Sicily Public Transport
There are plenty of public transport options in Sicily, so it's easy enough to get around. Assuming that you are patient, have time, can live with the fact that trains and buses could be delayed or sometimes even cancelled, and that time tables serve only as a rough orientation to passengers and are hard to understand even for locals.
Therefore, if you're on a tight schedule relying on public transport can be a little bothersome.However, those with flexibility in their schedule will find that the local buses and trains are an economical and great way to meet locals and see how they go through getting around!
To travel by bus or train, you'd have to purchase a ticket before travelling, which must be stamped in the machine when boarding. Tickets are only valid for a short time after stamping. Tickets are available at stations, newsagents and tobacconists. Hefty fines are imposed if travelling without a ticket.
There are several bus companies operating in Sicily, and for longer distances we consider taking a bus because they are generally the faster option for travel, are air conditioned and very pleasant to travel in.
Buses are more reliable than trains in Sicily.
Don't rely too much on trains, in particular when you want to go from Palermo or Cefalù to Taormina and Catania. You have to change train in Messina, and if it is delayed it could be that you are stuck for a night in Messina. Same could happen from Messina to Syracuse, being stuck in Catania. In case you need to find a hotel, check here
Here is our tip for people staying in the area of Taormina, Letojanni and Giardini-Naxos: if you don’t want to spend a whole day in Catania and would like to see something of the magnificent landscape around Mount Etna, take the first train of Circumetnea in Giarre or Riposto in the morning. About three and half hours later you will arrive in Catania. This slow train serves mainly to children who are living in the villages and small towns at the slopes of Mount Etna, bringing them to school and back. Our little train could be a bit dirty, and is maybe not heated in winter, but a ride is an excellent and cheap opportunity to get to know the region around Mount Etna. In the evening just hop onto a local bus back to your resort.
Treno del Barocco
This is a great way to visit our magnificent Baroque wonders - and your children won't complain too much about the ever so boring sightseeing because they will love the ride on this historical train with a steam engine. And Modica is the 'town of sweets' - tell them (it's holiday time - a little corruption is okay)
Ustica Lines (operating all Sicily, Reggio Calabria and Naples)
Tirrenia (Palermo-Naples and Palermo-Sardinia)
Virtù Ferries (Malta)
Grimaldi Lines (Palermo-Salerno and Palermo-Tunisia)
Main bus companies in Sicily are:
There are small bus companies operating between bigger (second to Sicilian standards) towns and the villages of the region, and in between towns. Please check on site.
Beach bus Taormina
Taormina town is reachable from Mazzarò (Taormina Mare) in 5 minutes by cable car. In winter the cable car runs departs every 15 minutes from 7.45 h to 20.15 h. In summer the last cable car is at midnight. Please check for tariffs here