GoBike scheme in Siracusa
December 2012 Update: I've now been informed this GoBike scheme in Siracusa is now 'history'. Maybe you'll need to use Shanksey's pony!
We noticed in several parts of Ortygia ranks of bikes that were for loan on payment of a small fee by card. The scheme presumably operates on a sense of trust from its customers as they will be expected to return the bike eventually. I guess your credit card also provides a link to its owner. We've seen a similar scheme operating in Paris.
It seems a good idea, but sorry to say we were not tempted to use them as we were happy meandering around the back streets and exploring on foot. Nor did we notice any of the bikes being used around the town. Maybe during summer they would be more popular. I do hope so.
The bikes in the photo were stored at the Arethusa Fountain in Ortygia.
Stazione Ferroviaria di Siracusa
Welcome to Siracusa Train Station! The address is Piazzale della Stazione Centrale, Siracusa.
Free parking in front of the station if you arrive early.
There are a couple of bars, one on either side of the main building, the one on the left. also a tabaccheria, has an entrance from the station platform and is my favourite, see 3rd photograph.
There is a shop selling books and magazines.
There is a waiting room off the platform (sala attesa).
There are new toilets which costs 50 centesimi and the door opens with the correct token, in fact it is so modern that it deserves it's own section!
We have a ticket office, a ticket machine to buy tickets and ticket validating machines.
Tickets long distance can be bought online at the website below and you then board the train with your ticket printout.
Tickets for long distance and regional trains can be bought from the ticket machine.
If the ticket is not for a specific train journey the ticket has to be validated in one of the machines on the station platform. (I validate all my tickets just in case.)
My 2nd photograph shows the limit of the the train network in Sicily, do not get too excited about this as south of Siracusa there is merely a single track line.
There is a train service from Siracusa via Messina which crosses the Straits of Messina by ferry ship and continues on mainland Italy.
This is convenient for Siracusa to Catania or Siracusa to Taormina too.
There is a train service from Siracusa to Palermo also via Messina.
The regional trains are slow and travelling by bus is preferable.
- Family Travel
I got to Siracusa on board a...
I got to Siracusa on board a ship. Certainly, you can get there by air. And there is another way - while staying in Malta you can make a tour to Sicily by boat.
Siracusa Bus Station
The Bus Station address is Via Rubino, Siracusa. It is situated across from the Train Station.
From here take the bus on long distance, urban and suburban routes.
The 3 main bus companies in Sicily are AST, Interbus and Sais:
AST - www.aziendasicilianatrasporti.it - urban and suburban - Buy ticket at shops / tabaccheria with AST biglietteria on window
Linea 20 is the free navetta to Ortigia. Timetable: http://www.siracusanews.it/navette_ortigia
Interbus - http://www.interbus.it/Home.aspx - Buy ticket at bus station
Sais - www.saistrasporti.it - Buy ticket online
Interbus has a ticket kiosk at Siracusa Bus Station. The opening hours are:
Monday to Friday - 0520 - 1830 (no closure for lunch)
Saturday - 0740 - 1400 & 1545 - 1830
Sunday - 0740 - 1130 & 1245 - 1800
There are numerous other smaller companies offering local connections mostly on weekdays.
If you need any help I am happy to see what I can find out for you.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Siracusa and Ragusa are not...
Siracusa and Ragusa are not easy to be reached! They are located on the most Southern tip of Sicily, in Italy.
The first thing to go there is to fly to Catania (several national and international links), the you may find a bus right at the exit of the airoport lounge, on the left-hand side. Otherwise, I would advise to hire a car (in the airport) and drive through great countryside.
Train is unuseful in that area.
buses out to beaches
from the bus stop near the park, newspaper stand and gelateria you can get buses to lido arenelle and fountain blanche.
The later is better, in fact the former is highly unpleasant on the main beach (think minehead 1950) but if you walk over the headland theres lovely water and rocks fro swimming.
buses are frequent and cost 80 cents.
Buy AST Bus Tickets in Ortigia
Buy AST bus tickets from this kiosk in Piazza Pancali.
Piazza Pancali is situated just over the bridge Ponte Umbertino in Ortigia.
120 minute urban tickets or 2 day urban tickets can be bought from this kiosk which is open almost always during the day.
Don't forget to validate your ticket when you get on the bus.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Taxi Rank on Ortigia
This is the official taxi rank for Ortigia in Piazza Pancali which is just over Ponte Umbertino, Ortigia.
