Italy/Rome, Hilltowns and Sicily

Nov 17th, 2003, 08:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5
Italy/Rome, Hilltowns and Sicily

My husband and I are traveling to Italy for 21 days at the end of April & beginning of May. We want to spend at least 7 days in Sicily and are looking for the best way to travel there from the mainland. Then once we arrive, getting around Sicily. I hear lots of negatives on driving around there. We have been told there is no eurail. We don't want to pay for a driver, the costs are very high. Just viewing the last few posts on Sicily make me want to go there without a doubt not only because it sounds like a fabulous place to go but, because my Father was born there. I really need some travel advice. Sorry this is so long and thanks in advance for any and all help.
starfishtoo is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 04:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 231
Don't miss Sicily. You will love it. Yes, driving is a pain in Palermo and Catania but if you are out exploring other areas its not quite as stressful. Once you get into the big cities park and walk. But out around the island driving is not nearly as difficult. It just takes some getting used to. Stop signs are merely a suggestion here. Just expect the unexpected. Rent a very small car (so you can fit on most roads in tiny towns) and take off! Just stay to the right and let the speed demonds pass you and you will be just fine.
PJI is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 04:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 133
We toured Sicily in a car for part of our honeymoon last April and found the roads and the driving to be quite reasonable. We spent roughly a week in Sicily beginning in Palermo, down to Agrigento, into Siracusa and ending in Taormina. Leaving Palermo was a little difficult but once we found the correct road the remainder of the trip was lovely and simple to navigate with virtually no road traffic.
sneep is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Apart from Alitalia, several budget airlines (Volare, WindJet, Meridiana, Alpi Eagles) fly from Rome and/or Naples to Catania and/or Palermo. Here are their websites:

Alternatively you can go by overnight ferry from Naples or Civitavecchia, or by hydrofoil from Naples to Milazzo via the Aeolian Islands.

Once on the island, there is an east coast rail line linking Catania with Siracusa, Taormina and Messina, and a north coast line linking Messina-Cefalu-Palermo.

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5
Thanks to all of you for your reply to my e-mail back in Nov. Time is approaching real fast and we have done our itinerary. Sicily is a definite but neither one of us want to spend a night on a ferry. I have read about the hydrofoils and feel that is the way to go. My the hydrofoils arrive anywhere else but in Palermo? Is the drive from Palermo to Catania very long? I know I can check the distances on some info I have but, e-mailing is so much easier. I look forward to your reply.
starfishtoo is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 16
We are leaving in just 13 day?s, hitting Rome first, and then Naples. We are taking the overnight ferry from Naples to Palermo, the outside cabins look fine and saves us the cost of a hotel for that night. I rent an Alfa Romeo for a four-day speed run around Sicily. We return on April 2, I will let you know on the driving then if we make it back alive.
Linda & Mark
sparkyaz is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 01:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 231
Starfishtoo, You can fly so cheaply from Rome to Catania (Volare). Why not fly and then rent a car when you get there? It will only be about 1 hour 10 minutes on the plane vice all that time stuck on the ferry only to be met with having to drive the 1 and 1/2 hours from Palermo to Catania (and thats if its light traffic - which is rare in Palermo). I would figure 2 hours from Palermo to Catania average based on how long you are stuck in traffic in Palermo. There is currently construction going on and its a worse pain than usual. Either way, I wouldn't want to discourage you from driving in Palermo, I just think it would be easier to fly and then drive from Catania. You will enjoy your time in Sicily, its a wonderful place with wonderful people. Have Fun!
PJI is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 02:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,281
Perhaps my webpage about our trip to Sicily could help you. The URL is:
sssteve is online now  
Mar 8th, 2004, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 113
Hi PJI and Sneep - What was your experience of Taormina and Siracusa like? We are thinking of visiting there, during our trip to Malta this summer. From my readings, it sounds extremely historic and beautiful. Would you recommend spending any time in Catania?
Larz is offline  

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