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Train from Messina to Taormina


mickeyfanz
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I was thinking about taking the train from Messina to Taormina. I am going to be on a cruise stop there on a Sunday from 8am-5pm and I see there is a train leaving Messina at 9:15am that arrives in Taormina at 10am. The return leaves Taormina at 3:22pm and gets back to Messina at 4:20pm.

 

Is this doable? Will I be able to get off the boat early enough to make the 9:15am train? Will I be cutting it too close to get back at 4:20pm if we leave at 5pm? 

 

 

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You might be better off with taking a  bus.  The train station is at the bottom of the hill, quite a distance from Taormina.  You will probably want to take a bus or a cab up the road to get to the Taormina if you do take the train.

 

The bus will actually go up the hill  to the entrance to the town.  

 

The bus is much more reliable and probably more frequent.    When we took the bus from Catania Airport there were buses the left every half hour.  Might be the same from Messina.  The bus also stopped in Catania town, ie it was not just an airport bus.  

 

Unlike trains on the mainland, our experience with trains in SIcily is that they can often run late...and not by ten minutes either.

Edited by iancal
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Another option might be to take the ferry across to the mainland and visit Reggio Calabria (home of the Riace Warriors, full-size bronze statues cast around 450 BCE and discovered in the mud bed of the sea by a diver in 1972) and Scilla (named after the mythological marine monster from Homer's Odyssey).  Full disclosure: I haven't visited either of these places, but did notice that Road Scholar uses a day of their Sicily tour to take the ferry across and visit them.

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22 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Another option might be to take the ferry across to the mainland and visit Reggio Calabria (home of the Riace Warriors, full-size bronze statues cast around 450 BCE and discovered in the mud bed of the sea by a diver in 1972) and Scilla (named after the mythological marine monster from Homer's Odyssey).  Full disclosure: I haven't visited either of these places, but did notice that Road Scholar uses a day of their Sicily tour to take the ferry across and visit them.

 

What a fab idea -- I wonder if it's possible on a cruise-ship timetable? (e.g., getting back in time).  I've been looking for ways to get to those Riace bronzes ever since they were restored and put back on display.

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On 5/29/2019 at 7:12 PM, mickeyfanz said:

Is this doable? Will I be able to get off the boat early enough to make the 9:15am train? Will I be cutting it too close to get back at 4:20pm if we leave at 5pm? 

 

 

 

I would say far too close, all aboard is likely to be 4.30pm and although close,  the station is more than ten minutes from the ship.

Thats even if the train is on time, its a Sunday and its Sicily, would not recommend it at all. What if the train doesnt run at all ?

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On 5/29/2019 at 10:48 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

Another option might be to take the ferry across to the mainland and visit Reggio Calabria (home of the Riace Warriors, full-size bronze statues cast around 450 BCE and discovered in the mud bed of the sea by a diver in 1972) and Scilla (named after the mythological marine monster from Homer's Odyssey).  Full disclosure: I haven't visited either of these places, but did notice that Road Scholar uses a day of their Sicily tour to take the ferry across and visit them.

 

On 5/30/2019 at 9:25 PM, cruisemom42 said:

 

What a fab idea -- I wonder if it's possible on a cruise-ship timetable? (e.g., getting back in time).  I've been looking for ways to get to those Riace bronzes ever since they were restored and put back on display.

 

I too think this is a very interesting option and I've been doing a little research into the logistics.

 

I'm finding information saying that there are ferries across the Straights of Messina from Messina to either Villa San Giovanni on the Caronte & Tourist line or from Messina to Reggio Calabria on Liberty Lines, but I can only find active timetables for the first one.  It's not clear to me if the service to Reggio Calabria is only seasonal or if it has been discontinued.

 

Blu Ferries offers service from Messina to Reggio Calabria but it appears to travel via Villa San Giovanni and it takes longer than getting off at Villa San Giovanni and taking the train from there to the museum:  http://www.bluferries.it/orariautoveicoli.html

 

The service to Villa San Giovanni on Caronte & Tourist is active and there are several runs in each direction every day.  The trip takes about a half hour and it's really inexpensive, just 5 euro round trip.  More info here:   https://carontetourist.it/it/caronte/orari-stretto-di-messina-passeggeri

 

The Riace Warriors are located at the Museo Archeologico di Reggio Calabria, Piazza de Nava, 26, Reggio Calabria.    This is walking distance from the ferry port (1.3k/eight-tenths of a mile) if I could just find a current ferry schedule.

 

Going via Villa San Giovanni, you would walk from the ferry port to the Villa San Giovanni Trenitalia station (500 meters/one third of a mile).  Trenitalia from here to the Reggio di Calabria Lido station is only once per hour and takes about twenty minutes.  From the Reggio di Calabria Lido station to the museum is another short walk of about two minutes, according to the museum's web site:  https://www.museoarcheologicoreggiocalabria.it/how-to-get-to-the-museum/?lang=en

 

 

 

Edited by euro cruiser
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1 hour ago, euro cruiser said:

 

 

I too think this is a very interesting option and I've been doing a little research into the logistics.

