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post #21 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 12:14 Thread Starter
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Thanks Clyde, I thought as much and I can live with that.
Have you seen this



If I read it correct, you can't pay by cash on Sicilly
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post #22 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 12:42
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Originally Posted by Grath
Thanks Clyde, I thought as much and I can live with that.
Have you seen this



If I read it correct, you can't pay by cash on Sicilly
As I read it Grath I think it means the opposite see this



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post #23 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 13:03 Thread Starter
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A little confusing between the different links. Maybe the link I posted mean that in Sicily, you can pay by cash, Via card and the Telepass thing, but not by credit card.
The way I first read it, was that only Via or Telepass would be accepted.
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post #24 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 14:00
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Just a warning given to me by a campsite owner in Sicily two years ago. Be careful what banks and ATMs you use your cash card in when on the island. He told me some of the local banks are owned by crime families and are not above skimming your cards. His advice was to use only the international banks, German, Swiss or similar.

I have no idea whether what he says is true because I just took his advice.
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post #25 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 14:10 Thread Starter
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Thanks Annsman, I don't doubt it, as when I was trucking they were involved in what seemed like everything. I used to deliver to a Company that was Sicilian owned, and believe me, the owners looked just like fictional film characters. But, they were OK to me
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post #26 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 15:15
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Originally Posted by Grath
Now, you Guys have got us thinking of maybe not going as far and spending much of the time in southern Italy and Sicily. It is a long time since we have been to Italy and Kath has never been to the far south.
As we like proper wilding and using Aire's (Sosta,s), what is the up to date information about security and crime. Do you feel comfortable and relaxed?
Obviously, if it doesn't feel right, don't stop there, but do you feel your van is safe while you are sight seeing (I don't mean at large popular tourist attractions)
What about costs, is it expensive, I don't mean eating out in expensive places, but buying provisions and snacks etc.
This is still a fluid situation, and as I have previously said, we have previously tent camped in Greece and Turkey,possibly prior to tourist booms, therefore we don't have to do it again, but it did look attractive.
It comes down to time, we could do say 10 weeks if only Italy, but if we went further we would do about 16 weeks which could be a bit of a rush to see the places properly!
So, back to Italy looks maybe more sensible!
As you imply Grath Italy north and south are two different countries. I think the north you could equate with France security wise although cheaper. I never felt uneasy wilding even in the cities. If you like I will put together some really good places (including one really special place up a hill with a view of central Florence that was outside a monastery and a very short bus ride to the centre, we stayed there 4 nights in total quiet apart from the bells).

I was prepared for crime when I got to Rome and looked up an ASCI site that offered transfers to a station. After visiting though and seen some of the free overnight parking just outside the old walls shown on CC infos. When we go back up I’ll even wild in Rome.

It’s a different story south of Rome. If you imagine entering a different country it will help. First thing you will notice is the rubbish and the driving. On the positive side they generally drive slower, possibly because of the state of the roads and have lower speed limits. Apart from that it is a free for all. Regardless of signage the first to a junction would appear to have right of way. Don’t wait for a gap in the traffic when going into a main road edge out and stop the traffic otherwise those behind you will wear out their horns. Oh and if you want to look local have a phone to your ear at all times.

The people are really happy go lucky and extremely friendly, although you have to approach THEM. Petty crime, pick pockets, car crime etc is a big problem in the BIG cities Bari, Brindisi, Taranto, Bitonto, Naples etc. but by contrast the smaller ones and towns have a naivety about them that immediately reassures you. For instance I called into a private sosta to dump in Alberobella today. It was deserted and I couldn’t find anyone to pay. There were a couple of open sided sheds at the entrance. In one was a TV and the other a laptop for the use of patrons, admittedly they were old, but I was there for more than half an hour and didn’t see a soul. This was 100yds from the centre of quite a large town and it was also used as a carpark.

Don’t worry if your cash card doesn’t work in an ATM. It will work in the 4th or 5th even of the same bank. As far as Sicily is concerned the tolls may not take cash but I have been advised by people here to have plenty of cash as many businesses will only take cash.

