Sicily- help with public transportation

Old Mar 25th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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Sicily- help with public transportation

My husband and I are spending 3 nights in Sicily (arriving by ferry from Naples) at the end of April. We were told to rent a car but I'm not sure we're comfortable with that. We're also American and it looks like we'd need certain documents to even rent a vehicle. So, do you think we can get away with just pubic transportation? We need to hit Palermo, Cefalu, Taormina and Catania airport. We'd love to see Mt. Etna, does public transit go in that area or just the major cities? I've heard so many conflicting reports, so that's why I ask. Thanks so much for any help!
whitefield82 is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 05:41 PM
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You don't need any specific documents to rent a car. You will need your US driver's license and passport when you pick up the car.

In Italy you need an International Driver's Permit which is simply a translation of your license. You can get one at AAA, even if you're not a member. I believe I paid $23 for the IDP plus 2 photos. It's less if you have your own photos (need 2).

You don't need a car in Palermo as you can walk, take a bus, or a taxi to any place in the area.

3 nights = 2 days. Even if it's 3 days, you can't possibly see everything on your list in that time. I recommend 4 to 5 days in Palermo. You can take a train from Palermo to Cefalu (about an hour). There is a train that goes around Mt. Etna. Not sure about how to get to Taormina via public transportation. I guess it depends on where you're coming from.

It's about 3 hours by bus from Palermo to Catania (plus you have to get to and from the bus depot). So you see that it won't be possible to get to every place during your short time on Sicily.

Suggest 1 location or add to the time on Sicily.

adrienne is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 06:09 PM
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Here's our carless trip:
Marija is online now  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 06:41 PM
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As adrienne notes, your plan is WAY too ambitious. Basically, the only way you can go to all the places you mention is if you don't stop to see any of them. Sicily really deserves close to 3 weeks.

Public transportation to Mt. Etna generally means joining a full-day tour from Taormina or perhaps Catania or some other location.

For good information about places to see, transportation options, etc., get a good guide book like the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet.
kja is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 06:46 PM
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Stay in Palermo and see Monreale in only 3 days.
Maybe a quick day trip to Cefalu.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 06:58 PM
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kybourbon is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Good news! You do not and should not rent a car for the places you want to visit. Palermo is very walkable. Cefalu' is a quaint fishing village 30 minutes east of Palermo by Train. You can take a taxi to your hotel and then walk. Nice beach there, too. From Cefalu', take train to Messini, then continue on to Taormina. From there, take train to Catania. Here are a couple of hotel recommendations:

It is centrally located about four easy block walk from train station. It is moderately price and clean with a fantastic rooftop terrace:

Great place with views and excellent breakfast. Located just off the main drag:
CaWino is offline  
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