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Remote working and south working are two terms that are now particularly well-known to everyone, which have become protagonists of the everyday vocabulary given the complicated period. Lately these two phenomena have been associated by the media to Cianciana, a municipality near Agrigento, which has aroused the curiosity of journalists for the percentage of professionals who have chosen to work remotely from sunny and welcoming Sicily.

The Cianciana “phenomenon” is the result of a strategy aimed at reducing the progressive depopulation of the town, through a significant lowering of the prices of the buildings to renovate and an improvement of the internet network (optical fiber and free internet points), in order to make the location attractive for those who, by choice or necessity, work from home.

To date, Cianciana is the city of international remote workers, counting 17 different nationalities among workers who arrived from abroad only for vacation and then stayed to work from there. The particularity of this phenomenon has aroused, as already mentioned, the interest of the media, landing also on TG1 (an Italian newscast):

The dynamic nature of some types of profession and the increase in remote work following the health emergency have provided a big boost, underlining how the web can break down borders and shorten distances.

In addition to welcoming professionals from all over the world, Cianciana is also an important connection center for workers to and from Agrigento: the city is in fact one of the stops on our interregional routes.

The climate, the friendly people and the tranquility of Sicily do the rest, making this region, and the South in general, one of the most favorite areas for those who can work remotely.

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Also this year comes back Le Vie dei Tesori, the Festival of the Cultural Heritage in Sicily, which enlivens the autumn by opening the doors of monuments, villas, churches and secret places for a feast of art and culture throughout Sicily.

Now at its fourteenth edition, Le Vie dei Tesori started on September 12th, opening the “treasures” of Bagheria, Sambuca di Sicilia, Trapani, Marsala, Mazara del Vallo, Messina and Caltanissetta, and then from October 2nd (until November 8th) the one of Palermo and of the other locations participating to the initiative this year. This year are also applied the same rules, with the possibility of purchasing entrance coupons online or in the appropriate stations, to be used immediately or during all weekends of the event.

Born in Palermo, Le Vie dei Tesori has immediately been a success thanks to the variety of places tha can be visited – very often hidden or little known – with guided tours every weekend and, in some specific cases, even during the week. Furthermore, given the particularly favorable weather in October, the festival represents an important moment for tourism in Sicily, given the opportunity to admire places that are difficult to open during the rest of the year or that are not easy to find in a travel guide. This year, among other things, Le Vie dei Tesori was even mentioned in the television channel of the French newspaper Le Figaro, which described the festival as the possibility of transforming Sicily into a real open-air museum , a “rebirth of the beauty” in this very particular year.

Thanks to this initiative, the inhabitants of Palermo were able to discover wonders that were previously hidden, such as the Hebrew miqveh in the streets of the city center, or the sumptuousness of La Stanza delle Meraviglie (the chamber of Wonders). In the same way, the other Sicilian cities participating in the festival were able to open their doors to places full of charm and curiosity, thus focusing the attention on the typical beauties of the place, often known only by the inhabitants of the neighboring areas.

Between trips out of towns, tastings, weekends among the most fascinating historic centers of Sicily, Le Vie dei Tesori helps to make the arrival of autumn less gray and gloomy, enticing Sicilians and lovers of Sicily to discover and rediscover it, uncovering its stories, traditions, colors and flavors.

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The Baroque towns of South-Eastern Sicily, already reunited in the “GAL Terra Barocca”, will soon be united in a new single destination, at the conclusion of the “Enjoy Barocco – Sicilian Experience” project, which has now reached its final drafts.

The municipalities of Ragusa, Modica, Scicli, Ispica and Santa Croce Camerina, in fact, have joined this innovative tourist development masterplan, after joining the Local Action Group aimed at creating a bottom-up development strategy, focused on on the baroque architecture typical of the area, considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco. 

The new “Enjoy Barocco” tourist “maxi-destination” will aim to give further solidity to the realities of the five municipalities mentioned above, increasing their visibility and international feedback, transforming the area into a single and well-structured tourist center, encouraging in this way trips to Sicily.

This particular and unique area of Sicily had already been at the center of a great news with the inauguration this summer of a specific itinerary through the streets of the Baroque, dedicated to lovers of architecture, culture and more: the same territories, in fact, are also closely linked to the world of the literature, being the locations of the books and fiction of the Commissario Montalbano’ saga (Inspector Montalbano) by Andrea Camilleri.

