Bus tales, Visit Palermo

Destination of the fall outings par excellence, the perfect opportunity to collect mushrooms and chestnuts, the Bosco della Ficuzza Nature Reserve is a fascinating and evocative place a few steps from the city of Palermo.

If for those coming from Palermo it is precisely a place of the heart, for those who want to organize a trip to Sicily in autumn it is instead an excellent opportunity to discover a new and very different side, a glance studded with warm colors and enveloping, far from the blinding blue of the sea of our coasts.

The Bosco della Ficuzza Nature Reserve is a protected natural area 40 km from Palermo, 682 meters above sea level and with 7400 hectares of extension. The area covers the territories of Mezzojuso, Corleone, Godrano, Messineo and Monreale.

The birth of the reserve dates back to the early 1800s, when King Ferdinand of Bourbon moved from Naples to Palermo: here he built the Real Casina Cinese, inside the Parco della Favorita, and the Real Casina di Caccia inside the forest of the Ficuzza, where to exercise his passion, the hunting. From the unification of Italy until the 2000s, the forest passed from hand to hand to various entities, until it became a degraded area during the Second World War, a period in which it will be deforested to meet the needs of timber production. From 1948 the first reforestation activities were started and, finally, on July 26, 2000 the Nature Reserve will be established.

Today the Bosco della Ficuzza offers its visitors the largest wooded area in Western Sicily, hosting a wide variety of plants, shrubs and trees typical of the area. As for the fauna, however, the Reserve is home to about 80% of the animal species of the entire region, including large mammals, rodents, reptiles and birds.

For those who are more interested in architectural beauties, the Real Casina di Caccia is also worth a visit, with its imposing and severe exterior, which contains some of the best examples of Sicilian Neoclassicism.

News

Summer has come to end but the travel subject is still one of the main trend topics, especially for those areas where the tourist influx remains constant even in the low season. The evolution of the health emergency containment measures also make the scenario even more lively and constantly updated.

The most important news of the last few days certainly concerns the United States, which from November 1st will open the borders to travelers from 33 countries around the world in the case of a completed vaccination cycle, while maintaining the obligation of test 3 days before departure. For all those who wish to go to the US, however, beware of the medicine with which they have been vaccinated: the United States has not recognized some of the vaccines common in Europe and the world, therefore vaccination with these may not guarantee access to the country.

As for the countries of the European Union, if for the majority of these there is the obligation of the Green Pass (obtained after the vaccination cycle, through a certificate of recovery from Covid or with a negative swab carried out within the previous 48 hours), some nations apply some small variations, to be taken into consideration if you want to travel this fall: Spain, for example, has divided the risk areas for Italian citizens also by region, so before leaving you need to check the status of yours; in addition to this, the filling of a form certifying one’s state of health remains mandatory; the Czech Republic has also adopted a specific control form. In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, in addition to the Green Pass, the obligation to take a quick swab remains in place 48 hours after arrival on British soil.

In addition to the United States, Canada has also opened its borders for tourism with Green Pass and tampon in hand, while Tokyo and Japan still remain off limits for tourism, with suspension of entries for non-work, non-serious and non-health reasons until on a date to be determined.

It would therefore seem that, compared to exactly one year ago, the tourist situation is taking on more and more stable connotations, giving hope for a return to normality, to travel and holidays that are increasingly tangible.

Services

The Prestia and Comandè platforms leave the user great freedom in managing their tickets and their subscription, creating a small private ticket office through the special reserved area, to always carry with them.

The same wide choice is also given as regards the payment methods through which you can buy your tickets, through practical, safe and protected systems, valid all over the world. By purchasing your Prestia and Comandè tickets online it is in fact possible to choose whether to pay with credit cards of the most popular Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express circuits, through the Chinese circuit UnionPay and also other platforms such as PayPal or MyBank for instantaneous bank transfers.

To pay through these platforms, just a few clicks and a few intuitive steps are enough, allowing you to buy your tickets for the Prestia and Comandè buses quickly and at any time, both from your smartphone and from your computer.