Cost wise I have been surprised. I spent last winter in Portugal and the previous one in Spain and would say price wise Italy was on a par with Spain. Diesel however is expensive and the price varies considerably. I called into a motorway services last week to dump at the bourne (free). It was on the “truck” side, I also wanted some LPG. That was on the car side. I backed out on to the slip road flashers going only to find diesel 13cents a litre more expensive on the car side. Prices start at about 1:58 and can go as high as 1:83. BEWARE of cheap diesel. I called at a small garage the other day advertising 1:58, now I know my van pretty well, I’ve had it more than 4 years, I known the tank holds 100 lts max and how many litres are left when the light comes on. The light had just flickered as I pulled onto the fore court. Imagine my surprise when I managed to fit nearly 102 litres in I now stick to the big chains.

As I said I will compile some of my best wilding spots and PM you with them. If you haven’t heard within a couple of weeks remind me.


editted to add that what has saved us a LOT of money is the fact that ALL govt. run museums and monuments (and that seems to be most of them) will grant free entry to EU citizens over 65 who can prove it with a passport. At 8-13 euros a pop it soon adds up.
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post #27 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 15:35 Thread Starter
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Thanks Dick, your post is most helpful and informative. I really look forward to your pm
I trucked to the north, Milan, Piacenza, Bresia, many times, but only once to just south of Rome, and once only to the Tranto area and Sicily.
I am not at all concerned about the driving, I can give as much as I get, I do tend to adapt to any countries style.
My only real concern is my vans security, mainly when we are not inside, but obviously a little when we are occupying.
It has taken me ages to get Kath to go, so we are now on a roll

It certainly does sound like you have seen a lot and are having a great time

edit 2

Thanks also for the campercontact app
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post #28 of 42 (permalink) Old 19-01-2014, 15:43
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We are also heading for Turkey end Aug early Sept via Ancona to Greece ferry.
Like everyone else we prefer lone travelling but also enjoy the odd meet up if it coincides with where we are.
Hopefully we will have internet contact with a tablet by then so who knows who we may see.
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post #29 of 42 (permalink) Old 20-01-2014, 00:25
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Can I recommend one of my books?

'Just One Cornetto: London to Sicily in a Small Motorhome'


Just One Cornetto is the delightful story of Keith and his wife Gail’s six-month, 11,000-kilometre winter journey round Italy including Sicily and his love for cream or chocolate filled cornetti.

Unsigned mountain roads, litter-filled city back streets, beautiful vistas, Greek temples, magical resorts, historical centres, generous locals met along the way all provide an engaging mix and invaluable insight into an out-of-season Italy. Who can resist encounters with Tony Blair’s friend; a ninety-year old boar hunter; or a local trying to get planning permission and being offered ‘help’ by a well-known organisation that will make planners’ hands shake? The in-depth descriptions, touches of history and the variety of people they meet add colour and bring to life the many places they visit. With a passion for getting off the beaten track and venturing into notorious areas they are able to contrast the idylls with the lesser known.

From the author of ‘How Katie Pulled Boris’ this book retains Keith’s easy-going style and you will feel you have joined them on their travels in their small motorhome. The book’s warmth and humour make it an ideal introduction to anyone wanting to visit Italy and particularly Sicily but equally enjoyable for Italophiles and armchair adventurers.

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post #30 of 42 (permalink) Old 20-01-2014, 19:12
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Hey up.

As far as security wild camping is concerned it was never a problem anywhere except once and we have done 18 countries so far.

From April up to the beginning of Dec last year we stayed a total of 4 weeks on camp sites ad-hoc when we wanted a bit of a change, and the only trouble we had was in an aire in the South of France where we stayed over night and some scroat screw drive-red the locks but didn't get in.

As far as tolls are concerned on near enough 18k miles we haven't used any toll roads in the 18 countries, all without any problems and our tag axle rig with the scooter rack on the back is not far off 9 meters.

A couple of incidents along the way that were down to me, but nothing I couldn't nail back on , which was nothing to do with non toll roads,


Just watching a shifty looking geezer in the library searching intently through the 'S' section of the dictionary, he's stopped now.

I think he's up to something. . .. . . ray......
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