Nov 17th, 2009, 05:16 PM
Original Poster
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My husband and I are interested in taking our three small children with us to Sicily. Of course, it'll be hard...That said, if we fly into Rome, what's the easiest way for us to get to Sicily, or to be more specififc, Taormina? Is there a high speed train from Rome that we could take? Is it a long drive? A Neopolitan friend of ours told us that the autostrada was in a state of disrepair and he suggested boarding an overnight ship from Naples to Sicily. I have to say, I'd much prefer a fast train from Rome than going from Rome to Naples and then boarding a ship to Sicily.

I anxiously await your responses as it might be the determining factor as to whether or not we go to Sicily.
JacquieK is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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JacquieK, forget "driving" to Sicily. Why not just fly from Rome to Catania, then drive to Taormina? I would suggest staying on Naxos, the beach below Taormina with young children.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:59 PM
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Thank you so much for your the way, I realize I made it seem as if we were only interested in staying in or around Taormina. We are open to any and all suggestions, first and foremost on how to get there from Rome.

A flight to Catania and then renting a car sounds interesting...
Does your suggestion mean that you would also "forget" taking a train to Sicily from Rome?
JacquieK is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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I, for one, would suggest that you also forget about taking a train from Rome to Sicily. It's at least nine hours; the trains are not high speed - they're the oldest and clunkiest equipment that Trenitalia owns.

You can also fly into Palermo from Rome; Catania is a little more user friendly.

It really depends on what you want to do in Sicily. Unless you have a great deal of time, you should really decide between western and eastern Sicily, particularly with small children
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 07:19 PM
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I took the train from Naples to Siracusa - definitely not high-speed! Unless you have an especial interest in riding in a train that's traveling on a boat, fly. It was slower once it got to Sicily than on the mainland.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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We had about 2 weeks in Sicily a few years ago. Public transport is available but not as good as other European countries. One idea is to fly from Rome to Palermo, bus/train then ferry to the Aeolian Islands, we stayed on Lipari and loved it. Then bus to Taormina, we changed bus companies in Messina. You could then bus or train to Catania and fly back to Rome from there. I know we used mainly buses in Sicily and the train only once so not sure if trains or buses would be best for you.

For airlines, try Alitalia, Easyjet, Windjet or Blu-Express. I'm only familiar with Easyjet which is fine as long as you follow the rules, make sure baggage weight is within limits, arrive in good time for your flight etc.

Maybe hiring a car from either Palermo or Catania would be easier for you as a family.

With the children, you would also find renting an apartment better than a hotel room. You would have more space, possibly a washing machine and separate bedrooms so you could put the kids to bed then have some time to yourself. And a kitchen for breakfasts, snacks etc.

KayF is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 11:40 AM
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For flying within Italy also look at Air One.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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JacquieK - when are you going and how old are your children?

We have been to a lot of Southern Europe both before and after having our son who is now four. we have just returned from Siracusa and have taken another step in our journey of how top travel with children.
markrosy is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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We are also thinking about driving from Abruzzo to Sicily next summer...3 adults and 3 small children. How bad are the roads? I think it will be more economical than flying and renting another car once we get to Sicily. (We will rent a car in Rome and drive it to our family home in Abruzzo to unload and unwind before making the trip to see our family in Agrigento).
Mic is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 06:26 PM
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I would take the kids out to the Aelioan islands of the coast of Sicily. take them to the mud baths, hike a volcano, take them sailing, fishing etc.
galaxygrrl200 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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Fly from Rome to Catania and rent a car if all you are interested in is Sicily.

We recently spent two weeks in Sicily and, from comments on this forum, learned that the train is the worst way, and driving Rome/Messina the second worst way, to get there.

We were going to spend some time near Napoli, and a suggestion (I think from Zerlina) was to take the overnight ferry from Napoli to Palermo (and back). That turned out to be a great suggestion and a lot of fun. There were a number of children on the ferries with us and they were delighted with the adventure. This also saves the cost of hotel rooms for the nights in transit.

Mic: this last is what I would do if I were you. There are ferries from Salerno to Messina that would be better than Napoli for you.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
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