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.

Travel notes

Summer has finally arrived and our trip around Siciliy on the Gusti-Bus could not miss Sicilian granita, a refreshing dessert typical of Eastern Sicily.

The history of Sicilian granita is, in fact, particularly linked to the area of ​​Catania and Messina, where the highest peaks of the island are. But why is the history of granita linked to that of the mountains? It is soon said! During the winter workers called “nivaroli” went on expedition to the Etna, the Peloritani or the Nebrodi mountains to collect fresh snow and take it to the city or flat areas.

The snow was then kept in the “neviere”, holes in the ground covered with ash or straw built in cooler areas, so that it could be kept for the whole summer. Over the years, the snow holes became larger and took different shapes, more and more suitable to protect the snow from the heat. The need to collect snow was closely related to the summer heat: the nobles, in fact, had the habit to refresh themselves during the hot days with snow sprinkled with lemon juice or flavored with syrups.

In the 19th century, this tradition took hold further, with the help of some typical Sicilian ingredients such as almonds, mulberries or coffee. In the area of Syracuse, in fact, the almond-variant is the protagonist (in Modica even toasted almonds are used), in Messina the one with prickly pear, while in the villages near the Etna with pistachio; a small exception that takes us to the other side of Sicily is the black mulberry granita, a summer favorite in Trapani and San Vito. The addition of fresh ingredients and the evolution of the original technique led granita to detach itself from the Roman “grattachecca”, born in the early twentieth century. Another distinction must be made from sorbet or ice cream, although granita itself is their ancestor.

Carrier of a centuries-old tradition, deeply linked to the territory and the typical crafts of Eastern Sicily, granita is the best cure against the Sicilian summer heat, which Sicilians and tourists can not help but love.

News

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.

Company

Buying Prestia e Comandè tickets online, for our local routes or for the shuttle bus to and from the airport, is practical and convenient. Soon the online purchase of Prestia e Comandè tickets will be even easier and faster thanks to the new website and the new app which, in order to offer a highly technologized service with the passenger’s best interest at heart.

The digitization of ticket offices is now widely diffused, users have become accustomed to buying through websites or smartphone ticket applications and not only, in order to save time and to secure seats, even at the cinema!

If our ticket purchase service is indeed set up to meet the customer’s needs, with offices open according to the departure time of each route and staff at each stop – also for the shuttle bus to the airport – the online purchase of tickets completes the passenger travel experience on our vehicles, allowing since several years the booking of seats in advance and at convenient prices!

After booking a plane ticket for your next vacation or business trip, buying online the ticket for your seat inside the shuttle bus to and from the airport is the natural next step to complete the planned trip with good functionality and organization. The possibility of using a smartphone application for the purchase, then, is an additional advantage thanks to the possibility of registering with your social network credentials and completing the procedure in a few simple steps.

Whether you want to book from home with your personal computer or from your smartphone with the dedicated application, online shopping allows you to make your travels even more comfortable, especially in this period where traveling involves a few more small steps: as already mentioned in the decalogue “Traveling safely on Prestia e Comandè buses”, the advance purchase of your ticket facilitates bus access procedures and allows the organization of seats with greater functionality and efficiency.

Travel notes

After speaking of Ustica as a summer destination, we must also talk about the other “black pearl” of the Mediterranean, Pantelleria, larger and wilder.

Reachable by plane or ship, the island is perfect for those who love to spend a holiday surrounded by unspoiled nature, being able to choose between walks in the woods, boat trips, snorkeling or spending hot days on the lava rocks.

Characteristic of the island is in fact its volcanic origin, which has allowed the proliferation of luxuriant nature with an extremely varied fauna, but not only: the spearhead of the island’s lunar landscape is the lake of Venus, that is the crater of an ancient volcano whose surrounding sources of thermal water have gradually turned into the natural swimming pool that we can admire today (and in which we can bathe). The name “lake of Venus” or “Mirror of Venus” derives from a legend according to which the goddess of beauty used to mirror herself in the waters of the sulphurous water basin.

Among the many attractions in Pantelleria, the elephant arch is certainly noteworthy: a singular cliff with a shape that reminds the trunk of an elephant that seems to drink in the splendid waters in which it is immersed, offering a breathtaking and unique spectacle. The island is also full of thermal water springs, real natural pools that in addition to their beneficial effects offer an excellent way to relax during sunset.

The island also presents interesting insights in its architecture, in fact it houses two structures that are completely unique in the world: the first one is the famous “dammuso” of Pantelleria, whose particular shape derives from the need of the inhabitants to use wind and rain to their advantage with domed roofs and thick walls; the second, fascinating and original, is the Pantelleria garden, that is a maze of dry stone walls built around plantations (originally citrus) to shelter them from the strong wind.

