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Napoli to Messina, Sicily

Napoli to Messina, Sicily

Old Nov 2, 15, 6:49 pm
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Napoli to Messina, Sicily

I am looking to travel from Napoli to Messina either by train or ferry in early January. To save time, I prefer overnight on my way to Sicily. I tried to look up info online but was not very successful. Any tips or suggestion is welcomed.

Also, look for tours to Mount. Etna and Taormina from Messina. Any good companies with reasonable prices? I found most of the prices are high as they all target the tourists from big cruise ships.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 8:04 pm
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Most ferries from the continent go to Palermo. TTT lines have a line to Catania (also good to visit Etna and Taormina). By the way, have you thought of renting a car and doing your trips on your own?
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Old Nov 2, 15, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Most ferries from the continent go to Palermo. TTT lines have a line to Catania (also good to visit Etna and Taormina). By the way, have you thought of renting a car and doing your trips on your own?
I have never driven in Italy and don't read Italian. Is it something I should consider? How's the road condition? Should I drive all the way from Napoli to Sicily or just rent a car on Sicily? Is it easy to get around on the island if I am driving?
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Old Nov 2, 15, 11:54 pm
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http://www.carontetourist.it/v2.6_en/

I don't think you have a Naples-Messina ferry.

Either Naples-Catania (which is better as you go straight to in/around some interesting part of Sicily, no reason to stop at Messina) or Salerno-Messina.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 12:18 am
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Driving in southern Italy is no problem as long as you are aware of the road and other drivers around you. My partner and I say there are only 3 rules of the road - 1) leave, 2) arrive, 3) don't ht anything long the way (been driving in Sardiniia for 1 1/2 weeks and over a week in Corsica before that).

Small car advisable (think Fiat 500 or Panda). Better if you can get parking assist (the VW park pilot in our Polo is great).

Parking in Taormina is PITA but you are there in real off season.

Navigating in Sicily or most parts of Italy is a PITA as signs are often missing (or simply obscured) for non-major routes. We drive with 2 GPS (1 so I know what the road intersection ahead is like and a laptop map/GPS for my partner to navigate.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 5:16 am
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Originally Posted by SoloTravelerinRed View Post
I am looking to travel from Napoli to Messina either by train or ferry in early January. To save time, I prefer overnight on my way to Sicily. I tried to look up info online but was not very successful. Any tips or suggestion is welcomed.

Also, look for tours to Mount. Etna and Taormina from Messina. Any good companies with reasonable prices? I found most of the prices are high as they all target the tourists from big cruise ships.
Originally Posted by SoloTravelerinRed View Post
I have never driven in Italy and don't read Italian. Is it something I should consider? How's the road condition? Should I drive all the way from Napoli to Sicily or just rent a car on Sicily? Is it easy to get around on the island if I am driving?
When I go to Sicily I go by train from Rome. The train stops at Napoli. The train has private sleeper cars, so you have a bed. It's very economical. Around sunrise, the train is loaded onto a ferry to take you across the water to Messina. It's a great time to grab a coffee and go outside. I would never stay in Messina, but from there you can take a train to Siracusa and other places south, or on to Palermo and places in between. It's nice, the train runs near the water, and there's a lot to see.

You'll inevitably want to rent a car in Sicily, and it's no problem. The roads are excellent, even into small towns. Just get a SIM card so you can use GPS, and don't worry about it. It's not like it's dense, with a lot of highways and streets, so you can't get lost. You only want the car for exploring the interior and the coasts. You don't want one in any of the cities. It's pretty chaotic to drive in Palermo, but not something that someone who has driven in any major US city can't handle. It's worse than the USA, but not a quantum leap different. They have great buses there. I usually wind up ending my trip there, and upon arrival, drop the car off. But I've never had any trouble driving around anywhere else.

There is a nice overnight ferry that I take back. It goes to a lot of places, but I always wind up taking it back to Rome. It's an overnighter. Spectacular views. Dining car. You can rent a private suite with a bed and ocean view. Much better than driving.

The train from Rome, to Sicily, the ferry from Sicily back, driving only in the hinterlands and coastal roads in Sicily, really simplifies things. And, the train and ferry are quite economical.

Last edited by Perche; Nov 3, 15 at 5:37 am
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Old Nov 3, 15, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Perche View Post
When I go to Sicily I go by train from Rome. The train stops at Napoli. The train has private sleeper cars, so you have a bed. It's very economical. Around sunrise, the train is loaded onto a ferry to take you across the water to Messina. It's a great time to grab a coffee and go outside. I would never stay in Messina, but from there you can take a train to Siracusa and other places south, or on to Palermo and places in between. It's nice, the train runs near the water, and there's a lot to see.

You'll inevitably want to rent a car in Sicily, and it's no problem. The roads are excellent, even into small towns. Just get a SIM card so you can use GPS, and don't worry about it. It's not like it's dense, with a lot of highways and streets, so you can't get lost. You only want the car for exploring the interior and the coasts. You don't want one in any of the cities. It's pretty chaotic to drive in Palermo, but not something that someone who has driven in any major US city can't handle. It's worse than the USA, but not a quantum leap different. They have great buses there. I usually wind up ending my trip there, and upon arrival, drop the car off. But I've never had any trouble driving around anywhere else.

There is a nice overnight ferry that I take back. It goes to a lot of places, but I always wind up taking it back to Rome. It's an overnighter. Spectacular views. Dining car. You can rent a private suite with a bed and ocean view. Much better than driving.

The train from Rome, to Sicily, the ferry from Sicily back, driving only in the hinterlands and coastal roads in Sicily, really simplifies things. And, the train and ferry are quite economical.
I researched the overnight trains from Napoli to Messina. It seems all the direct trains stop around mid December, is that the case? Or I didnt find the right info? I think ferry from Napoli to Catania is a good idea. I found some info online but couldn't find the info of the cabins. Do you have any suggestions for ferry lines?
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Old Nov 3, 15, 5:56 pm
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Two trains a day run all of December. Trenitalia, look up Napoli Centrale to Messina Centrale. A little over a five hour trip. Consider that you have to leave for the airport two hours ahead of your flight, it's not that much longer in time than flying, and considerably less stressful.

The ferry fleet is http://www.gnv.it/en/gnv/the-gnv-fle...s-ferries.html. I usually take the ferry back just to mix up the experience. Their routes are here. http://www.gnv.it/en/gnv-routes.html
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