We also remind you that from 31 December, once the online payment has been made, according to the SCA – Strong Customer Authentication, an additional security step will be required, which involves biometric recognition via the bank’s App or the insertion of a code ” disposable ” incoming via SMS.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to buy your Prestia e Comandè ticket at the ticket office, you can choose whether to pay in cash or by card even on board! You can therefore get on the bus and pay the driver directly with your credit card, through safe and secure transactions in all speed and safety, even contactless for cards prepared (now most of them).

Whether you choose to buy online, at the ticket office, at stops or on board, the payment methods are quick as well as the purchase procedure, to make the travel experience even simpler, easier and more immediate!

Bus tales

With a sweet charm, slow and relaxed rhythms, breathtaking views: Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian islands and, although it does not show the same worldly or exclusive mood as the other islands of the archipelago, it preserves its history and contains its characteristics. Lipari is also called “the sweet island” in honor of its Greek name, “Meligunis” or “sweet” precisely, for the delicacy of its landscapes, which invite you to welcome its dreamy lifestyle.

The peculiarity of the island consists in the variety of scenarios and landscapes available within walking distance, allowing tourists to take advantage of different experiences, from snorkeling to nature excursions.

What immediately catches your eye, once you arrive in Lipari, is the blinding color of the sea of beaches and coves, a shade deriving from the gravelly bottoms at the pumice quarries. Equally impressive are the coastal areas with views of Salina, the stacks, Vulcano and Vulcanello, often reachable only from the sea, thus making a boat ride essential to get to know the beauties of the island.

Even the hinterland of the island reveals important beauties, between concrete traces of the archipelago’s past and museums with perfectly preserved relics: through these testimonies it was possible to trace the historical stratification of Lipari, which from the Neolithic was subject to dominations that have left a tangible trace within the territory. For nature lovers, on the other hand, the island offers various paths and routes for lovers of walking and trekking, taking the opportunity to observe the typical fauna and flora of the island, thus revealing its wilder side.

For those who love holidays with a quiet and peaceful pace, lulled by the waves of the sea and the background of crickets, Lipari is the ideal destination, thanks to the versatility of the offers proposed and the possibility of welcoming all types of tourists visiting Sicily, to discover of the most particular and genuine areas, destined to leave a hint of nostalgia.

Gusti-Bus

The high temperatures make you want to taste fresh dishes, with genuine and fragrant ingredients. The Sicilian tradition is rich in this type of recipes, often combined with homemade pasta: this is, for example, the case of the busiate in the Trapani area, and it is precisely here that our GustiBus stops today!

In addition to the countless meat and fish recipes with cous cous, the Trapani area offers really tasty and interesting first courses based on busiate, but where does this type of pasta come from?

The busiate, similar to strozzapreti but with a more elongated shape, take their name from the “buso”, the knitting needle around which the dough is wrapped to give it its typical shape; another name of this format is in fact “iron macaroni”. The procedure may seem complicated but, in reality, it is very simple: once you have created a small “cylinder” of dough with the help of your fingers, the iron is placed lengthwise (which can also be a fairly thick skewer) to which the dough is rolled with a skilful back and forth movement, until the dough is wound along the iron used. Once gently extracted from their support, the “macaroni” can be placed on a tray lined with a cloth and left to dry.

The secret of the goodness of this typical Sicilian format is its spiral shape, which imprisons the sauce inside, making each forkful more and more tasty: it is no coincidence that the perfect sauces for busiate are those based on meat and fish. , without neglecting the vegetable variants such as with artichoke ragout or the well-known pesto from the Trapani area, fresh and perfect for the summer thanks to its totally raw ingredients such as tomato, basil, almonds and garlic.

Before leaving for the next trip to Sicily among its delicacies, on board of our GustiBus, it is therefore only right to treat yourself with a plate of excellent summer-flavored busiate!

Services

Prestia and Comandè coach rental services meet different types of needs, responding with the usual professionalism and quality that distinguishes the company, which has made the comfort of its passengers the main focus.

The company offers various bus rental formulas, each with driver and dedicated to transfers, tours of Sicily or excursions, but also much longer routes, nationally and internationally. The means made available by Prestia and Comandè include coaches with 56, 42, 28, 19 and 9 seats, as well as car transfer services.

