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Palermo has its own International Airport, located about 20 miles west of the city itself. It is serviced mostly by smaller airlines with links to a few major European capitols and other major cities in Italy. Visitors arriving at the airport have a few options for ground transportation to the city. Shuttle buses and trains go from the airport to Palermo frequently. Taxis are more expensive. There are also a number of national and international car rental agencies at the airport (a 5 minute walk from the terminal building). If you hire a car, be sure to get a good map in advance, and very detailed directions, with clear mileage and/or landmarks to look out for, for your hotel or destination - because the signposting on the roads once you're in Palermo is minimal and confusing.
Buses run approx ever 1/2 hr and tickets cost 5 euros 30 cents each way which you buy on the bus. There are several stops in Palermo ask the driver for your hotel. The main stops to look out for are the Politeama Theatre and the main Station.
Palermo Centrale is the main train station in Palermo. Trenitalia, the Italian National Train System, runs trains from all major cities in Sicily. It is also possible to take a train from Rome and Naples on mainland Italy to Palermo, via a train ferry across the strait of Messina.
A number of ferries operate between Palermo and Naples, Genoa, Livorno and Cagliari. Try this website for help finding the best options. Price will depend on the number of people traveling, whether you take a car or not, and the kind of accommodations desired while on board. Thus, a ferry may save you money if you are traveling without a car and you choose the most basic accommodation, usually a reclining seat.