I think the scariest thing for me to do in Italy so far is to take a taxi. The drivers seem so nice but in my experience, if you are not vigilant, they won’t turn on the meter, or if they do, are somehow are able to up the meter when you get to the destination? They will then give you a total at the end just under double what it probably should have been. I took a taxi from my convent in Palermo to the bus station and it cost 20 euro which wasn’t much further than a few kms. The fare from Palermo to Siracuse on the bus is 11 euro if bought online for a 3 and a 1/2 hour ride. And I don’t argue, I’m such a scaredy cat. But underneath I feel very indignant. I think there is a lesson here for me in self worth and standing up for myself.
So the bus. The biglietteri (ticket office) will sell you a ticket and tell you which number platform. Once the bus pulls up, you load your own bag in the luggage storage area under the bus. If you are last, you shut the door. Your seat number request means niente. People rush the bus and bags the front seats when the driver opens the doors in a cool Italian sort of a rush.
The driver stopped after a couple of hours for a 5 minute toilet/ refreshment stop. The motorways are fast and rural scenery lovely particularly as Mt Etna came into view. And then I was in Siracuse and its island, the lovely Ortigia.