Milazzo trip planner

The mainland gateway to the Aeolian Islands of Sicily

The main gateway to the Aeolians is the port of Milazzo, which occupies a finger-like promontory thrusting toward the islands about 40km (25 miles) west of Messina.

Killing time in Milazzo before your ferry leaves

While you wait for your boat in Milazzo—founded by the ancient Greeks but today most characterized by industrial sprawl—check out the romantically half-ruined 13th century castello (tel. +39-090-922-1291), open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-1pm and 5-8pm in summer (Mar–May and Sept 10am–1pm and 3–6pm; Oct–Feb 9am–1pm and 2:30–4:30 pm).

The castle's a stiff climb up from the dock area, so to slake your thirst on the free tour and vino tasting at the Museo Enologico Grasso (tel. +39-090-928-1082), a winery run by the Grasso family since 1887. It's a short walk from the docks; from the south end of Via dei Mille branch right onto Via Magliavacca, then turn right onto Via Albero to no. 5. It;s open 8am–1pm and 3:30–7:30pm; closed Sundays.

If you have a car, whet your appetite for the islands by driving out of town on any of the three main roads headed north. After 4 miles/6 km, you'll come to the faro (lighthouse) at the tip of the promontory, Capo di Milazzo, where clear days present you with a postcard panorama of the Aeolians in the distance.

Where to stay and dine in Milazzo

For reliable, cheapish, amentiless lodgings a block behind the ferry docks head to Hotel Capitol, Via Giorgio Rizzo 91 (tel. +39-090-928-3298). Quite a bit nicer—and with doubles overlooking the sea and Aeolians in the distance starting at just €58—is the Hotel Garibaldi at Via Lungomare Garibaldi 160 (tel. +39-090-924-0189, » book).

For dinner, the best bet is Il Covo del Pirata, a few blocks up from the docks along the harbor on Via Marina Garibaldi (tel. 090-928-4437), with a cheerful pizzeria on the ground floor and a more refined restaurant upstairs. The restaurant menu is strong on both surf and turf, and besides reasonable a la carte prices they offer seasonal tasting menus. They're closed Wednesdays September to June.

Tips & links


Milazzo tourist office
Piazza C. Duilio 20
. +39-090-922-2865

Hotels in Milazzo
How to get to Milazzo

Coming from Messina, your best bet is the roughly hourly Giuntabus (tel. +39-090-675-749, It leaves from PIazza della Repubblica in front of the Messina train station and lets you off right at Milazzo's ferry docks (50 min.). On Sundays, there's only one run, around 7:15am.

I suggest the bus because Milazzo's train station is miles from the port (though you can hop a city bus into town and the port or take a taxi). There's a ferry schedule posted outside the station so you'll know how much time you have to get downtown. Still: There are also 8 trains daily to Milazzo from Rome (9–10 hr.), 2 of which pass through Naples (7 hr.). There are at least hourly trains to Milazzo from Messina (30–60 min.); and 14–16 trains from Palermo (2.5–3 hr.) that pass through Cefalù (90–160 min.).

How to get between MILAZZO and the Catania airport: April to September only: GIUNTABUS (tel. +39-090-673-782 or +39-090-675749,

If you're driving

From Messina, take the A20. You won't need a car on the mostly roadless islands. Most parking garages in Milazzo are expensive, so use the Eolie Garage next to the Hotel Capitol, Via Giorgio Rizzo 91 (tel. 090-928-3298), where they will garage your car for much less per night, even if you aren't a guest. Parking your car unattended near the docks just invites a break-in.

By ferry

Siremar's giant overnight ferries from Naples end at Milazzo after calling at several of the islands

Getting to the Aeolian islands from Milazzo
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Milazzo tourist office
Piazza C. Duilio 20
. +39-090-922-2865

Hotels in Milazzo

Useful links

Train tix

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