is the larger/busiest airport, with domestic flights to most parts of
Italy, some international routes and many charter flights.
is the second airport, with a good range of domestic flights and
international budget flights.
(TPS) is the third airport with a recent increase of traffic
thanks to the low-cost Ryanair.
(train timetable and rate
Sicily is linked
to the main Italian train network at Messina.
Long distance trains from Rome/Naples/Milan/Venice
cross the Straits of Messina
by rail-ferry and continue on to
Palermo, Syracuse and
Naples, it usually takes approx 8 hours,
approx 10 from Rome.
The train will
stop at Villa San Giovanni train station for about 10-15 minutes
and then it's rolled down to the Villa San Giovanni ferry dock, where
you will be waiting about 20 minutes before the train roll onto one of
the ferries. On the ferry, you should get on the deck and watch the sea.
It's a wonderful view, but don't forget the number of your train
otherwise the risk is to lose it.
There are also
nigh-trains (sleeping cabins) running from Palermo
to Naples (Napoli), Rome and Milano, and a
lot of other cities. And vice-versa from those cities to
operated by Ferrovie dello Stato (For more information, search the
the Italian State Railways. For general information on connections
through Sicily, call tel. 892021 from anywhere on the island or within
For your information:
A supplement must
be paid to ride on certain rapid trains, designated ETR-450 or Pendolino
You can buy all of these passes from any travel agent or directly at the
Rail Station (we strictly recommend you to purchase tickets in time to
avoid to not find seats available on the spot).
An IC couchette (private fold-down bed in a communal cabin)
requires a supplement above the price of first-class travel. Seat
reservations are highly recommended during peak season and on weekends
or holidays they must be booked in advance.
Slower Sicilian trains -- called Diretto, Espresso, and
Interegionale -- stop at only major towns or cities. Try to avoid a
Regionale train (sometimes known as the Locale), as they stop in every
hamlet and take forever.
Some Trains on the island are very slow, for example it takes more than
7 hours between Syracuse and Trapani and it's about 450 km. But The IC
(Intercity) trains that travels between Sicily and other Italian cities,
runs at much greater speed.
Where the train
doesn't go, there is almost always a local bus to take you into the more
remote villages and hinterlands, although you can generally go from city
to city and town to town by bus as well. Bus fares are often more
expensive than rail transportation. For individual city and town links,
and for a general outline of fares, refer to the individual sections on
cities and towns in later chapters.
The major bus company is SAIS (tel. 091-616028 in Palermo, or
tel. 095-536168 in Catania; www.saisautolinee.it), offering service from
Palermo to Messina, Catania, and Syracuse. Cuffaro (tel.
091-6161510; www.cuffaro.info) links Palermo in the north with Agrigento
in the south. Interbus (tel. 094-2625301; www.interbus.it) has
service between the cities of Catania, Messina, Taormina, and Syracuse.
Sunday is a bad day to take the bus, as schedules are either curtailed
or else shut down completely. Keep in mind that large cities can have a
number of bus depots. In smaller towns, buses generally pull into one
central square, often the rail station.
Tickets are most often purchased right on the bus. In bigger cities such
as Palermo, you can buy a ticket in advance at the office of one of the
Only the cities and larger towns offer a bus system to get you from
point to point. Tickets for city buses are bought before boarding and
must be validated once you hop on, or else you'll be fined up to 30€ on
Tickets are generally purchased at ticket booths, tabacchi (tobacco
shops), or newspaper kiosks. Most city buses charge 2€ for a ticket that
is valid for only 60 to 90 minutes.
Taxi rates vary from town to town, but in general are pricey. In most
cities, the meter begins at 5€. There are supplements from 10pm to 7am
and on holidays. Depending on the size of the taxi, four or as many as
five passengers are allowed. Taxis are found at all airport arrival
When you reserve
by phone, the taxi meter goes on when the cabbie pulls out of his
station. In Sicily, taxis rarely stop if hailed on the street or you can
find them in the main historical sites.
cruise-ferries link Palermo with
Palermo with Civitavecchia-Rome/Tunis/Livorno/Genoa
GNV-Grandi Navi Veloci).
The are also car
the Aeolian Islands and
Naples, and between
you can reach Naples (Ferry
From Messina you can reach
Across the Straits
of Messina, there are at least hourly ferries between
on Sicily and
Villa San Giovanni
on the mainland. There are at least twenty of them, so don't worry about
timetables or waiting to long.
There are also
several hydrofoils each day between Messina and
di Calabria. If you do worry about timetables, witch are not
necessary. This one takes you right into Messina
city and connects you to the Palermo -
Villa San Giovanni - Messina
Catamarans and ferries running to/ from Malta
(90 mins) and
Catania 3hrs. This service is