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I'm going to Sicily next week and want to travel around the island a bit, but I don't own a driver's license, nor have a lot of money to spend on transport. I've thought about hitch-hiking and trains, but are there any specific options I should know about?

To be specific, I'd mostly like to visit cities (not packed for camping) and maybe Mt Etna if I can get there.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Well the obvious answer is to hitch - that'll lower your transport costs massively ;) It all depends on whether you're up to trying that. I don't tend to, personally, but on the occasion I have, it's pretty fun.

One thing to note about the public transport on Sicily is that it's nearly a 6 day service - the transport options are massively reduced on Sundays. Check any timetables in advance and check with locals.

Apparently the rail network is cheap compared with other locations in Europe. However, aside from routes between the main cities (Messina, Palermo, and Catania), the trains can be few and far between, so be sure to always check timetables.

Note that sometimes a service listed is actually a bus(!) leaving from outside the station!

Option B is buses - the routes are far more extensive and cheap. Most cities and even small towns have at least one bus linkage to other cities every day. And from anywhere, you can get a bus to Palermo (I'm assuming you're flying into there, which would be useful, but if not, most of this still applies).

There are also some boats to the nearby islands.

To get to Mount Etna, there are daily buses from and to Catania and Nicolosi.

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I actually love hitch-hiking, I just don't quite know how well that goes in Italy, and how much Italian I need to know for that. Big thanks for the rest of the information, by the way. I've already copied it to my planning notebook. –  GijsW Nov 24 '11 at 21:29
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doesn't sound too bad - hitchwiki.org/en/Sicily - and no worries, glad to help. –  Mark Mayo Nov 24 '11 at 21:34
    
I just returned from Sicily and found the public transport to be very unreliable (the buses just wouldn't show up). Maybe its better in the summer. –  Grzenio Feb 27 '12 at 11:56
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