Local Information

The 2015 CINI annual Workshop on ICT for Smart Cities will be held at the University of Palermo, Scuola Politecnica, Viale delle Scienze Ed 7, 90128 Palermo - Italy.
A suitable Google Maps link zooming on the conference location is here.


About Palermo

Palermo is the regional capital of Sicily, which is the largest and most heavily populated (about 5,000,000) island in the Mediterranean.
The area has been under numerous dominators over the centuries, including Roman, Carthaginian, Byzantine, Greek, Arab, Norman, Swabian and Spanish masters. Due to this past, to the cultural exchange that for millennia has taken place in the area, the city is still an exotic mixture of many cultures. Many of the monuments still exist giving the city somewhat unique appearance.
The city of Palermo, including the province of Palermo, has around 1,300,000 inhabitants and has about 200 Km of coastline. The old town of Palermo is one of the largest in Europe, full of references to the past.
Palermo reflects the diverse history of the region in that the city contains many masterpieces from different periods, including romanesque, gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture as well as examples of modern art.
The city also hosts it's rich vegetation of palm trees, prickly pears, bananas, lemon trees and so on. The abundance of exotic species was also noticed by the world-famous German writer Goethe who in April 1787 visited the newly opened botanical gardens, describing them as "the most beautiful place on earth".


AC Voltage and Plugs

AC power is 220 Volts, 50Hz. Plugs have three round pins in-line (the central is ground and may be missing sometimes). Schuko (German-style) plugs are also used but somewhat less popular. Most of the power sockets at the conference will be able to accommodate Italian and Schuko plugs.


Currency, Language

The local currency is the Euro (the symbol is ; 1 Euro ~= 1.25 US Dollars, but the rate fluctuates between 1.4 and 1.2). It comes in coins (1-2-5-10-20-50 cents, 1-2 Euros) and notes (5-10-20-50 and, less common, 100-200-500).
The local language is of course Italian.


Banks, Credit Cards and ATM

Banks are typically open 8.30-13.00 and 14.40-16.10. Most of them also have ATM machines ("bancomat"), which are open 24/7 and take most credit cards.


Tipping and Receipts

Being a major deviation from the custom in the US, we would like to point out that tipping is not required nor expected in Italy: the bill ("conto") always includes service. So, in particular in bars, restaurants, taxis, etc., it is perfectly fine to pay exactly the amount on the bill, or possibly round it up by say 2-5% depending on the amount to make the numbers round. Italian law requires businesses to release, spontaneously or at least on demand, a receipt with date, sequence numbers, and identification of the business.


Weather

The expected climate in mid October is still mild, with highs in the 25C range and lows in the 15-20C.