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Sicily Get in - Sicily Getting Around


By Plane / Airports (Read also: Sicily Transfer Service)

  • Catania (CTA) is the larger/busiest airport, with domestic flights to most parts of Italy, some international routes and many charter flights.

  • Palermo (PMO) is the second airport, with a good range of domestic flights and international budget flights.

  • Trapani (TPS) is the third airport with a recent increase of traffic thanks to the low-cost Ryanair.

By Train (train timetable and rate available on: Trenitalia)

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 Catania.

FYI: from 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 and Catania to Naples (Napoli), Rome and Milano, and a lot of other cities. And vice-versa from those cities to Sicily.


Trains are operated by Ferrovie dello Stato (For more information, search the website at: Trenitalia), the Italian State Railways. For general information on connections through Sicily, call tel. 892021 from anywhere on the island or within Italy itself. 

For your information:

A supplement must be paid to ride on certain rapid trains, designated ETR-450 or Pendolino trains.

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.
Be aware: 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.


By Bus

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;, offering service from Palermo to Messina, Catania, and Syracuse. Cuffaro (tel. 091-6161510; links Palermo in the north with Agrigento in the south. Interbus (tel. 094-2625301; 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 local companies.

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 the spot.

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.


By Taxi
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 terminals.

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.

By Boat

Large, cruise-ferries link Palermo with Naples (Tirrenia Ferry-Company or Snav), Palermo with Civitavecchia-Rome/Tunis/Livorno/Genoa (Ferry GNV-Grandi Navi Veloci).


The are also car ferries between Milazzo, the Aeolian Islands and Naples, and between Trapani and Tunis.

From Catania you can reach Naples (Ferry TTTLines).
From Messina you can reach Salerno (Ferry Caronte Tourist).


Across the Straits of Messina, there are at least hourly ferries between Messina 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 Reggio 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 - Catania highway: Villa San Giovanni - Messina Timetables.


There are Catamarans and ferries running to/ from Malta from Pozzallo (90 mins) and Catania 3hrs. This service is provided by Virtu Ferries

Taormina: Greek Roman Theatre (sunset)

Agrigento: Temple

Taormina: the main square

Agrigento: Temple

Palermo: Massimo Opera House

Segesta: the Temple

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