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Kay Feb 21st, 2002 08:33 AM

Naples or Salerno to Taormina - transportation
<BR>I am finalizing my May trip and still having problems with this. The train is 6 hrs. Some of you several months back recommended that we drive it. How long a drive is it? ViaMichelin indicates 6 hrs. and it looks to be good highway most of the way. Has anyone driven it themselves and if so, was the drive interesting or should we just get the train? We have driven many places in Europe, but not in the South of Italy. I don't want to take the ON ferry into Palermo and I know there is supposed to be a ferry during the day to the Messina area, but the web site I need is under construction. If anyone knows about the other ferry, please let me know. I don't want to fly, I already checked and it is $258/person on Alitalia. A driver wants 600 Euro, so I need to take the train, drive it ourselves, or the ferry. Thanks for your help.

Angela Feb 21st, 2002 08:51 AM

Kay, we drove from Positano to Taormina last May. I think it took us less than 6 hours, but make sure you have reservations in Taormina before you get there. We did not and spent a lot of time riding around looking for a room since most places were booked right in Taormina. The drive down is easy, not exceptionally interesting. We are going back this year, but are going to fly from Rome to Reggio Calabria and pick up a car there and continue into Sicily. You can get a $99 flight pass on

GAC Feb 21st, 2002 10:03 AM

Your best bet is to take the intercity (IC) train, first class, direct to Taormina. It's a scenic trip and not unreasonably long, given the distances. During the summer, there is a daytime hydrofoil from Naples to Stromboli, Salina, Lipari, Vulcano and eventually Milazzo, but it is expensive, and will actually take longer than the train (plus it leaves you in Milazzo). Depending on your flight intinerary, airline and fare structure, you might be able to purchase a Napoli/Catania roundtrip or open-jaw ticket for a reasonable additional sum. From Catania Airport, there are frequent very inexpensive buses to the Taormina bus station on Via Pirandello (up the hill in the town itself, a 75 minute trip).

Maddy Feb 21st, 2002 03:50 PM

Kay<BR><BR>I can only comment on the drive and ferry crossing as we haven't taken the train. <BR><BR>My husdand and I did this drive two years ago in the other direction. We drove from Taormina to Messina, then followed signs that guide you to the ferry crossing. You get out at a tollbooth kind of thing, pay your money and drive right onto the ferry. (You can stay in your car for the crossing or get out and go up on deck). We were over in Reggio di Calabria within 30 minutes of paying and just drove off the ferry. We were pleasantly surprised at how painless the process was. I would bet that coming from the other direction is just as easy. I'm not sure what other ferry you referred to in your there one that crosses over from Reggio to somewhere other than Messina? Or are you referring to one that leaves from Naples to Messina? <BR><BR>The drive from Reggio to Naples area was just as Angela easy drive on autostrada type roads, nice, but not spectacular scenery and 6 hours sounds about right. The only downside is that you give up a lot of one day doing the drive. If you don't mind my asking, why did you rule out the overnight ferry?<BR><BR>Maddy

Kay Feb 21st, 2002 05:06 PM

Thanks for the help everyone! I ruled out the overnight ferry because I don't want to go to Palermo and then have to drive to Taormina. We are already driving from Taormina to Agrigento and then back to Catania to catch a flight.<BR><BR>

xxx Feb 22nd, 2002 09:23 AM

If main/exclusive your goal is just reach Taormina, you should take the train. 1st class on the IC for 2 pax would cost EUR 91 (don't even think travelling on 2nd class; even with reservations you'll hardly be able to move outside your cabin because the aisles will be full). A car will cost more than that and you you'll be able to gain one hour, at best. <BR><BR>Renting a car IMO would make sense only if you're able to set your goal on sigthseeing enroute and, thus, diminishing your available time in Sicily by a half day. To that effect, you should allow the full day, say, from 8am to 6pm. You'd spend a total of 6:30-7 hours in the car. I wouldn't do it in the height of summer season. Also, if you're not used to drive on two-way roads, it may prove too tiring.<BR><BR>The suggested route would then go from Salern to Paestum, south on SS18 along the Policastro Gulf to Maratea and Paola. There are a number of villages one may enjoy on short stops: Scario, Capitello, Villammare, Sapri, Acquafredda, etc. <BR>(see some photos at<BR>In Paola, wishing to leave SS18, one may drive to Cosenza and continue on A3.

Kay Feb 22nd, 2002 03:04 PM

xxx, Thanks a lot for your help. I will explore the photos and make a decision to drive or go by IC, first class. I have gotten a lot of great info and really appreciate it. Kay

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