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Getting Palermo by Car
The big plus by traveling with car is having the opportunity to stop anywhere on the road, see different places while traveling, thake as many fotos as possible. So if you come from Taormina zone - takethe A18 highway up to Catania and continue on A19 Palermo-Catania up to destination (260 Km).
From Agrigento: take Statale 189 which travels through Sicily taking a fascinating course that leads to Palermo (127 Km).
From Siracusa take state highway 114 up to Catania and continue on A19 Palermo-Catania up to destination (258 Km).
Those coming from Continental Italy must continue on highway A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria and exit on Villa San Giovanni to get to the ferries that go to Messina.
From Messina highway A20 takes you to Palermo.
Just for the information: The traffic in Palermo is rough and it would be better to park the car in a guarded parking. It's better anyway to visit the city on foot or with public transport.
To the airport of Palermo
Palermo is about half hour drive from its airport. Using a rental car early Tuesday morning I was leaving Sicily from Palermo airport. I was very surprised to find lots of cars on a road at 5 am. Palermo is a very busy city. Don't assume if it's ealy you won't get stock somewhere. Outside Palermo traffic moved ok, but several streets in the city really got my worried. Conclusion: always allow extra time.
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Driving in Palermo
As for driving in Palermo, it's not that bad for an experienced driver. I am from New York. I think that would tell you a lot about my opinion regarding driving:) Palermo has more order in terms of driving than New York. On six lane road becoming two lane I saw less problems and more respect for a fellow driver than in NY. Somehow with 10 times less traffic lights than in NY Palermo deals with heaviest traffic nicely.
My husband did not have any problems driving anywhere in Sicily whatsoever. Narrow streets may be challenging, but that is more for the car rather than a driver. Navigator is a must in cities beacuse there are not a lot of street name signs to help you even if you have a good map. By the time you'll find the sign, you'll be heading an oposite direction, and to make a turn sometimes takes a lot of time.
Outside big cities like Palermo and Catania - no problem at all. Just don't go too slow. They don't like it.
And don't forget, I visited Sicily in February. Maybe warmer months are not that easy.
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Guarded parking is available in Via Benedetto Gravina and at the time of writing cost around 15 euros per day. If you're in a hire car this might be a wise move to make as parking is generally a nightmare.
Driving on Palermo streets...
When we arrived to Palermo Airport, after taking our luggages we went directly to Avis'. In our pocket programme they were offering us a C class car also... So they gave us a small, cute Corsa and we started to drive through Palermo.
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Palermo Travel Guide
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