Welcome aboard my new trip report covering a short break to Palermo, Sicily from Rome.
After some days spent in beautiful Rome, I had planned to move further south for a restful break in Palermo where I stayed in the wonderful Villa Igiea hotel, property of the M Gallery chain. More on that later...
During summertime, it's very easy but also expensive to reach Sicily as it is a famous summer destination for Italian as well as European vacationners. I decided to fly Alitalia as I always wanted to fly this iconic yet troubled airline. I booked as well as OLCI were done directly on the Alitalia website which is very easy to use.
Flightpath courtesy The Great Circle Mapper
I reached FCO well in advance using the shuttle that I booked on Viator website. Everything went smoothly and soon I found myself on the curbside.
Am I going to fly Alitalia? Are you sure?
Common check-in area with rather long line to drop-off my luggage
I passed security quite quickly and I ended in the airside part of FCO.
Lots of retails past security
Down to the gates
FCO is Skyteam territory after all
The gate area
Choose your favorite language. Seems that a lot of people from Russia and China use FCO
Oh bad! It looks that my flight is going to be delayed...
First look at this beautiful AZ A320...FCO is not very spotter friendly.
Flight # : AZ1781
Departure airport : Rome Leonardo da Vinci (FCO/LIRF)
Arrival airport : Palermo Falcone e Borselino (PMO/LICJ)
ETD : 1310
ATD : 1410
ETA : 1420
ATA : 1520
Scheduled flight time : 01:10
Actual flight time : 01:10
Aircraft type : Airbus A320-200
Reg # : EI-DTF "Giovanni Boccaccio"
Seat : 22A
Boarding was called and everyone raced down the jetway
A bit of waiting before stepping up in the A320
My first AZ flight!
Oh yes...AZ is a Skyteam member but also part of the cursed EY alliance-like nebula...I hope AZ will survive...
The cabin looked fresh and clean and legroom is average
Reading material in bad shape
Overwing AZ branding looks so old-fashioned and actually pretty cool
VY competitor push-backing before its flight to PMO
Soon we pushed back also offering views over LH Group sibblings (LH & EW A32x)...too bad that Lufthansa Italia doesn't live anymore
That's what I call a very nice plane! CZ B788 bound to CAN I presume
A bunch of canadian tourists about to go back home. A TS A333 bound to Canada (YYZ perhaps?)
Taxiing next to the Fire station
Further taxi while a TP A320 to LIS is racing the runway
A AZ A32x in the "new" livery is landing. I prefer the now previous livery which is simple and classy. On the current one, the "Alitalia" marking is just misplaced in my opinion and I love the green cheatline
Who will be the first in line? A cheapo FR B738 or this gorgeous CZ B788?
An irish invasion I may say
Well...I have no idea about who is taxiing there...
It was soon our turn to take off
Seating left-hand side of the plane means that I've got gorgeous views over FCO
Right after take off, we performed a left-hand turn to fly roughly along the italian coastline towards Sicily
The city of Fiumicino
This is Pratica di Mare AB (LIRE)
Further climb, I quite like the Alitalia markings over the wing
Given the short length of the flight, the service started as soon as we reached cruise altitude
See what's on offer. Enough for such a short flight and...free!
Nice day for flying
After a rather short flight, Sicily came in sight for a very scenic approach to PMO
Along the Sicily coastline
Are we going to land on the water?
And we quickly landed on an airport surrounded by water and mountains
Vacating the active under a hot sun
Taxiing along the sea
A cute V7 B717
Not a busy airport to say the least
Last turn when someone is taking-off (don't remember what aircraft it is)
Deboarding was pretty quick and soon I found myself inside the airside part of PMO where passengers for the flight back to FCO were already waiting. I didn't expect such a modern and clean terminal. I was positively pleased.
Nice glass walkway
Last views over our ride
Common airside area
Arrivi downstairs for sure
Volotea is expanding a lot in these secondary airports
Waiting for our bags to be delivered
My driver was waiting for me in the arrival hall and soon escorted me to his car through the curbside
The ride from PMO to downtown Palermo was very nice passing next to steep mountains. It was my first experience with the italian way of driving...well...I arrived in one piece, I am a lucky person! During my time in Palermo, I stayed in the Villa Igiea by MGallery...I must say it is a wonderful place to stay. The staff is very pleasant, the rooms are old-fashioned but maintained perfectly. As for the pool...a great place with gorgeous views over the bay. Finally, the breakfast is amazing! One of the most delicious I have ever ate!
