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France to Sicily


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Anybody travelled this route by ferry.........is it best to travel via Corsica......any suggestion welcome as we intend to travel in October and then work our way up Southern Italy to Monte Cassino and the ferry to the former Yugoslavia.





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Hi David

I am not aware of any direct ferries between France or Corsica & Sicily. (although I may be wrong)


The only ferries I am aware of, all go from the Italian mainland, Malta or North Africa.

Have a look at these sites.





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I'm not sure how big your van is but I've heard Corsica can be a bit tight for big units. However, You can get a ferry direct to Palermo from Genoa, or Livorno if you prefer. There is camping on deck in your van, hooked up to the ships' electric. It takes about 24 hours from Genoa and 20 from Livorno and is a very pleasant way to get there. Much less stress free than driving down on the Italian Motorway system.


If you go into Italy from the South of France try the camping stop at Diano Marina. The aire at Imperia has been "developed" so don't bother looking for that.


You will need to research your sites you intend to stay at in Sicily and Italy. Their season is virtually July & August for most of the sites and the "seaside towns" such as they are will be virtually empty. I can recommend Camping Scarabeo at Punto Brachetta for a stay. It is a smallish site with private access to the beach. Each pitch has it's own toilet and washroom accessed by an individual key. They are an ACSI site and that entitles you to hot showers. If not ACSI you pay for tokens to get a hot shower.


There is an aire called Parking Lagani, (www.parkinglagani.com) that is very good. Safe and secure with all the facilities you will need. It is at Giardini Naxos. It costs around 14 Euros a night. This is not far off the going rate for an aire in Italy anyway, even the crappy basic ones.


The best free camping we've ever stayed on is at Macari. A hard standing car park right on the beach. Warm water and a bread van calls in the morning.

N 38.12221 E 12.72441. There are no facilities but the nearby village has a few places where you can top up and dump your cassette for a small fee.


Bar Zanzibar is an aire in the car park of a hotel. Right on a beach. N 37.29461 E 13.45369. Costs about 10 Euros a night. Don't use the loos or shower provided though. Very Manky!


We found Sicily to be the best of places we've been, and the worst! Some towns, Gela in particular, would actually be improved if they carpet bombed it! Agrigento, where the famous ruins are is a dump! It is hard to tell what's a ruin and what isn't. The roads in places exist only in the minds of the map makers and don't actually exist at all on the ground! The people are a bit grim when you first see them but are friendly and helpful if you need it. They look like extras from the Godfather, (which some probably are!)


Cash is king! Even the campsites prefer it.


Some smaller banks in the towns and villages don't accept UK cash cards so if you need cash go to the bigger towns and cities and try there.


The ferry from Sicily to the mainland is basically a free for all. Forget being loaded like at Dover. They just herd you on and you please yourself whether to stay in your van or not. There are signs telling you not to of course but this Italy and no one takes a blind bit of notice of signs telling you what not to do. Speed limits, no overtaking, traffic lights, lane markings all ignored! The local authorities could save a fortune by just putting up one sign sayin "Whatever!"


The motorway up from the toe of Italy is very basic with about 85-100 miles of single lane contraflow where you are supposed to only do 60KPH. But again no one takes any notice. They even overtake you through the contraflow if you don't drive fast enough!


The Monte Cassino area is quite high up and you need to prepare for some heavy weather in late autumn/early winter. Don't be surprised if you get snow.

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