The five municipalities of “Enjoy Barocco – Sicilian Experience” will also focus on other aspects that unite the area, which naturally cannot be overlooked: in fact, we are talking about the coasts holding blue flags, such as Ispica, Pozzallo and Marina di Ragusa, and of places with a deep and interesting food and wine culture, given the very large presence of vineyards, almond groves and excellent products typical of the area.

After Agrigento and its great numbers on tourism this summer, Sicily is increasing and structuring its offer based on the beauties and possibilities of the South-Eastern area, which are certainly not missing.

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Summer is now over but, as predicted, many people have chosen to postpone their vacation period between September and October, because of the delay of most vacations during the summer season. As we had the opportunity to say at the beginning of June, in Italy and in Europe the entry rules for tourists and visitors in light of the safety regulations are constantly evolving, and there are some news for the autumn, useful to know for those who are planning a trip during these months.

In Italy the situation remains almost unchanged, citizens can move freely within the Italian territory except for Sardinia, which will require a mandatory registration until October 7th with a specific procedure for both tourists and Sardinians returning from other locations: in addition to registration, which can also take place in advance, an update on the state of health is also requested to be presented a couple of days before arrival.

The same thing is requested by Belgium, which is instead implementing a “traffic light” strategy in constant evolution, with the application of different protocols based on the origin place, if considered more or less at epidemiological risk: from the 2nd of September some Italian regions have been classified as “orange” requiring them to present the negative swab certification before entering the country.

France and Denmark, on the other hand, have loosen the restrictive measures undertaken during the summer period, now allowing citizens from the European Union to circulate freely with the exception of visitors from the United Kingdom, for which home isolation is still required, considering also the reintroduction in Great Britain of the quarantine for 14 days.

Going into the details of the situation in Sicily and, specifically, of the Palermo Airport, according to the ordinance n ° 34 of the 10th of September 2020, all passengers arriving from Greece, Spain, Malta, France and Croatia will have to undergo the rhinopharyngeal swab, within the special area set up in the airport structure itself (unless a swab was carried out within 72 hours before at a certified health facility), and register at special platforms in order to monitor any health updates. In addition, in a perspective of ensuring increased safety, a Gesap-Asp agreement was signed for swabs and serological tests on a voluntary basis for all the people that work at the airport.

In this autumn still “hot”, both for the climate and for the health emergency, a small positive note for our trips is introduced by Ryanair, which starting from the end of October will increase its Palermo-Memmingen routes and will offer its passengers discounted tariffs to increase travel to Europe.

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“Mondi Imperfetti” (imperfect worlds) is the theme of the eleventh edition of “Una Marina di Libri“, now a historic annual appointment with independent publishers that for this year has been postponed to September, abandoning the classic early summer weekend due to the sanitary emergency. From 24 to 27 September, therefore, the new edition of the festival will be held at the Botanical Garden, with a theme particularly suitable, if not prophetic, for the period we are experiencing.

Imperfection as a pretext for enrichment, the beauty of differences and the possibilities for improvement that they offer are the fulcrum of the interventions and presentations that will be proposed to visitors, with great insight into dystopia, bringing up historical authors such as Orwell, Asimov and Bradbury and on linguistics, semiotics and communication, seen as an important tool for cultural evolution.

A big space will also be left to Sicilian authors, with the participation of Stefania Auci – author of the publishing success “I leoni di Sicilia” (The Lions of Sicily), a novel about the origins of the Florio dynasty – and the commemoration of Andrea Camilleri by the Sellerio publishing house.

For the first time, a space will be dedicated to books about music, with the section “Marina Rolls”, as well as the world of school and innovation, key topics of this season especially due to the link that has united the two aspects during the lockdown period.

Although the health emergency has put a strain on the organization of this new edition, the partnership with the University of Palermo and with other cities has made it possible to set up one of the most loved events of the city, held for four years at the Botanical Garden, a suggestive place particularly suitable for hosting the plastic-free structures of the participating publishers stands. Precisely following the safety rules, this year the number of visitors will be regulated in such a way as to allow a carefree fruition of the festival: the web will make it even easier to look at presentations and initiatives, as it already happend with “Smartina: a remote Marina di Libri”, a cycle of thematic seminars organized in June through the Microsoft Teams platform.