The Prestia and Comandè fleet therefore responds to any request, opportunity to take advantage of during this holiday period, especially this year. Traveling in company is always a valuable experience, sharing a trip with a group, with people with whom you share a specific bond, further amplifies the pleasant aspect of the tour or vacation you intend to undertake. We can, for example, talk about trips with one’s own more or less extended family unit, as well as with groups of friends with whom you intend to organize itineraries in all carefree, relying on the professionalism of the team of Prestia and Comandè drivers.

At the same way, organizing trips with more or less large groups is more practical if with a single vehicle, on convivial occasions such as, for example, a wedding away from the guests’ residence, or work projects with a team that requires coordinated and autonomous transfers.

Regardless of the purpose of the type of movement, Prestia and Comandè always manages to offer maximum comfort, making each transfer a pleasant experience: the vehicles in the fleet are in fact equipped with air conditioning and a wide range of accessories necessary to ensure the greatest possible comfort possible during the itinerary, with an eye especially for long distances.

News

After the long period of lockdown, the city of Palermo wants to restart from its rich artistic heritage and does so through the RestArt event, a latest generation festival that last year achieved an unexpected success, attracting a total of 15,000 visitors.

The event includes the opening, on weekends from July 2 to August 28, of a series of splendid monumental sites, which are open from 7pm until midnight. By subscribing on the appropriate platform, it will be possible to visit cultural sites, museums, palaces that allow you to read the city through periods, dominations, different layers that constitute the true wealth of a multicultural pole.

The inauguration of the festival was held on Friday 2 July and saw the reopening of the four Serpottian oratories of Santa Cita, Santissimo Rosario in San Domenico, San Lorenzo and San Mercurio. On the occasion, the rediscovered “Statue of the king” was presented, created by Procopio Serpotta and today restored thanks to the initiative of the Friends of the Sicilian Museums association with the support of the Sicily Foundation and the Pragma Consortium.

The canvases of Palazzo Abatellis and its marvelous Annunciata, the furnishings of Palazzo Mirto, but also the particular collections of Villa Zito and Palazzo Branciforte, the boxes of the Teatro Massimo and the incredible reproduction of Raphael’s altarpiece in Spasimo can also be visited at night. Also not to be missed is the church of Santa Caterina, from whose dome you can admire the Pretoria fountain.

There will be time to visit, among others, also Arab-Norman sites, such as the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti and Cuba, and from July 16 the prisons of the Penitentiates will also be part of the circuit, with graffiti that tell the story of the horror of the Inquisition. Ci sarà tempo per visitare, tra gli altri, anche siti arabo normanni, come la Chiesa di San Giovanni degli Eremiti e la Cuba, e dal 16 luglio entreranno a fare parte del circuito anche le carceri dei Penitenziati, con i graffiti che raccontano l’orrore dell’Inquisizione.

This year the event is enriched with many special events, such as exhibitions, video mapping, theatricalizations, meetings, concerts: Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi publicly opens for the first time the splendid halls where the Gattopardo was set, Palazzo Butera offers 5 thematic in-depth itineraries accompanied by exceptional guides, at the Tonnara dei Quattro Pizzi there is the exhibition on the rediscovered boudoir by Donna Franca Florio, Palazzo Abatellis offers the opportunity to talk on the terrace with the most authoritative exponents of the Palermo culture.

RestArt is an opportunity to start from the most authentic treasures of the city, aiming at not losing its cultural heritage, an essential asset for man and a privileged element of social cohesion that builds and edifies the community.

All this will allow the citizens of Palermo and the increasingly numerous and demanding visitors and tourists to experience the city through new kinds of use, to consolidate the relationship of beauty between the artistic heritage and the public, to discover the soul of the places and fall in love with it. It will benefit not only tourism but the citizens themselves, to whom this project wants to give hope and life back.

News

Summer has now arrived and “Green Pass” has become the watchword for those who want to travel in the upcoming months. The green certification, already available on government platforms, from the first of July will also be valid as the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate: without prejudice to the interoperability of the certifications of all the countries of the Union, to travel in Europe it will be necessary to have a negative result from an antigenic or molecular swab if the Green Pass has been obtained following the first dose of vaccine or if 15 days have not yet elapsed from the inoculation of the second.

