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BB Volo di Pindaro

 

Ospitalità a Siracusa e Pozzallo. Alloggi autentici, dotati di tutti i comfort e posti in zone molto centrali, accomunati dall’amore per la bellezza, la storia, la cultura e la natura. Punti di partenza ideali per visitare la costa sud-orientale della nostra meravigliosa isola.

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 Syracuse Free Walking Tou

Syracuse Free Walking Tour

Every Tuesday & Friday afternoon (summer months and Christmas period)

The traffic in Italy and in Sicily particullary is a bit caotic and in the major towns in can be difficult to find a free parking spot near the main monuments. It's the case of Palermo , the main Sicilian town. Parking your car in the old town center can be a real adventure. In Palermo are also often demonstrations on the main streets and near the Norman's palace (it's the seat of the regional parliament) which bring to traffic jams. A lot of the most visited monuments of Palermo are next to each other, so it can be a good idea to park your car and have a little walk for the visit. In this way you can visit the norman palace with its palatine chapel, San Giovanni agli eremiti church and then continue to the cathedral, piazza Pretoria with San Cataldo church, the Martorana and at last the theaters area where it's also possible to visit the oratories of Santa Cita and San Lorenzo with the famous stuccoworks of Serpotta. In the town center a lot of parking spots are reserved for residents with a pass, so pay attention at the traffic signsi. There are also a lot of blue stripes parking spots (where you need a ticket, price varies). At free parking spots, sadly, you will often encounter illegal parkers. Good places to find free parking are near piazza Marina or Foro Italico.

Parking in Syracuse, SicilySyracuse, is only the fourth sicilian town in size in spite of there is often heavy traffic and it's difficult to find a parking place during the rush hours. This article contains some useful suggestions for tourists about parking in Syracuse to visit the main monuments of the Syracuse.

The old town center, Ortygia, is an absolute "must" for those visiting Syracuse. Ortygia is a small quarter located on a little island which is linked with the mainland with three bridges. On the little island, full of charme, are some of the most importan monuments of Syracuse: the cathedral, the Apollo temple, the Aretusa fountain and the Maniace castle. Moving through Ortygia with a car is a bit difficult because of the little roads and the many one way traffic signs. Before entering into the island there are the  ZTL (limited traffic zone) stop lights.

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Minuetto train at the station of Catania (credits: Dalibri/Wikicommons)

The Sicilian railways network covers, with its 1400 Km lenght, the nine provinces of the island with stations in all main towns. Besides the regional network which is served only by Trenitalia trains, there are also the Circumetnea train, a local line which connects the towns around Mt. Etna (from Catania to Giarre-Riposto) and the subways of Catania and Palermo.

Moving by train in Sicily

The train is not always the best choice to move in Sicily using the public transport. Some parts of the railway network are old and trains move very slow (compared to the regional busses). There are also few trains compared to other parts of Italy. We always suggest to plan your trip in advance and to check the train timetable online on the website of Trenitalia (also with English language version). Trains can be a good option in the northeast of the island, e.g. to move between Catania and Giardini Naxos-Taormina. In the southeastern part of Sicily trains are suggested only on small sections (e.g. Syracuse-Noto). For greater distances, e.g. to move between Syracuse and Ragusa, the travel times are long and suggested only if you have a lot of time and if you like slow traveling, enjoying the panorama. The panorama from the trains is often beautiful, along the coastside or countryside and during the high season there are often special touristic trains like the "treno del barocco", the baroque train which connects Syracuse with Ragusa and Modica including also guided tours on place.

Moving to/from other Italian regions

There are several trains from the main Sicilian stations to the most important towns in Italy but it's not suggested to move by train because at the same price it's possible to find flights which are much faster. In Messina the trains are loaded on a ferry to move to Villa San Giovanni in Calabria or it's necessary to get off and take an other train in Calabria.

Airport connections

At present only the airport of Palermo - Punta Raisi is connected by train. A connection is planned also with the Catania Fontanarossa airport: a new train station should be built on the line Siracusa - Fontanarossa - Catania and also the local subway of Catania should arrive to the airport. There are no train connections with the airports of Comiso and Trapani.

Historic and touristic trains

The Fondazione FS organizes various touristic trains during the high season. There isn't a yearly timetable but every season or on the occasion of special events special trains are organized. It's possible to find more information on our webpages or on the website of the Fondazione FS. The main touristic and historic trains in Sicily are:

- The train of the baroque: which connects Syracuse with Noto, Modica, Ragusa and Donnafugata's castle.

- The train of the wine: between Messina and Giarre.

- The train of the temples: from Caltanissetta to the Volcano temple in Agrigento and to Porto Empedocle.

Often historic coaches of the beginning of the 20th century are used and the tickets include also food tastings of guided tours.

A special train is the Circumetnea which connects the towns at the feet of Mt. Etna. The final stations are Giarre/Riposto and Catania Borgo. We have published a post about visiting the Etna with the Circumetnea train.

 

Train tickets and timetable

It's possible to buy the train tickets also online (for a specific date and time) on the website of Trenitalia but it's necessary to print the tickets. It's also possible to buy tickets at the ticket office at the train stations (also automated ticket machines), at some Tabacchi shops and travel agencies. Tickets must be clipped before boarding the train at the machines in the stations. Prices of the tickets vary depending the distance and the train category (regional, intercity etc.) but the travel time is similar. Sometimes there could be a substitutive bus service.

The map below shows the Sicilian railway network and the main stations (credits: A.Taverna/Wikicommons)

Rete ferroviaria siciliana (credits: A.Taverna/Wikicommons)

 

The quality of the trains is variable: along some routes there are modern "minuetto" trains and on minor routes there are also old coaches without toilets. Only few stations are open during the night.

The complete timetable of the trains in Sicily for the current season is published on the official website at this link.

 


Photo credits: Dalibri/Wikicommons; A.Taverna/Wikicommons

 

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