Although in a slightly different and “resized” form compared to other years, Una Marina di Libri offers independent literature to the inhabitants of Palermo again, inspiring them with always new inputs and offering them a way of coping with culture and initiative to an “imperfect period”.

News, Travel notes

As we had already seen from the statistical data of mid-July, Sicily is now confirmed as the flagship for this very particular summer of 2020, thanks to a mix of elements including the variety of offers both in terms of places and locations.

These two features are not mentioned by chance, as they well represent two of the Sicilian locations that recorded the highest number of visits in Italy, namely Agrigento and Taormina, closely followed by Selinunte, Segesta and Monreale. A peculiarity that unites these places is certainly, in fact, the possibility to enjoy both the beauties, among monuments and archaeological parks, and benefit from the surrounding bathing areas! Just think of the beach of Isola Bella or the entire coast adjacent to the Scala dei Turchi to be able to easily imagine how much these splendid and evocative places can only contribute to creating an extraordinary complete package for the visitor to Sicily.

The detail that immediately catches the eye is the triumph of archaeological sites: the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina also contributes to complete the previously listed picture, thus confirming that summer is not only all Sicilian, but also characterized by a strong interest towards the historical-artistic testimonies.

Sicilian archaeological parks and sites of interest, it must be said, are well prepared for the arrival of this summer: if the Greek Theater of Taormina persevered in a dense program of musical events, started around mid-July, the Valley of the Temples was the first park in Italy to be certified “Covid-Free” and it also launched an official App designed to guide the visitor both before and during the visit to the site.

The Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, on the other hand, a little less known but guardian of an inestimable heritage, will be open until 25 October also at night, thus giving a new perspective, under the moonlight, of the ancient Roman villa with its decorations still perfectly preserved. The night opening of monuments and points of interest in Sicily is a topic on the agenda, as the redistribution or extension of the scheduled time provides for a better organization of visitors throughout the day, a highly strategic choice to the present day.

Although in comparison with the past years the data are not entirely prosperous, compared to the prospects for March and April, traveling to Sicily was the most suitable choice for both Italians and foreign tourists, a choice that demonstrates the solidity of the region. within the tourism sector.

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After a couple of months of preparation, the Italian summer can finally take off, with the first data relating to the trends of the Italian people for this peculiar 2020 season available.

Although the precautions taken by the various European countries have proved themselves not to be very binding, as we already have had the opportunity to see, the Italians expressed their intention to stay in their country making short or medium-distance vacations.

Just in these weeks, an ENIT (National Tourism Agency) report came out based on the number and type of reservations in hotels and accommodation facilities, which helps us make an identikit of this year’s Italian travelers.

Regarding destinations, in these holidays according to the ENIT the least chosen areas will be the large cities of art, much more dependent on the international tourism than the coastal areas, preferred instead by the Italians.

Even the chosen travelling-periods are slightly more unpredictable than in the previous years, with reservations until September and October, thus describing a tendency for Italians (but not only) to plan for stays until the autumn. Going instead to a demographic survey, it emerges that most of the Italians traveling this summer cover an age group ranging from 36 to 55 years, suggesting that family vacations are predominating: university students, who generally choose European destinations, are instead penalized by the situation.

Taking a look at travelers from the rest of Europe, the data confirm that Italy remains one of the most sought-after destinations, for a combination of factors including budget and pleasant climate even in the autumn, also thanks to the loosening of restrictive measures.

Positive indications also come from the airports: Palermo Airport, directly connected to the city with our fleet of shuttle buses, registers a resumption of activities with its 51 international and 19 national routes. Furthermore, in order to incentive flights to the city, the airport is starting a project through which the purchase of a plane ticket to Palermo grants a free night in one of the hotels that join the initiative.

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The reserved area of the new Prestia e Comandè website and app allow you to have a ticket office available 24 hours a day.

By logging in with your credentials, in fact, you can access dedicated and in-depth services, perfect for professionals or regular travelers. From this area, in fact, you can access features dedicated both to the shuttle buses to and from the Falcone e Borsellino Airport in Palermo and to those dedicated to routes within Sicily. But let’s go into the details of the services offered in the reserved area.

By accessing the “Your profile” section, you can create your own complete registry, including your profile photo. Completing this section allows you to speed up the procedures for purchasing your tickets, coupons and subscriptions, as personal data will be automatically inserted where required. From this page it is also possible to change your access credentials to the reserved area.

