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GAC or others re: Sicily transport question!

GAC or others re: Sicily transport question!

Old Jun 22nd, 2006, 01:06 PM
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GAC or others re: Sicily transport question!

I have read the numerous posts on Sicily, researched the internet, but still had some questions that I needed input on. I will be in Sicily at the end of August/first week of September and was looking into travel options of returning from Sicily to the Amalfi Coast. While the 10 hour train ride back up to Napoli might be an adventure, I think I am leaning towards flying back instead!

I found some great flights/rates on Air Malta from Palermo to Napoli. The question is: does the Palermo airport offer a free daily shuttle or bus that picks up to/from the Palermo train station? Or is there a bus/train that services Agrigento to/from Palermo (as I will be staying in Agrigento)? If so, does anyone know the link(s) to get the daily schedule? The Air Malta flight departs at 8:40 am, so I would need to leave Agrigento early enough the same morning of to get to the Palermo airport on time. Thanks in advance to anyone who has done this or can advise accordingly......
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Old Jun 22nd, 2006, 01:31 PM
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There is a bus service from in front of the Palermo train station to Palermo airport, but do bear in mind that it's a fairly long ride, about 45-50 minutes.

http://www.gesap.it/italiano/html/info/collega.htm

Prestia & Comande for Palermo. I also see SAL for Agrigento, but the earliest bus arrives at the airport at 9:10, which is too late for your flight.

You will probably have to spend the night in Palermo.

There are train connections between Agrigento and Palermo:

www.trenitalia.com

(There are, if I recall correctly, two stations in Agrigento; GAC will have to tell you which is which.)

I remember GAC mentioning that there are bus connections as well, but I can't find them. He'll have to give you those as well.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Actually, now that I think of it, I think the official Prestia & Comande time for Palermo train station to airport is closer to 1 hour 15 minutes...
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Old Jun 22nd, 2006, 01:36 PM
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I would recommend flying back, but I cannot imagine relying on an Italian train to get me to the airport in Palermo from Agrigento by 8:40am. Why not spend the night near the airport?

If you took the train back to Amalfi, wouldn't you have to go to Messina? If you were planning to go that way, have checked into flying out of Catania?

Finally, have you checked into the schedules for the ferry that leaves from Palermo?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2006, 01:37 PM
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There is a frequent (half-hourly?) train service from Palermo Centrale to the airport. Takes about an hour.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:20 AM
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Hi all: Thanks for the replies. I had looked at many airlines (Alpi Eagles, Airone, Alitalia, Air Dolomiti, etc.) but was trying to get a flight from Palermo to Napoli. While I found other flights out of Catania, they were to cities I did not want to go to (Milano, for example) and I thought Palermo would be more convenient since closer to Agrigento.

So it looks like I will stay in Palermo the day and night before and then take the Prestsia e Comande' airport bus from the Palermo train station to the airport. The site says 50 minutes, but I will allow 1 hour so taking the 6 or 6:30 am train would work out for me just fine.

Aside from the trenitalia schedules between Agrigento and Palermo, I had hoped (thought?) there might be a commuter train/bus that services the airport only from cities other than Palermo but appears there is not.

Thanks again!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:26 AM
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where is GAC? Jumped the Fodors ship i guess as it's rumored he's still posting his incredibly knowledgeable Italian rail info on other sights!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:44 AM
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He pops up on Slowtravel now and again, possibly worth asking there.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 02:56 PM
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A long time ago I took an overnight ferry from Palermo to Naples. It was very pleasant. I'm not sure whether that's still an option, but I think it probably is.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Here I am!!!! (I've been posting extensively on www.slowtrav.com)

From Palermo to Naples, I would be inclined to take the daily overnight Tirrenia car ferry. This saves you one night's lodging in Sicily.

From the Naples port, you can then take a bus straight to Amalfi (daily except Sundays).

www.tirrenia.it
www.sita-on-line.it

NOTE: The direct bus departs from the Naples Port at 10 a.m., and the ferry from Palermo arrives at 6:30 a.m. Alternatively, you can take a taxi to the Naples Centrale Train Station, then the train to Salerno, then the bus to Amalfi.

