Carabinieri I/SI-153, Serra Palazzo – Quota 770


just a note about activating I/SI-153, Serra Palazzo – Quota 770, which I activated this morning. It is almost drive on access in the town of Palazzolo Acreide, which is somewhere well worth a visit for historical reasons.

I walked up to the summit in harsh, bright sunshine (someone has to do it) and arrived just after lunchtime. The summit is very close to an archaeological site of an ancient amphitheatre, €2.50 entry fee, but even at that it remains very good value.

On my visit there were maintenance works of surrounding features which limited access to the area, but I then sought permission from staff in the ticket office to use a radio from the car park, which was granted, after google translate came to the rescue.

I started the activation on 20 metres, after an SMS spot and had quite a few good contacts, thanks to all of the chasers. Then a small, dark blue car (Fiat?) with Carabinieri written on the side, pulled into the car park.

Now, I like to think I am not too paranoid, but radioing and then a police car arriving seemed like too much of a coincidence.

Not much of a photo but I was trying to be discrete!!!

One of the Carabinieri (Beretta pistols!) had a chat with the staff in the ticket office and by then I had gone over to ask if there was a problem. I was asked for my ‘documents’ and my European driving licence seemed to be acceptable. I then produced my full UK OFCOM licence and after viewing it through their smart phone the Carabinieri seemed happy that I could continue.

It appears that someone had phoned the police to complain that I was using a radio on an archaeological site. It turns out it was one of the staff. He had walked over to me and I had acknowledged him (I was busy on the radio and had nodded at him).
Then the original staff member who had given me permission to use the radio, came out to apologise for the hassle (I think!)

Despite getting the go-ahead to continue I decided to curtail my activation so apologies to those on 40m as I had just spotted myself but was unable to continue.

So a very different day on I/SI-153 today, but it brightened up an already very bright day.

In future I recommend that if you want to activate the peak, use the public road that passes round the back of the hill which is well within the activation zone.

Anyway, stay safe, and legal out there!





Near places of particular interest, it’s common for a patrol of Carabinieri or any other law enforcement agency to arrive. Strategic repeaters in high mountains, archaeological sites, proximity to sensitive locations. It has happened to me twice, a brief explanation, and everything is fine. That’s why it’s good to carry identification documents with you, and if possible, also amateur radio license.


Plus google translate if you do not speak the local language!