What you should know before hiring a car in Catania
|Catania city centre|
|Fontanarossa Airport (CTA): 4 km from city centre|
Where to rent a car in Catania?
The city of Catania can be found on the coast of Italy's southern island of Sicily. Its main airport is Catania–Fontanarossa Airport, while Catania Centrale is the city's principle train station. The island of Sicily is known for its beauty, history and food – and traveling by rental car is the best way to experience it all! Car rental companies operating in Catania include Avis, Goldcar Rental, Maggiore and Sixt; car rental services can be found primarily at Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, as well as in the city itself. From the airport, travelers can reach Catania's city center by bus, taxi or rental car.
Driving in Catania: parking and other tips
Driving in Catania can be a challenge for those not accustomed to the roads, or the Sicilian way of driving. Unpredictable drivers and busy roads can make for an interesting experience! Nonetheless, drivers in Catania will want to abide by the speed limits and rules of the road. In urban areas of Sicily, the speed limit is 50 km/h; on highways it's 110 km/h; and on the "autostrada", it's 130 km/h.
Finding a parking space in Catania is not always easy. However, there are a number of parking options in Catania for those traveling by car. When it comes to on-street parking, it is best to avoid the city center due to its narrow streets. Blue signs indicate areas where drivers can park for a fee, while traffic signs will indicate any time restrictions. However, the best option is to park at the airport (or collect your rental car once you've finished exploring Catania) and take the bus into the city. Driving in Catania can be stressful, and parking outside the city is the best option.
Road trips from Catania
The Sicilian city of Catania is located near several beautiful Italian destinations, all accessible by rental car. These are three drives to take in Sicily, with coastal roads and historic sites along the way.
Having explored Catania to the fullest (must-see sights include Mount Etna, the Basilica della Collegiata, and the Piazza del Duomo), drive out of Catania and head west towards the city of Palermo. The Sicilian capital is a 129-mile drive from Catania, taking around two and a half hours. Located on the coast, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Palermo is a picturesque city filled with historic architecture and cultural sites. Palermo Cathedral, the 9th-century Palazzo dei Normanni, and the Duomo di Monreale are just some of the city's impressive landmarks, while theater lovers should head to the Teatro Massimo for opera, ballet and musical performances.
Around an hour south of Catania by rental car, the city of Syracuse is home to a number of ancient ruins, many of which can be seen in the Archaeological Park Neapolis, including the Ancient Theatre of Taormina and the Roman Amphitheatre. The historic center of Syracuse, Ortygia, is a must-visit: located on an island, and connected to the rest of the city by bridge, it's home to attractions such as the Cathedral of Syracuse and the Fountain of Arethusa.
The Cyclops Riviera
Stretching for seven and a half miles, along the coast north of Catania, the Cyclops Riviera makes for a picturesque drive along the Sicilian coast. Pass through charming Italian villages along the way, stopping to admire sights such as Aci Trezza - also home to the Islands of Cyclops. These three rocky islands are accessible by boat, and are said to have been formed during a fight between Cyclops Polyphemus and Odysseus.