Wine lovers know that both Tuscany and Sicily create some of Italy's best wines, so that's one good reason (among many others) to travel from Tuscany to Sicily. Seeing Mt. Etna and the lovely cities of Messina, Catania, Syracuse, Palermo, Marsala and Taromina are others.
The quickest way to get from Tuscany to Sicily is by plane, flying from Pisa or Florence to Palermo or Catania. Driving a rental car allows you to see much of the Italian landscape, as the distance from the heart of Tuscany to the ferry stop toward Messina on the mainland in Villa San Giovanni is around 600 miles (1000 kilometers).
Hiring a car and driver is another option, which allows you to concentrate on the scenery during the nine-to-ten-hour trip. If choosing that option, remember that our local specialists are happy to put you together with trusted drivers using safe, comfortable and reliable vehicles.
Taking a train ride is another choice to travel from Tuscany (originating in Florence) to Messina; expect that to take about 10 hours. And a more old-fashioned journey begins in the ancient Tuscan city of Livorno, where you can catch a ferry to Palermo. Book a sleeper cabin with an outside-facing view and you'll be on a leisurely overnight Mediterranean Sea trip down the coast that give a whole different perspective to the trip to the island of Sicily.
To leave all the planning and transfers to us, consider doing two of our guided tours, beginning with Explore Tuscany: Florence, Siena, Pisa & More - 5 Days and following that with Experience the Best of Sicily - 7 Days.
If you've got more time on your Italian adventure, perhaps combine Explore Tuscany: Florence, Siena, Pisa, & Lucca - 14 Days with Spectacular Self-Drive Tour Around Sicily - 14 Days for the ultimate immersion in some of Italy's most legendary places.
Duration: 3-4 hours
Flying between Tuscany and Sicily takes between three and four hours, depending on the route you take. Flights go from Pisa (PSA) airport to Palermo (PMO), Catania (CTA) or Comiso (CIY) on Alitalia or Ryanair; or plan to go from Florence (FLR) to Palermo (PMO) or Catania (CTA) on Alitalia. Flying is the fastest way to move between these two beautiful areas of Italy.
By Rental Car or Private Car and Driver
Duration: 9-10 hours to the ferry stop in Villa San Giovanni
Making the long drive from Tuscany to Sicily wends you past Rome, Naples, Pompeii and more fascinating places as you head into the toe of the boot that characterizes Italy's unique shape. We'd suggest to break up the journey into a two-day trip, allowing you to go slowly and sightsee along the way.
Once you reach Villa San Giovanni, catch the 30-minute car ferry across to Messina, which puts you on the far western edge of Sicily, then chose which way to roam, east across the top of the island to Palermo and Marsala (don't miss seeing this city and trying its eponymous wine) or perhaps southwest, which takes you down to gorgeous Taormina, Catania and ancient Syracuse. Whichever way you choose, if you allow enough time in Sicily, you can see the whole island before you finally depart.
Having a personal driver and your choice of car (or even bus) means you'll be able to safely transport a whole group of people on the journey between Tuscany and Sicily. Even if it is just you alone or a very small group, having a professional, locally based driver for this long trip is a way relax and enjoy the beautiful landscapes as you roll south to Sicily. And as mentioned above, our local experts are well versed in taking care of these booking for you, and can help arrange a private transfer to you.
Duration: Approximately 12-15 hours
Taking the train is always an option in Italy, for the country's train service is dependable and includes routes that cover virtually every city. The trip between Tuscany (starting in Florence) to Sicily (ending in Palermo) takes a long time, making it a journey that you might want to break up into two days. Consider stopping at one of the many pretty cities along the way. Note that the bulk of time spent on the train is in southern Italy, where the train wends its way through or around the mountains there.
By Overnight Ferry
Duration: 19 hours
For a leisurely way to make the journey, consider taking the overnight ferry from Livorno to Palermo. Leaving from Livorno at about midnight, the ferry takes a full day to make its way across the Mediterranean Sea to the island, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, arriving by 6:30 pm that evening.
There are many levels of accommodation on the ferry, from shared sleeping berths to private cabins with outdoor views of the water and landscape. Children up to 12 years old travel free on the ferry and seniors (over 60) receive a 20 percent discount. The ferry has restaurants and shopping onboard and you can bring your car and your dog along for the ride, too.