If for adults the situation is therefore clear enough, to go on holiday with minors in all serenity, some guidelines to follow have only recently begun to emerge, here are the main ones.

For minors from 6 years old it is necessary to present the green certification as well as for adults: to obtain the Green Pass it will therefore be necessary to have a vaccination certificate (in the 12-17 years age range , according to the green light of the Ema) , the result of a negative swab or the certificate of recovery from Covid within 6 months. Between 2 and 5 years, however, certification will be required but without the obligation of a swab; under the age of 2, however, there is no obligation to have a Green Pass.

As for countries with possible quarantine obligations for those without certification, children will follow the same rules or procedures addressed to parents, for example: if the destination country provides for a quarantine period in the absence of a Green Pass, the children from the age of 2 will have to follow the same rules dedicated to parents, those under the age of 2 (therefore without certification) will not have to undergo quarantine if their parents are exempt from it.

In addition to being valid for European Union countries, the European Green Pass will also be accepted by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

News

After the announcement in May, the SeeSicily campaign officially starts, which is the tourism promotion plan of the Sicilian Region dedicated to the restart of the summer 2021 season.

The project is full of good news for those who want to spend their holidays in Sicily, providing the possibility of obtaining vouchers for free services entirely tailored to tourists. By contacting the agencies registered in the program, travelers can thus purchase vouchers for: a free overnight stay every three overnights (up to a maximum of two nights as a gift, to be spent at previously registered facilities), one free touristic service to be chosen between excursions, diving or guided tours, free admission to accredited cultural sites (starting from July) and discounts on national and international flights starting from October, in order to extend tourist flows beyond the summer period.

The promotional campaign of the project, launched recently, sees as protagonists some famous Sicilians such as the étoile Eleonora Abbagnato, the actress Nicole Grimaudo, the gymnast Carlotta Ferlito and the two songwriters Colapesce and Dimartino, framed in the most characteristic and typical contexts of Sicily, in order to best represent its essence in every aspect.

With SeeSicily a further step towards the restart after a difficult year is made, encouraging tourism in Sicily also following the push of the vaccination plan and the first travel indications in terms of certifications. For Italians it has been possible for a few days to download the Italian Green Pass, by entering the personal data in the portals indicated by the email or by the specific text message that will be sent to who have started or completed the vaccination course, swabbed or obtained termination of quarantine certification.

During the first days of summer, the prospects begin to have a well-defined shape and Sicily seems to once again play an important role in tourism in Italy.

Gusti-Bus

During a trip to San Vito Lo Capo or to the Zingaro Nature Reserve, a stop to Castellammare del Golfo cannot be missed: in this city is possible to taste the legendary cassatelle, sweet fried ravioli stuffed with ricotta and chocolate drops, covered with powdered sugar. Today Our GustiBus therefore stops in Castellammare to talk about the origins of this recipe.

The first traces of cassatelle date back to 1700 at Calatafimi Segesta, a town near Castellammare where it is believed that the original recipe was created. Usually this dessert was prepared during Easter or Carnival, but today it can be found throughout the Trapani area at any time of the year, having become one of the most famous traditional Sicilian desserts.

The secret of cassatelle (or cassatedde, or cappidduzzi) derives from the richness of its filling and from the contrast with the dough that encloses it: the ricotta is finely worked with sugar, cinnamon and chocolate drops, as well as for the most of the traditional desserts, and placed in the center of a handkerchief of pasta flavored with Marsala wine and lemon peel, which give a perfect sour touch, especially after frying in plenty of oil, creating a delicious and toasted crust.

As we have already seen talking about other desserts typical of the Sicilian tradition, also in this case there are some variations of the same recipe, based on the area in which it is made: in the Palermo area they are made with a fig filling (similar to buccellati) or in the Agira area with almonds and cocoa inside. Also in the Trapani area, there is a salty version stuffed with ricotta and flavored with meat or fish broths or with bolognese sauce.

During a trip to Sicily, tasting a cassatella is a stop that cannot be missed, a small, delightful moment that will surely make your day sweeter!

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