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Train Travel

Getting Around by Sea | Print |  E-mail
Sea travel, ferries, hydrofoil, ships, for Italy

Being that Italy is a peninsula surrounded by water on all 3 sides, it has developped a network of ferries, hydrofoils, and ships that are operated by many different private companies.

Some of the main sea transport companies in italy are:  Tirrenia, SNAV, Siremar, Grimaldi, GNV, Moby Lines, etc.  There are countless others that specialize in certain regions of Italy or certain types of service.  

For sea travel in Italy, you can either take a ferry (traghetto), hydrofoil (aliscafo), or a ship (nave). There are ferries that take passengers only and other ferries that take passengers and cars.  Finally, there are ferries (ships, or nave) that can take cars and fully loaded trains. If you are traveling by train from Italy onto Sicily, they will load the train onto a ferry.   Then you re-board the train once you are on the other side.   

Hydrofoil service is usually twice as fast as the ferry, and of course is more expensive.

The more common ports are Naples, Genoa, and Palermo, but there are countless other small ports throughout the various islands and peninsula of Italy.  

Large car ferries connect the major islands of Sardinia and Sicily with the mainland ports of Genoa, Livorno, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Fiumicino and Naples.

The west coast ports of Venice, Ravenna, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi provide connections to the Greece.  The port of Palermo (Sicily) also has service to Greece as well as Tunisia. 
  • Although the topic of conversation for many years, they have not, and probably never will construct a bridge to connect Sicily and the mainland.  This is a very political and often heated debate.

Schedules are usually located in the pages of the local daily newspaper.  
Keep in mind that the frequency of the service usually peaks in the summer months, and very often stops during the winter season.


A new ferry in Tirrenia's fleet, one of Italy's major sea transport companies.



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