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Getting to Sicily, Italy
As an island, arriving in Sicily restricts one's options. That said, travelers have the choice of arriving by air, land, or sea. It's better to pre-book all traveling arrangements including connections well in advance to take advantage of lower rates. Be sure to confirm all legs of the journey prior to setting off. Visitors who are citizens of EC nations, Japan, or English-speaking nations such as Australia, Canada, the US, and New Zealand do not need a visa prior to arrival. However, their stay is limited to 90 days or less.


If time is of the essence and you want to spend as little time traveling as possible, air travel is probably your best option. International travelers generally fly to major Italian city and then fly in to one of two major international airports located at opposite ends of Sicily. One airport is in Palermo and the other is in Catania. British Airways, Volareweb, Ryanair, Air One, Alitalia, and Air Malta all fly into these two airports. The small airports scattered throughout Sicily are restricted to domestic flights. During the summer, charter flights are available, connecting various European centers to Palermo. International travelers from a non-EC country should note that their baggage will have to be screened by customs and will be available for pickup in the international section, even if they arrived via a Milan or Rome connection. In some cases, such as with Alitalia, the passengers arrive before the baggage, which then arrives on the next flight.


Travelers connecting to Sicily from the rest of Europe may find the Eurail to be a good alternative. To avoid the hassles of changing trains and boarding a ferry midway, it's best to take a train that goes directly from Rome or Naples to Sicily. Those who intend to drive (connection via ferry) should note that while foreign driver's licenses are recognized in Italy, an international driver's license is still necessary as a supplement if the original license is not issued by an EC nation. Only those above the age of 18 are permitted to drive in Italy.


One can take a car on the ferry that crosses the Strait of Messina. An overnight ferry is an 11 hour journey, while a hydrofoil takes only 4 hours. Catamarans and hydrofoils also carry passengers from Naples, Cagliari, or Genoa to Palermo. Most ships from Naples dock in Palermo, and most ships from Malta arrive in Catania. Tourists will be happy to find that Sicily's ports are conveniently located near urban centers.
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Catania, Sicily apartments & Worldwide vacation apartments.
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