After talking about nature and architecture, we cannot fail to mention the cuisine of the island, in which the simplicity of the products is made precious by the tasty and savory flavor of the vegetables and typical island products, grown in a soil particularly rich in nutrients and with the important proximity of the sea. From this point of view, the caper represents Pantelleria’s excellence, which has been recognized as a protected geographical indication since June 1996 and is one of the main ingredients of many of the island’s culinary delicacies. Finally, the winemaking tradition represents another strong point of Pantelleria: among the Pantelleria liqueur wines the famous “passito” cannot be missed, a real nectar of the gods!

Perfect for those who love a holiday dedicated to nature and sea, Pantelleria is one of the ideal destinations for this summer.

Travel notes

Colorful, rich and tasty, it is the quintessential Sicilian dessert, which satisfies the eye even before the palate: we are talking, of course, of the Cassata, one of the timeless classics of the Sicilian confectionery tradition, that over the years has conquered taste buds throughout Italy and beyond.

After the beccafico sardines, we continue with our Gusti-Bus section around Sicily, telling another story that perhaps not everyone knows: the genesis of the cassata that today stands on our tables on holidays.

The first ancestor of traditional cassata is the baked version, still very widespread and loved today, dating back to the Arab domination in Sicily. The Arabs, in fact, are at the origin of most of the ingredients of Sicilian cakes and pastries, having imported or increased the production of citrus fruit, dried fruit and sugar cane. According to tradition, during the 11th century, Arab shepherds began to produce a dessert called quas’at (from which the name “cassata” probably derives) by mixing sheep’s ricotta cheese, honey and sugar in a container: this recipe reached the court of the Emir of Kalsa, where the container was replaced with shortcrust pastry. So was born, in the heart of Palermo, the baked cassata.

During the Norman times, the cassata was instead covered with sugar, almond paste (another confectionery ingredient born in Palermo), chocolate and candied pumpkin, until it became the sumptuous and colorful cake that we all know. The official recipe of the Sicilian cassata was then established in 1873 by the well-known pastry chef Salvatore Gulì, when it had already become a popular dessert throughout Sicily thanks to its presence during synods, meetings and noble dinners.

The cassata, in fact, takes on a different connotation based on the Sicilian area in which it is made: each area has made its small changes based on the excellence of the territory or the climate but, one thing is certain, there is no Easter, Christmas or Sunday lunch without this jewel of Sicilian pastry.

News

Italy has entered Phase two and we have the first good news about travel perspectives in Italy and not only. They are positive news for those who intend to travel for work or vacation during summer, taking into account the rules laid down by ministerial decrees.

According to recent indications, starting from June 3rd it will be possible to cross regional and national borders, therefore it will be possible to travel in Europe by plane depending on the regulations of each European country. The frequency of the flights will be slow and gradual but constant, many companies will open their routes between June and early July. Speaking of routes, two new destinations are going to be inaugurated at Palermo Falcone e Borsellino Airport this summer: Florence and Trieste, operated respectively by Air Dolomiti and Volotea. The airport of the Sicilian capital, therefore, not only prepares to maintain its activity, but also confirms itself as a stopover of interest for the creation of new connections

The “traveler’s Decalogue”, with the rules to observe within the airport areas, is very similar to the one for our buses: interpersonal distances must be respected, it will be necessary to wear a face mask that covers nose and mouth, and to either wear gloves or have properly sanitized hands. The temperature will also be measured, which should not exceed 37.5° C. In compliance with these measures, each airport will be equipped with special dividers, obligatory and differentiated paths, posts with sanitizing gel for the users.

In collaboration with the airlines, personal protective equipment will also be distributed before boarding for those who do not have any. In addition to these measures, each operator will then have its own Decalogue of rules to follow while traveling.

Therefore, if you are wondering about summer travels, the answer is yes, but with gloves and mask, which have become necessary for our safety and that of others.

Uncategorized, Visit Palermo

Icon of Palermo’s summer, Mondello is the seaside village of the city. Its location, right along the coast, makes it a summer tourist destination par excellence.

Hard to believe today, until the end of the 1800s Mondello was just a swampy basin surrounded by muddy and inhospitable land, except for a small fishing village of which there are still traces. Nevertheless, the area had been used as a lookout post since the Arab times thanks to the strategic location of the gulf ends, therefore Mondello (called by the Arabs Marsa ‘at Tin, “port of mud”) has always been a center of interest despite its unfriendly characteristics.

Mondello’s transformation mainly depended on the status of the city of Palermo during the 1800s: at the time, the metropolitan area was an important center for the economy of all Europe and noblemen and high-level merchants had settled in its streets, which led to the hypothesis of reclaiming the marshy area located west of the city not only to build new homes and villas but also to create a new connection point on sea.

