Insular Italy is a region in Southern Italy that includes Sicily and Sardinia as well as various other islands and archipelagos in the area. Sicily remains one of the biggest islands in all of Europe and Sardinia is the second largest in the country after Sicily. It is because of this that the region of Insular accounts for one-sixth of the countries surface area. The population of the Insular Italy is approximately 6.7 million. Both areas have notable mountain ranges. Sicily has Mount Etna which is considered Europe’s biggest active volcano. Sardinia has the Gennargentu mountain range.
If your travels bring you into the region of Insular a trip to the largest island in the Mediterranean Sicily should be added to your travel plans. This island is said to be shaped like a ball that the Italian boot is kicking. It has many beautiful beaches, UNESCO World Heritage sites and striking Mount Etna. The main cities of Sicily include its capital of Palermo, Catania, Syracuse and Taormina. This island has much to offer travelers such as tours of Mount Etna on ATV’s or a longer more relaxed hiking tour if you prefer. If you want to visit archeological sites, there are many to choose from. These include ruins of the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Phoenicians. Sicily also boasts hundreds of castles and many museums. Some castles of note include Castello Manfredonico, Castello Ursino and Castello di Caccamo. If you love towers, Sicily has 218 watchtowers on the island. You will have your pick of these historic landmarks.
Your trip to Insular Italy wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Sardinia. The second largest island in the Mediterranean, this spectacular wonderland of beaches, mountains and historical landmarks will be sure to please all types of travelers. Sardinia is located south of Corsica and west of the Italian Peninsula. It is divided into four provinces and contains many historical landmarks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini. This is one of the thousands of Bronze Age stone ruins which date back as far as 1500 B.C. and are shaped like beehives.
Train travel in Sicily is has been operational since 1863. Today each Sicilian province has a network of railway services which connect cities and towns. There is also service to Rome and Naples. This is possible by way of trains being loaded onto ferries that then cross over to the mainland. Catania, Palermo, and Messina have an underground, commuter and tramline service respectively that can get you around the area.
Traveling by train in Sardinia is run by Trenitalia and goes through most of the busier towns, the ports, and the peninsula which uses train ferries. The Trenino Verde or the Little Green Train runs steam locomotives and classic rail cars through the uninhabited scenic areas of the island that cannot be viewed from the main streets.
Refer to the Italy train map for an overall glimpse of the country's railway system.