Sicily Course 2018: Full Information


NB Caffè Sicilia is something of a meeting point: 11 Corso Garibaldi (next to Piazza Italia). Picture here. From the bus stop you walk towards the high up church on the hill and the cafè is on the right after a few hundred metres.  If you get lost just ask, all locals will know those street names and probably the cafè too.

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This is £150. Please pay this to confirm your place, preferably by bank transfer (to 30-91-35 / 01616865 / Lloyds Bank) or by PayPal (to For international payments please use: IBAN: GB34LOYD30913501616865 / BIC: LOYDGB21038
The course fee is payable only by orchestral participants and not by accompanying friends/relatives.

Please ensure that you pay any bank or PayPal fees so that £150 is the amount received.


The course dates are basically 23-29 July 2018. The first rehearsal is the morning of the 24th, so arrival will be on the 23rd for most people. The concert is the 28th so departure is likely to be on the 29th. However, you are welcome to arrive before the 23rd and also to stay beyond the 29th should you wish. It may be possible to arrive after the 23rd - please enquire.

Large instruments

Cellists and double bassists are eligible for help with the cost of transporting their instrument. This will be up to a maximum of £150 per instrument. There may also be the possibility of us hiring an instrument for you in Sicily – we would cover the complete hire cost as long as it is below £150 (which it always has been thus far).


Through the proprietor of Scicli B&B (Massimo Borgese) we can offer you accommodation in local flats. You are welcome to book your own accommodation should you prefer.

Rates for the B&B mentioned above are currently:

Twin/Double room: €40.00 (per person) Single room: €50.00

This is inclusive of the local tourist tax of €2.50 per person per night. If you choose a twin room we can find you a sharing partner or you can come with your own. People in single rooms will have to share a bathroom. You pay for this accommodation in cash at the end of the week. The accommodation is in flats which have self-catering facilities and are within walking distance of the town centre.

When you are on your way (perhaps an hour or two before arriving in Scicli) please text me (07714 337 044), Norma (07870 322 373) and Massimo (+39 327 9478329) to let us know your eta.  When you actually arrive go to Caffè Sicilia where you will be met and taken to your accommodation.  See note at the top of the page on the whereabouts of Caffè Sicilia.  


NB You book and pay for your own travel.

1.By air

NB: Please ensure you know what your airline’s restrictions are on carrying musical instruments. Ryanair, for example, charge extra to carry something even the size of a violin.

One way of flying more cheaply is to do a one-stop strategy and go via Milan or Rome. But booking early is always the best money-saving option.

You will be informed if there are other participants on the same flight as you.

Comiso and Catania airports are both within reach of Scicli. Please note that you can reach each airport by a variety of airlines (especially if you are prepared to change planes). Car hire is possible at both airports.

Comiso is only directly served from the UK by Ryanair. It is close-ish (about 40 minutes by road). There is a fairly new coach service from there to Scicli which costs €24.99. Details are at: Choose 'Aeroporto di Comiso' then 'Scicli' then the date/time.  Although the front page is (mostly) in English it then goes into Italian - ask for help if you need. You could also get a taxi at a cost of about €40-50.

Catania airport is served by a number of airlines directly from the UK. There is a coach which goes straight to Scicli from just outside the airport terminal. Details are here: (that webpage is only in Italian – do ask if you want help with it, but I’ve printed out the relevant times below).

To find the correct bus stop: exit the arrivals terminal to the right (as you come out of the bagage hall), walk about 50 yards past small booths on your right. You will see a small bus shelter next to the road. One of the signs on a post next to this is for AST, and there will be an AST timetable attached to this post. People wait for several buses at this location. When the bus arrives (usually a single-decker white coach) you need to put your bags in the under-bus compartment. You pay the driver in cash (c.€10) . Journey time is about 2.5 hours or a little more. You will first see Scicli as the bus negotiates one of a number of hairpin turns down into the town – it's quite a spectacular view. The bus stops at Corso Mazzini, which is close to Caffè Sicilia. This link below shows the bus stop:,14.7041963,3a,75y,135.78h,74.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sWJk8Ud4INUqC-djxt_jCbA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 Walk down the tree lined avenue and you will find Caffè Sicilia on the right (Caffè Sicilia is very much a meeting/gathering point).

Coach times Catania airport to Scicli (as of November 2017 – but please check in case there have been changes):

Sun: 11.15 / 17.45 / 21.45
Mon - Sat: 9.15 / 11.15 / 14.45 / 18.45 / 20.45

Coach times Scicli to Catania airport:

Sun: 7.20 / 13.50 / 17.50
Mon - Sat: 5.00 / 6.20 / 10.20 / 14.20 / 16.50

A taxi from Catania airport to Scicli is in the region of €200.
This bus starts (and ends) in the centre of Catania (near the railway station).

2. By train

It’s a fabulous journey by train, well worth it if you’re not in a hurry (I’ve done it twice)! All the information you will need is here:


For those taking the ‘in house’ accommodation you will have breakfast al fresco at Caffè Sicilia on Piazza Italia in the town centre. It’s quite substantial! Aside from breakfast there are lots of good restaurants, and it’s possible to get a good meal at little over €10 (and a good pizza for less than that). You can also cook for yourselves in your flat if you wish. Please ask for recommendations.

There are some local delicacies that you really should try while you’re there ... arancini / granite / cannoli ...


We have three rehearsals in Scicli, on the mornings of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, plus an extra one with the choir on Thursday evening.
They will be in Villa Penna, via Alghieri which is a few minutes walk from the centre of town. Please meet on Tuesday morning at 9.30
Caffè Sicilia in Piazza Italia to walk round as a group (see note at the top of the page about Caffè Sicilia).

Please note that music stands are provided. The concert is out of doors so clothes' pegs will also be supplied.

Your music will be provided too, although you are welcome to bring your own printed copies if you have markings which are useful for you.  page2image32088


The concert is on Saturday 28 July, venue Il Chiostro, ex-convento del Carmine, Piazza Carmine (very central).

Concert dress code is all black: men, no ties or jackets required / ladies, short or long dresses or trousers are all fine.


There will be several excursions laid on during the week. You are welcome to come on them or not, as you prefer. This year we are doing this on an opt-out basis: i.e. it is assumed you will come on the trips unless you tell us otherwise (we need to book coaches in advance).  There will be an extra cost to cover transport, this will be collected in cash during the excursion. The exact amount will depend on the number of people going (and therefore the size of coach required). It is likely to be in the region of €10 per trip. You would also need to pay other costs such as castle entrance fee or lunch.

Details are on the schedule page: 

The beach is a short bus ride away.


It is, of course, likely to be hot! However the heat tends to be dry, and it doesn’t usually feel nearly so sticky as it does in the UK when it gets very hot. You may feel the need to sleep in the afternoon on occasions as do many of the locals!

There could be some mosquitos, although we’ve not previously encountered them in large numbers.


We will work in a mixture of English and Italian, because there will be several Sicilians playing in the orchestra with us. It may be possible to accommodate German and French speakers - please enquire.

If you speak any Italian the locals will be delighted! Certainly not everyone speaks English but enough have a smattering to make standard interactions possible. There are always a few of the orchestra who speak passable (or better) Italian, so you won’t have any problems.


Any problems with your accommodation (if it has been booked through us) please contact Massimo (+39 327 9478329). For anything to do with trips please contact Norma (07870 322373).  For anything to do with the musical side of the week contact me (07714 337 044).  


Scicli is a town of about 25,000 inhabitants, and there are all the usual amenities (shops, cashpoints, post office, pharmacies, etc).

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