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Italy Getting There

Italy Getting Around

Most Italian towns have a good network of local transport services, which can include buses, metros, trains, trams, funiculars and lifts. Public transport is usually cheap and efficient and is probably the best way to visit Italian cities, since parking, petrol and motorway tolls are quite expensive in Italy. Buses are fast and reliable, whether they are traversing local routes linking small villages or zooming along autostrade between cities. They come into their own to reach destinations not serviced by the trains.

Alitalia and affiliated companies provide most of the domestic air transportation here in Italy. However, it's only worth taking a plane within Italy if you want to cover a large distance quickly: ordinary prices are quite high. Rome is served by two airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino. Fiumicino is the main international airport while Ciampino to the south is a bit closer to the city center and often served by budget airlines.

Italy is a small, compact country. It is long and narrow, but for the most part very densely populated. This means that the most convenient mean of public transportation is not air transport, it's the trains. And Italy actually has an efficient railway system that connects all main cities and towns.

There are nearly 16,000km (9400 miles) of track in the country, of which over half is electrified. The Italian State Railways (FS) run a nationwide network at very reasonable fares, calculated on the distance traveled, and there are a number of excellent reductions. Whatever your destination is, the train will take you there quickly and comfortably. All the beautiful landscapes of Italy, the precious hills of Tuscany, covered with vineyards, the majestic Dolomiti mountains, the blues and the greens of the sea shores, the quiet garden, the busy towns, all framed by the train's window will pass you by.

City buses are very cheap. Bus terminals can be anywhere in larger towns, though often they're sensibly placed next door to the train station, but if you're not sure you should ask for directions. Italy doesn't possess a national bus company, although a few companies do operate services beyond their own immediate area. In smaller towns and villages, most buses pull in at the central piazza.

Ferries and hydrofoils in Italy
Italy has a developed network of ferries and hydrofoils operated by many different private companies. Large car ferries connect the major islands of Sardinia and Sicily with the mainland ports of Genoa, Livorno, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Fiumicino and Naples, while the smaller island groupings, the Tremiti islands, the Bay of Naples islands, the Pontine islands are usually linked to a number of nearby mainland towns. Fares are reasonable, although on some of the more popular services, to Sardinia, certainly, You must do a reservation beforehand in summer, generally if you're taking a vehicle across.

The port of Brindisi has a long maritime story, having provided a natural port over the centuries for ships plying the Adriatic. These ferry operators specialise in transport to Greek mainland and islands: Blue Star Ferries, Agoudimos Lines, Med Link Lines, SNAV Aliscafi, Hellenic Mediterranean, Fragline and Superfast Ferries. The prime ports of call in Greece are Igoumenitsa, Corfu, and Patras, with sailings time of approximately 10 hours. Turkish Maritime Lines and Marmara Lines offer connections to Cesme in Turkey, principally once a week with a journey time of roughly 29 hours. In season there are regular departures to Greece throughout the day.

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