NOTE: From Agrigento to Palermo you can take either the bus or the train.

NOTE: You could also take a night train from Palermo to Naples, although the car ferry is MUCH MUCH nicer (although it will be crowded at the end of August).
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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Hi GAC: Thanks for the reply. When I mentioned the airport, I was referring to the Palermo airport in Sicily. I am very familiar with navigating the Naples airport, Amalfi coast, SITA busses, etc. but thanks anyway...I was trying to find out if there was an airport shuttle or commuter bus between Agrigento and Palermo. Otherwise, looks like I should go up to Palermo the day before, spend the night and take the early train out to the airport. I will not have a car in Sicily.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Instead of staying the night in Palermo then flying, it would be quicker to book a cabin on the overnight ship so that you're in Napoli the next morning - you could then go by boat via Capri to Amalfi. There are two ships every night:
www.tirrenia.it
www.snav.it
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Huitres:

There is indeed an airporter bus direct from Agrigento to the Palermo airport, although service is spotty and there is no service on Sundays:

www.autolineesal.it

If the SAL schedules don't work out, you can always takes the train or the bus from Agrigento to downtown Palermo, then the airport train or airport bus to the Palermo airport.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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GeoffHamer: Thanks for those 2 boat links, that is a definite consideration and while slower, a boat would certainly be more of an "adventure" than taking an airplane. Can I just go directly to the Palermo port/boat and buy my tickets on the day of departure or are there local agencies in town that I could get the tickets from? I don't think I would want to buy advance on-line, should my plans change while in Sicily.

GAC: Thanks for the SAL bus link, indeed the service is spotty. If I end up taking the Air Malta flight, I would have to get to the airport around 7:00 am and that would not work with the current schedule. But at least I know there is a bus! I had planned to make a day of it in Palermo and will probably just spend the night and leave the next day (on either plane or boat). Thank you all again for your help and suggestions!
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 01:19 AM
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The overnight ship will actually be quicker than flying: you'll arrive in Napoli at about seven in the morning, which is sooner than by getting a morning flight. It's only a very short walk along the quay to the boats for Capri, etc.
For travelling at the end of August, you should book in advance if possible, otherwise cabins may be booked - and I wouldn't recommend doing such a journey without a cabin. Travel agencies should be able to make bookings.
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Huitres: here is my advice on the overnight ferry service between Palermo and Naples:

If you are not travelling alone, and/or really want to have a cabin, you must book at least several days in advance for a late August crossing. Tirrenia has only 287 cabins (SNAV has a similar number), and many get booked weeks in advance by travel wholesalers. Twin cabins get snapped up more quickly than quads.

If you are not travelling alone, and/or don't care about a cabin, purchase your reclining seat ticket on the morning of departure, or better still the day beforehand. Bear in mind that the Tirrenia ferries have only 195 first class seats, and the SNAV ferries have less comfortable (albeit cheaper) seats.

Since the crossing takes only 9.5 hours, a reclining seat is OK for most travellers. Just remember that the ship will be very crowded, and there is no privacy in a reclining seat compared to a cabin.

Also remember that, in late August, SNAV has a Saturday MORNING, and Tirrenia a SATURDAY AND SUNDAY morning, crossing to Naples. These are supplemental daylight crossings for which a cabin is entirely unnecessary.

I've posted lots of information on the Tirrenia/SNAV crossings between Naples and Palermo in www.slowtrav.com. My most recent update was posted yesterday.
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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I am going to look into the boat information even further, reference the slowtrav site, and then make a decision. I would be departing Sicilia during the first week of September so it crosses into the "low season" fares for the boat, so that is ok. I am traveling with my 6 year old child so it would be best to book a double room/cabin in advance. I have no need to stop in Capri as I have been there numerous times. I just need to get back to Napoli/Amalfi Coast. Alternatively, there is always the train and then defaulting to the Air Malta flight which is a short flight, I would still have my day left in Napoli upon arrival. I am looking for most convenient and least stress so if boat is booked, airplane seats sold out, I will take the train!
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