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Sicily Travel Guide

Sicily — Shopping and Leisure

There may not be a lot of big box stores, department store chains, or large shopping malls in Sicily, but the island certainly has plenty of unique shopping opportunities not found anywhere else.The only downside to shopping here may be the steep price tags, with many goods sold here even more expensive than their counterparts in Milan, Rome, and other large Italian cities.

Palermo and Catania boast the greatest number of shopping opportunities in Sicily, but almost every smaller town on the island has its own lively street markets and souvenir shops. Palermo’s largest shopping malls are located in Via Roma, the Piazza del Duomo, and the Teatro Massimo.

The Corso Italia may have Catania’s largest selection of Italian designer goods, but shoppers on smaller budgets will find far more bargains in Misterbianco, Catania’s industrial district.

Palermo and Catania are also the two Sicilian cities whose street markets sell their wares every day. Palermo’s bustling Vucceria and Mercato Lo Capo Palermo offer the greatest variety of goods, but most street markets in smaller communities are only open one or two days per week.

No matter where visitors shop in Sicily, they will find olive oil, wine, and other local delicacies for sale. In fact, many specialty wine shops called enotecas sell nothing but locally produced olive oil and wine. Ceramics are another popular souvenir choice and some of the finest handmade ceramics are created in the southern town of Caltagirone.

Like elsewhere in Italy, most Sicilian shops are open from Monday to Saturday, but close for two or three hours in mid afternoon. Many shops are closed altogether on Monday mornings and all of Sunday. As many clothing boutiques do not allow customers to try on clothing before buying and rarely exchange or return items, customers must always take special care when buying clothing here.

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