On the subject of personal information, from the “Electronic Invoicing” section it is possible to insert your billing information, thus having the possibility to enter them easily when purchasing the ticket.

Speaking about the ticket purchase, from the reserved area you can buy your ticket with a few clicks and choose the desired payment method and ask for the electronic invoice. Once you have purchased a ticket, you can always suspend or modify it from your own reserved area, thus allowing you to have complete control over your travels.

The same convenience in purchasing and managing is provided for passes: from the platforms it is possible to make a new pass (attention: in this case the fields profile photo and tax code are mandatory) or renew it. Big news among the new features is the ability to choose your seat on the bus, so that you can better organize your trip.

In addition to managing tickets and passes, the reserved area allows you to monitor and use your coupons or your acquired points, which can be converted into tickets or prizes.

The functions just illustrated are available both on the website and the app, in order to make not only the travel experience, but also the management of all the services that Prestia e Comandè offers, easy and comfortable.

News

We changed our look! Starting from this week the new website and the new Prestia e Comandè app are online, available for Android and IOS operating systems.

In addition to a new, appealing and intuitive design, the new platforms introduce new features and make the service ever smarter and faster. But let’s go into detail for a complete overview.

Tickets purchase

The online ticketing on the website and apps is quick and intuitive, allowing you to buy your ticket in a few simple steps, even without registration. Whether it’s a ride to and from Palermo’s Falcone e Borsellino airport, or along one of the routes towards inner Sicily, the purchase is quick and easy, allowing you to pay directly online with a credit card and book your seat, but it does not end here: during payment confirmation, you will also receive an e-mail with a PDF file containing a label to be printed easily at home and attached to the luggage.

Reserved area

By logging in as registered user, each customer can manage tickets, passes and sets of tickets through a reserved area. Within the profile it is possible to enter your personal information for electronic invoicing and also monitor your tickets: these can in fact be modified, suspended or converted into a carnet to be used later. Inside the reserved area you can also manage credits, discounts and collected points, to be converted into tickets to be used whenever you want: also in this case the procedure is simple and quick and can be made from your computer or smartphone.

Passes

Registered passengers can easily subscribe and manage their subscription directly from the online platform which, in its app variant, is perfect to always be carried in your pocket. Through the reserved area you can therefore create a subscription, renew it, manage it and reserve your seat on the scheduled date and time.

Real-time information

To keep yourself informed in real time, the Prestia e Comandè app allows you to receive push notifications directly on your smartphone and to follow the vehicles during the entire duration of their journey.

Speaking about the vehicles of the Prestia e Comandè fleet, we have more great news for you! From now on, in fact, it will be possible to pay on board through contactless cards, in order to make payments even faster.

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The perspectives on the progressive loosening of restrictive measures regarding travels in Europe following the Covid-19 emergency have now a form: starting from June 15th, in fact, European countries have started organizing airports for traveling within the continent, taking into account that, at the discretion of each nation, there may still be limitations for non-essential travels until June 30th.

The different situations experienced by each country regarding the health emergency has led to a great diversification of the measures taken by each European state, resulting in limitations and filters of different kinds. These operations are regulated and monitored with the collaboration of the European Union itself, which has created an interactive map that will attempt to show a clear and updated picture regarding vacations in Europe in 2020.

Greece provided some initial clarifications, being inevitably one of the countries most impacted by the matter as one of the most popular summer destinations: Greece is going to open its airports to European passengers by carrying out sample tests, except for tourists coming from the Italian regions most affected by Covid-19, from Spain and Holland, for which testing will be mandatory (in the case of negative results, a seven-day quarantine is foreseen, going up to at least fourteen days in the case of positivity).

Croatia has instead adopted a different line, opening its borders to Italians starting from May 29 with the use of a reservation form to be filled online before leaving. The form needs to be shown on arrival at the airport and at the accommodation facility, so as to accurately monitor the flow of passengers.

France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland will welcome tourists gradually but without quarantine obligation, which is however still expected to be valid in Spain albeit temporarily. Regarding the United Kingdom, instead, a 14-day home isolation and the exhibition of reference contacts remain mandatory in order to monitor the passenger. In the event of violation of the British regulation, severe fines are imposed.

Given that for many countries the measures to be taken are still being defined, compatibly with the evolution of the pandemic in Europe, it is advisable to consult the Farnesina website with the latest news on the matter, in order to avoid surprises during your vacations.

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