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How To Reach Sicily
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is located at the boot towards the south of Italy. Sicily wasn’t a part of Italy, but after the unification, it became a part of the country in 1861 and is now an autonomous region. There are various ways to get to Sicily; you can travel to this island by air, rail, road as well as the sea. With some of the most important historical sites, beautiful and serene beaches, and some of the most picturesque views, Sicily is visited by many tourists throughout the year.
Not sure how to get there? Here are some of the best ways to get to Sicily.
The island of Sicily has three main airports across the region; Palermo, Catania and Trapani. The Palermo Airport located in Punta Raisa at a distance of 32 km from the center of Palermo city. The second airport is the Catania Fontanarossa Airport, located in Catani at a distance of 7.3 km from the main part of the city. The third airport in this region is the Trapani Airport in Trapani, which is 18.4 km from the city center. Major airlines have flights that ply from different cities of Italy as well as Europe.
These above are the only three airports in the region and once you get to either of them, you must take a cab or a bus to go to your destination in that particular city or to a different one. The Italian National company Alitalia also has several flights that serve the passengers of the region and ply within the boundaries of the island. Since the cities with the airports are some of the major cities of the island, transportation from there onwards to any part of the island is fairly easy.
Driving on Italian roads is an experience to have and you do not want to miss it! If you are driving down from north Italy, you can take the A1 autostrada until Naples and from there onwards take the A3 autostrada straight to the ports of Villa San Giovanni and Reggio Calabria. If you are coming from South or central Italy, you have the option to take the A1, A3 or the A14 and eventually merging into the A3 motorways to reach the boarding ports. Once at the port, you can take a ferry that will take you to Messina in Sicily. The scenic roads of Italy and Sicily after you enter the island are absolutely gorgeous and worth it.
There are numerous ways to reach Sicily by rail. You can take the Eurostar train from any city in Italy to either Rome or Naples and from there onwards take an intercity express train that will take you to Sicily in about 8 and 6 hours respectively. You can also take a train from a number of cities to Sicily which may take up to 15 to 20 hours depending on the location you are coming from. It gets easier if you are taking a train from a southern Italian city as it is closer and not as much time consuming.
The above mentioned ways to travel by rail are given keeping Messina as the port of entry in Sicily. There are a good number of trains that ply from different cities in Italy to Palermo, Catania, Siracusa and Agrigento, but often take quite long to reach. Once you reach the port of Villa s. Giovanni, the train will embark on a ferry boat to take you to Messina in Sicily.
If you are looking to bring your car from a different Italian region, then the waterways is the best option for you. You and your car can hop on a ferry boat from coastal cities in Italy and reach any of the three ports namely; The Port of Palermo, The Port of Termini Imerese, which is close to Palermo and The Port of Catania. You can take cruises run by companies from cities in the mainland of Italy to the island of Sicily. You can also reach the smaller islands of Ustica or the Aeolian and Egadi by taking direct ferries from Naples, Genoa ad other coastal cities. If you have a lot of time for a leisure vacation, travelling by sea may be something that you’d like to do.
Public transportation in Sicily is well developed, especially because it is a world renowned tourist island with millions flocking every year. You can take a train to move around and go sightseeing; however, it may not be the best option because often trains do not move exactly by the rail timetable and are quite slow in some cities, but eventually you will be able to get by. Another way to get around is by bus run by various companies like AST, SAIS, Cuffaro, Interbus and Salemi.
This mode of transportation is more convenient and reliable than the former. If you are staying at Palermo and Cantania and going sightseeing for the whole day, the bus ticket is valid for 24 hours, making it cheaper to travel around. Lastly, you can rent a cab which is quite comfortable but the most expensive option amongst all.