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Flight questions for RS Sicily in March 2023

We are booked for RS Sicily tour which starts March 28. We are planning to get to Palermo a day or 2 before that. Any thoughts on whether it is better/cheaper/easier to book a flight into Palermo and out of Rome, or do a RT to Rome and book a flight to Palermo separately? My initial searches show that the RT to Rome and separate flight to Palermo would be cheaper - but booking it all together (via one site or airline) might be better/easier.

For the end of the trip, we plan to fly to Naples from Catania (end point of the tour) and take a ferry to Sorrento for a few days before flying home via Rome, etc.


Posted by
6381 posts

I think many do round trip to Rome, and a separate flight to Palermo. It depends on how much time you have and what you want to see. We don't do the tours, but did Sicily much like the tour does last year.

We flew into Rome, spent a night to adjust a bit, then flew vis RyanAir to Palermo. From there, we spent 2 plus weeks in Sicily, ending in Syracuse, and Flew out of Catania, but we flew to Naples (again, RyanAir, spent 4 nights in that area, then the train back to Rome, where we spent a couple nights before flying home.

We had actually spent time in the Naples area 20 years ago, but wanted to return, and we have been to Rome a number of times, but like spending time there. So this worked great for us.

The other option is a long train ride from Rome to Palermo, or back from Catania; if you look at that, then certainly consider a night or two in the Campania region, then perhaps some near Naples. There are also ferries to Palermo, but I can't recommend them with any authority.

Posted by
1086 posts

After our 2016 tour, we flew from Catania to Rome in the late morning on Alitalia, stayed overnight in Rome, and continued home to Boston the next day. Before the tour we flew from Boston to Rome, stayed a couple of nights, then took an Alitalia flight to Palermo. At the time, this option was cheaper than taking grueling multi-stop flights to and from Sicily from the US, so much so that it paid for the extra nights in Rome. Booking separate flights on the same day may not be a good idea, since problems with the primary flight may cause you to miss the other flight.

Posted by
13633 posts

Going from Michigan (DTW?) to Palermo the same day in low season would likely limit your choices to a Sky team carrier (Delta, ITA, Air France) with a first stop either in the US (JFK or ATL) or in France (CDG) and a second one in Rome (FCO), before the last segment to Palermo (PMO) with ITA Airways. That would make it a very long day. If you were going in summer that would be easily doable because Delta flies a seasonal non stop from DTW to FCO, therefore you would need only one lay over in FCO.

You can fly from FCO to PMO with ITA airways (5 flights a day) or RyanAir (4 flights a day).

Posted by
39 posts

@Roberto da Firenze, ah! I was wondering why I was seeing these abysmal schedules just to get to Rome from DTW, let alone on to Palermo. Stupidly short layovers (55 minutes!) - or ridiculously long ones (13 hours!), plus the usual nonsense of picking one flight connecting in Boston, but the return flight takes 2 days. Didn't consider that the non-stops might be seasonal.

@Bob, yes, I am considering sticking with a RT to Rome and then booking the flight to Palermo separately as we get closer to the date. Also like the idea of adding a night or 2 in Rome to make it less of a scramble.

Posted by
7364 posts

Yeah the connection times are crazy. We noticed in 2019 that there were more connection choices on certain days of the week, so maybe look a day or more before your proposed start date. Note you can get to Palermo via Lufthansa and partners as well. Yeah

Assuming you did look at a single ticket multi-city routing DTW>Palermo: Naples (or Rome)>DTW.

Posted by
1934 posts

We booked Las Vegas to/from Rome with the layover in London. Our flight to Sicily was booked separately on ITA. We spent the night at the Rome airport Hilton and then booked a late morning flight to Palermo. The thought was, if there was a problem we had plenty of time to make the ITA flight and there were more options from Rome to Sicily than US or other country.

Posted by
14 posts

Get out of town!!! Rebecca, Tom and I are on the same tour starting 3/12 and we also just booked a flight to Naples from Catania (via RyanAir) for a couple of days following the tour. Great minds, I guess :) We sure enjoyed meeting you and Bob in Portugal last year. I wish we were connecting next spring, but I hope our paths cross again. Happy to send along any reccs or tips from our trip 2 weeks ahead of you guys. xx Jon