The hotel "curbside"
Majestuous stairs leading to the pool
Polizia has stylish choppers!
Now, let's have a look at Palermo itself. It's a pleasant city but some buildings clearly lack of maintenance which gives a weird feeling about this city. It wasquite enjoyable nevertheless.
Via Roma...I think
Narrow streets of Palermo
The very Palermo cathedral
Porta Nuova with these funny italian tricycle
After some very restful and pleasant days, it was time to head back home. I woke up very early as I booked a driver to reach the airport. Arriving around 1 hour before departure, I thought I had plenty of time as I was flying domestic. I was so wrong, the Alitalia counters were fully packed with long immobile lines. Thanksfully an agent screamed if there was any passenger for the upcoming flight to Rome and he made me skipping the line. I was sequence no.1 on OLCI but I was the last one to check my luggage! Speaking about OLCI, I did it the day before and seat selection was sh*tty...I was stuck in a middle seat at the rear of the plane with no possibility to change (every other seat couldn't be selected). Anyway...that's life!
Except for the Alitalia passengers PMO was quite deserted
Upstairs for the boarding gates
Security passed in a breeze with relaxed staff. Passengers for my flight has already formed a fairly long line for boarding at the very same gate that I used inbound from FCO.
Flight # : AZ1774
Departure airport : Palermo Falcone e Borselino (PMO/LICJ)
Arrival airport : Rome Leonardo da Vinci (FCO/LIRF)
ETD : 0700
ATD : 0700
ETA : 0810
ATA : 0805
Scheduled flight time : 01:10
Actual flight time : 01:05
Aircraft type : Airbus A321-100
Reg # : EI-IXH "Piazza della Signoria Gubbio"
Seat : 36B
First sight with Piazza della Signoria Gubbio
Long and bright walkways toward the plane
Well, now it's a pretty bland jetty
Nice livery at the beginning of a nice day
I found my way to the very back of the plane
Average reading material
The control tower
Airone...no...AZ...well, everything is very not clear in the italian skies. Anyway, this A320 is going to operate the next flight for AZ
And take-off from beautiful Sicily
And the very rude guys in front of my row expressed the feeling to lay back and reclined their seat...what's the point for a 1 hour flight? Luckyly for me, noone reclined the seat in front of me!
And the snack service started with the same offer than on my inbound flight
Being the last row, I had views over the galley
Fully packed A321
The approach was quite scenic but I had no opportunity to take any photo. Anyway, we were parked on a remote stand meaning a bus transfer to the terminal. I was self connecting on the LX flight and I started to worry a bit as the connection time was rather short. Anyway, everything went smoothly in FCO and I realized that we were not so much with FCO as final destination.
Everyone started to rush toward the exit
This way to the baggage claim
Deserted baggage claim. We were perhaps 4 waiting for the luggage to be delivered
AZ : Fair airline with a good domestic product. Price was honest and onboard service and comfort were nice. The only drawback was that I could effectively select a seat during OLCI (despite being sequence #1)
FCO : Good airport but showing its age
PMO : Nice little airport mostly serving domestic and tourism flights
Palermo : Very nice town that worth to visit and the Villa Igiea hotel is a perfect place to stay
Well, thank you for reading this trip report. Please feel free to ask any question you want and to comment it!
Links to my previous TR :
Swiss Economy LYS-ZRH-EWR
Aegean Airlines A3633/A3632-LYS-ATH-LYS-Inaugural
Brussels Airlines SN3588 - LYS-BRU - Economy
Adria Airways JP395 - BRU-LJU - Economy
Adria Airways JP376 - LJU-BRU - Economy
Brussels Airlines SN3591 - BRU-LYS - Economy
TAP By Portugalia Economy LYS-LIS
Air France Economy MRS-ORY
Turkish Airlines MRS-IST Economy
Ryanair MRS-TUF Low-cost
Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business
Eurowings MRS-DUS Low-cost
Swiss LYS-ZRH-FCO Business