Provola delle Madonie and the Vastedda della Valle del Belice.

Another typical product made from milk is obviously ricotta. Traditionally made with sheep’s milk, which is widely used both in the confectionery and in the culinary sector. In fact, many of the most iconic dishes on the island are based on ricotta, such as Sicilian cannoli or cassata.

Olive trees and extra virgin olive oil

Among the most identifying products of the Mediterranean area, there is undoubtedly the olive tree! Known since ancient times, it is thought that the olive tree was brought to Sicily by the Greeks, where the plant found its ideal environment to spread. During those times the olive tree was considered a sacred tree, therefore anyone who uprooted one was even punished with exile. The cultivation of olive trees and oil extraction is a millenary tradition, and the extra virgin olive oil produced is widely used in any recipe and any dish.

The varieties present are: Biancolilla, which is also the most widespread variety, Cerasuola, Giarraffa, Moresca, Nocellara Etnea and Nocellara del Belice, Tonda Iblea, Nasitana, Verdese, Santagatese and Ogliarola Messinese.

The extra virgin olive oils of protected origin (DOP) are, therefore: the oil of Mount Etna, the oil of the Iblei Mountains, the oil of Mazara del Vallo, the oil of the Val Demone, the oil of the Valle del Belice, and the oil from the Trapani valleys.