It is best to ask for a fixed price but if you prefer the meter, make sure it is turned on and starts at zero.
There is a fixed price of €60 from Siracusa to Catania Fontanarossa Airport :
Make sure the amount is agreed before you get in the taxi.
- Business Travel
- Luxury Travel
Getting to Siracusa is easy. Train from Catania takes around a couple of hours and are fairly frequent. The evening trains can be a bit full both of daytrippers and since they go on to mainland Italy, but you won't have a problem getting here. There are also trains from Ragusa further west.
How to park a car in Ortygia P
There is a large covered parking area on Ortygia. It is on the side of the small harbor, the exit of the town.
The thing is big, but the P-signs pointing to it are very small. In fact, i only noticed them when i walked the streets, having parked the car. The other thing is that the entrance can only be reached either through driving through the whole town (?) and taking the most left of the gates on the passage to a fort or to use a passage way under the road the size of a mouse hole.
When you take the left gate, you're in the middle of the road and are prevented to enter the garage, unless you make a U-turn and drive a short distance in the wrong direction. I have seen this done in the night.
The mouse hole leads to an EXIT of the parking area so you have to make a direct turn into the afore mentioned street to the left. The only way to see if there is traffic coming is by sticking the nose of the car out of the tunnel, stop and look to the right. Luckily Italian drives also watch carefully. You drive along the parking area and make a sharp turn to the right to enter the garage. On the way out, the turn to the right was too sharp for my large car, so i had to make a tour through the garage to make a turn to the left and drive in a straight line.
At the end of the road is a crossing for pedestrians - if you want to leave and must return by foot - with traffic lights and they were NEVER green for the pedestrian. After some time, you just take to the street. See the pictures.
On the plus side: parking is 1 (one) euro for a night. Let me repeat this: 1 (one) euro for a night. (In Amsterdam you pay 4 euro's for 50 minutes! That is over 100 times as much.).
In the (old) town there are parking area's marked yellow for inhabitants. The areas marked in blue are pay zone, where you have to pay (1 euro per hour!). And unmarked areas were you do not have to pay. Every area, provide it is not forbidden, large enough to park a car can and shall be used to park a car.
getting to Siracusa Sicily
I took the Siracusa bus from Palermo. It was an express and took 3 hrs approx and was not the adventurous trip I have had on some other transport. I am a single female over 60 and the locals were very helpful. It is difficult to find the correct transport on the web. The bus terminal is at the side of the train terminal. Go through the train terminal - WC's are on your left, go ahead, a little to the left past the post office and there is the ticket booth. Buses are a little further on. Only 3 buses per day but well worth it at 12euros.
- Budget Travel
ZTL Ortigia, Siracusa
Zona Traffico Limitato :
There are cameras sited around Ortigia to take photographs of vehicles inside the limited zone without permission from the Polizia Municipale or having a resident pass. If driving your own or a hired vehicle the registration number will be traced and the driver issued with a fine.
There used to be a map showing the zones, I can only find an old one with the link below. If I find anything more recent it can be changed. It is rather difficult to keep up with as they chop and change things all the time!
I'll take a few photographs to show what to watch out for.
The restrictions are due to change on 31 March 2014 from winter to summer rules.
Polizia Municipale addresses in case of problems :
Piazza Minerva 5, Ortigia, Siracusa.
Via del Porto Grande, Siracusa
This is a list for all the different classes of passes, to see the choice :
- Road Trip
Bus from Otigia to Archeologic Park
Several buses depart from Ortigia (in front of the Post Office) which claim to go to the Archeogical Park. Be careful to take a map, and understand where you are. The one we took got very close to the park after about 10 minutes, but we didn't know to get off, and it was not marked. If you go next to the Cathedral of St. Mary (tall teardrop shape) GET OFF, and walk two blocks west to the park. The Archeolgy Museum and Catacombs are also close by. Otherwise you stay on the bus and get a 30 minute tour of the Soviet-style apartment blocks before getting back around to the Park entrance.
- Museum Visits
Toilets at Stazione Ferroviaria di Siracusa
These station toilets are so hi-tech for Sicily that I have given them their own page.
50 centesimi / coin operated
- Budget Travel
if you have time one ofthe to...
if you have time one of
the to go to Sicily is to take a ship in Genova and after 22 hours you'll
arrive to the Palermo' port...it's an enchanting experience ..
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