On the initiative of Prince Francesco Lanza di Scalea, the drainage of marshy waters was started in 1891 and within a few years the area became more and more inhabited, becoming in the early decades of the 1900s the container of some of the main examples of art-nouveau architecture in the city, because of the sumptuous villas that were built along the coast. In a few years the area was considered a real earthly paradise, which was made increasingly available to the city with the creation of the first seaside resorts, still in use today.

Over the years the neighborhood has become the center of summer life in the area, with important sporting and cultural events: today Mondello is a fundamental stop for those who want to visit Palermo, thanks to the crystal-clear sea and the peculiarity and liveliness of the seaside village, which rises between the sea and the slopes of Monte Pellegrino.

News

In this delicate period, thinking about your own safety and that of the others is fundamental, so adopting suitable precautions to make your travel experience with our bus and shuttle bus fleet more serene is our priority.

The safety of our passengers and the cleanliness of ticket offices and vehicles have always been a priority, but in these last few months we have taken steps to ensure the absolute safety of our travellers. 

The preliminary phase to ensure this is the adequate sanification of our vehicles, which is performed by using a special ozone generator, that thanks to its very high oxidizing power allows to eliminate viruses, bacteria and parasites that can deposit on the tissues: seats, curtains and the carpet floor are treated with this system.

Since a bus is in all respects a closed space, we have also thought about ventilation, using air-purification systems: a sanitizer is sprayed inside our air conditioning systems which, in addition to acting as a virus inactivator, also reduces the risks of the most common allergic reactions by removing pathogens such as bacteria, mold, fungi and pollen.

Our prevention measures for our customers’ and staff’s health begin from the moment of ticket purchase: online purchase is always preferable, but our ticket offices are also equipped with transparent panels and spacers in case of queue. Our passengers are advised not to use our services if they experience fever or flu symptoms.

Before boarding, each passenger must wear a protective mask (one in fabric is also fine) and respect the distance rules both when accessing the vehicle and when taking a seat on the bus. To facilitate this procedure, seats are assigned on board in order to respect the planned distances and, on seats where it is not allowed to sit, there are special indications. We also offer to our passengers the opportunity to disinfect their hands thanks to the special sanitizing gel dispensers placed at the entrance of the vehicles.

By observing these simple rules we can take you to your destination preserving our safety and that of others, so that we can start travelling together again like before.

Visit Palermo

The Genie of Palermo, one of the most interesting figures from the point of view of the local tradition and history, is the personification of the city, a symbol of all its citizens regardless of their ethnicity and social origin.

The transversality of this figure – which is represented as a wise man with a grey beard, a crown on his head and a snake that feeds on his chest – can also be figured by the variety of its representations hidden in the city: one of the most interesting tours in Palermo is precisely the one that goes around the city center looking for the “Genie of Palermo” in its main representations, with different artistic styles depending on the periods of cultural contamination of this Sicilian area.

Its most emblematic representation is the Genio della Fiera Vecchia (the “Genie of the old fair”), the statue placed in the center of the fountain in Piazza Rivoluzione (Revolution square), which we have already had occasion to talk about, but there are at least seven other reproductions of the Genie (according to legend) if not more.

“U granni” (“the big one”) is located in Piazza Garraffaello in the heart of the Vucciria – one of the most important markets of Palermo -, “U nicu” (“the little one”) is located inside Palazzo delle Aquile (“Palace of the Eagles”), seat of the city council, and the same title is given to the one located at the entrance of the port. A Genie also stands on the facade of the municipal palace and right in front of it, on Piazza Pretoria, there is another one within the complex of statues composing the homonymous Fountain. Other genies in the form of statues or bas-reliefs are in Via Oreto, in Villagrazia, inside the Cathedral and in Villa Giulia, while some illustrated representations are in Palazzo Isnello, inside the Royal Palace, at Casa Professa and in one of the rooms of Villa Igea. Of particular value and splendor is the mosaic placed at the entrance to the Palatine Chapel, dating back to the early 19th century.

The variety of types of representation and contexts in which it is placed and the mystery about the meaning of some of the engravings that accompany it, make the Genie of Palermo one of the most enigmatic figures of the Sicilian tradition, with opinions that oscillate between the secular and the religious spheres. The most accredited legend says that its origins go back to the time of Scipio the African, who would have given the first statue of the Genie to the city as a sign of gratitude for its support in the war against the Carthaginians. Since then, this statue that portrays a wise man has been taken as a representation of the city itself, next to the figure of Santa Rosalia.

A tour around  the city looking for the Genie is one of the most original and suitable activities to condense a multitude of neighborhoods and Buildings, all sharing the same common thread. Perfect for citizens but also for those who visit Palermo for the first time, it is an experience that cannot be missed.

Facebook

Google+

Newsletter

RESTA AGGIORNATO