Blue Guide Sicily
Simply the best and most complete travel companion
Reviewed by Argyraspid
Simply the best! The editor of this Blue Guide, Sicily is Dr Michael Metcalfe, whom I had the immense pleasure to meet on several trips organized by Peter Sommer Travels.
This travel guide starts with a sketchy presentation of Sicily’s complex history. After that, each province of Sicily is being explained in detail, beginning each time with a short history of its own followed by the role its capital and other main cities played over the centuries, highlighting the main buildings and others, inclusive opening hours, entrance fees and handy phone numbers. Clear town plans and site maps help the prospective visitor to find his way among the Greco-Roman ruins and in the web of streets and alleys of these cities and towns. Key events or key personalities receive special attention in a framed window, and clear drawings and an occasional (black & white) picture definitely help to get a good idea of what to expect.
At the end of each chapter treating a separate province, there is a list of hotels and restaurants that deserve to be taken into consideration. That goes for all the provinces of Sicily: Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Enna, Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania and Messina.
The guide concludes with some practical information about opening hours, emergency numbers, means of communication and travel, and finally some details about accommodation and the island’s wide range of typical food and drink (wines). There also is a glossary of special terms, mostly pertaining to Greek temples and theatres, handily completed with drawings of the basic temple design, the classical orders of the temples, the design of ancient theatres, as well as the names and shapes of all kinds of pottery one can encounter. It also includes a list of Sicilian architects, painters and sculptors. At the very end of the guide we find a full road map of Sicily and a series of more detailed maps by province. In short, everything you need to know before heading for this beautiful island but also extremely useful while travelling around.
To my greatest pleasure and utmost satisfaction I did indeed visit this island in a two-weeks tour led by Dr Michael Metcalfe in person (for the tour details of Peter Sommer Travels, see Exploring Sicily), who truly brought Sicily and its rich history and culture to life!