Staying in Palermo

Just a few notes on logistics of staying in Palermo. There is a good & regular rail service directly from below the airport to the centre of Palermo, also a coach (Pullman) service and taxis. Those using the train can buy tickets from vending machines or ticket offices, but in either case they must get the ticket time validated using one of the many validator machines on the platform (not on the train). The validator prints the date & time on the ticket. Failure to do so will lead to trouble if the ticket is inspected.

Those staying in Palermo pre School would be best to rendezvous with an incoming flight on the School start date bringing other attendees to efficiently use Centre transport. Alternatively there is a coach service from Palermo to Erice, and trains to Trapani. The cable car from Trapani to Erice does not run if the weather is bad, but there are coaches & taxis.

There are many hotels within easy walking distance of the Palermo railway station, most, likely all, can be booked over the net & all in my experience take cards; similar in Trapani.

Those bringing posters & staying in Palermo pre School may want to avoid cumbersome A0 posters & instead carry their posters as A4 tiles.

One danger of Palermo and many parts of Italy are the thieves on Vespas, colloquially called “The Dogs” I witnessed a robbery two years ago. The Vespa was aimed at the victim on the pavement, the victim moved to avoid being hit and the robbery was carried out by the Pillion passenger who grabbed the victims bag and cut the strap. Within moments the thieves were gone. The odds on being attacked are, in my experience, low but best to minimise opportunities for the thieves: carry passport in pockets to & from hotel, leave at hotel during stay, don’t openly carry cameras, tablets etc. At least one attendee has been robbed pre-School. One Russian I recall was robbed in Rome and left impecunious. He then hitch hiked all the way to Erice, as he so valued the opportunity.

It might also be worth telling attendees that banks, in the UK, routinely block any foreign spends on cards unless pre told of their use & will also sometimes require mobile phone sms verification that the spend is legitimate. Mobile phones, at least UK registered ones, work fine in Italy.

Arthur E. Smith