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For a general overview of Sicily and to start drawing up ideas, visit the websites of the Italian Government Tourist Board: www.italiantourism.com and www.enit.it. You can also contact the tourist board offices in your country.

In the United States: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111(tel. 212/ 245-4822; fax 212/586-9249); 500 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 2240, Chicago, IL 60611 (tel. 312/644-0996; fax 312/644-3019); and 12400 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 550, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (tel. 310/820-0098; fax 310/820-6357).

In Canada: 175 Bloor St. E., South Tower, Ste. 907, Toronto, ON, M4W 3R8 (tel. 416/925-4882; fax 416/925-4799).

In the United Kingdom: 1 Princes St., London W1R 8AY (tel. 020/7408-1254; fax 020/7399-3567).

For in-depth research on a city or area, visit the websites of the regional, provincial, or local tourist boards of the places you plan to visit. The Regione Siciliana Assessorato al Turismo (www.regione.sicilia.it/turismo/web_turismo) handles things on a regional level, while the various provincial tourist boards (Ente Provinciale per il Turismo) operate individually in each of the nine provinces. Local tourist boards (Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno e Turismo or Azienda Autonoma per l'Incremento del Turismo; in smaller towns and villages these are also referred to as Pro Loco) are found in every city.

Maps

A map is most helpful when arriving in large cities. The tourist offices offer a map, free of charge, highlighting the main attractions. Larger street maps are usually sold at bookshops and newsagents. If you're renting a car, a map is normally included with the rental -- but make sure to ask for one if it's not already in your car.

What to Pack

Sicily enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and days are pretty mild. That's not to say that Sicily does not get its cold spells, particularly inland, and the summers are nothing less than scorching. For summer, pack light clothing and a sweater for the evening, and a pair of good walking shoes for the ancient sites. If visiting Mount Etna, dress in layers; as the temperatures can be rather cold even in August. Winter days are rather blustery, so a good down jacket is necessary. Whatever the season bring a good pair of sunglasses, as the wind can be awfully bothersome, and take high-protection suntan lotion.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.