 

I'm finding information saying that there are ferries across the Straights of Messina from Messina to either Villa San Giovanni on the Caronte & Tourist line or from Messina to Reggio Calabria on Liberty Lines, but I can only find active timetables for the first one.  It's not clear to me if the service to Reggio Calabria is only seasonal or if it has been discontinued.

 

Blu Ferries offers service from Messina to Reggio Calabria but it appears to travel via Villa San Giovanni and it takes longer than getting off at Villa San Giovanni and taking the train from there to the museum:  http://www.bluferries.it/orariautoveicoli.html

 

The service to Villa San Giovanni on Caronte & Tourist is active and there are several runs in each direction every day.  The trip takes about a half hour and it's really inexpensive, just 5 euro round trip.  More info here:   https://carontetourist.it/it/caronte/orari-stretto-di-messina-passeggeri

 

The Riace Warriors are located at the Museo Archeologico di Reggio Calabria, Piazza de Nava, 26, Reggio Calabria.    This is walking distance from the ferry port (1.3k/eight-tenths of a mile) if I could just find a current ferry schedule.

 

Going via Villa San Giovanni, you would walk from the ferry port to the Villa San Giovanni Trenitalia station (500 meters/one third of a mile).  Trenitalia from here to the Reggio di Calabria Lido station is only once per hour and takes about twenty minutes.  From the Reggio di Calabria Lido station to the museum is another short walk of about two minutes, according to the museum's web site:  https://www.museoarcheologicoreggiocalabria.it/how-to-get-to-the-museum/?lang=en

 

 

 

 It would be so easy if we could confirm the Messina to Reggio Calabria ferry -- a 30 minute run.  Adding the train is still doable but with limited runs timing becomes more important. 

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12 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 It would be so easy if we could confirm the Messina to Reggio Calabria ferry -- a 30 minute run.  Adding the train is still doable but with limited runs timing becomes more important. 

 

Yep.  I got frustrated trying to find information on this crossing, I'll try again once the feeling passes!😡

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Okay, I reached out to Liberty Lines and learned that they no longer have this route.  They suggested I try Blu lines, which is the one that goes via Villa San Giovanni.

 

Here's the exact response:

 

Buon pomeriggio dalla Liberty Lines,

 

a seguito della vostra mail siamo spiacenti ma non effettuiamo più tale collegamento, vi suggeriamo di contattare la Compagnia Blue Ferries.

 

Distinti saluti

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1 minute ago, euro cruiser said:

Okay, I reached out to Liberty Lines and learned that they no longer have this route.  They suggested I try Blu lines, which is the one that goes via Villa San Giovanni.

 

Here's the exact response:

 

Buon pomeriggio dalla Liberty Lines,

 

a seguito della vostra mail siamo spiacenti ma non effettuiamo più tale collegamento, vi suggeriamo di contattare la Compagnia Blue Ferries.

 

Distinti saluti

 

Well at least we know. With a long-ish day in Messina it should still be possible. Some ships only give a generous half-day...

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After looking more closely at the timetable, the easy version really only works on Saturdays and Sundays, when there are departures from the close ferry terminal (from the cruise terminal exit south along the waterfront about 700 meters/four-tenths of a mile to the ferry terminal).

 

There are ferries from here on Saturday, Sunday and holiday mornings at 8:10 (arrives 8:40) and 9:40 (arrives 10:10), these take 30 minutes to reach Villa San Giovanni.   Schedule here:  http://www.bluferries.it/orariautoveicoli.html

 

After a quick (about 10 minutes) walk you'd be ready to take the 8:53 (if you're really lucky) or the 9:16 train to Reggio di Calabria Lido.  On Sundays, unfortunately, the second train isn't until 10:16.

 

From Reggio di Calabria Lido to the museum is a five minute walk.

 

So, bottom line is that this is a great option on a Saturday, an okay option on a Sunday, but a bit of a challenge Monday - Friday.

 

On Monday - Friday the departure point for the ferry is called Tremestieri and it's 7.5km/about five miles south of the cruise port, not walkable.  I can see where cars enter this ferry port but I don't see a pedestrian entrance, although I suppose a taxi would know where to take you.

 

 

 

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Or you could simply walk to the Messina Marittima Trenitalia station (750 meters/half mile) and take the train across the Straight and change at Villa San Giovanni.  There is a train at 7:40 AM (arrives to Reggio Calabria Lido at 8:41) and another at 9:25 (arrives 10:37) on weekdays.

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1 hour ago, euro cruiser said:

Or you could simply walk to the Messina Marittima Trenitalia station (750 meters/half mile) and take the train across the Straight and change at Villa San Giovanni.  There is a train at 7:40 AM (arrives to Reggio Calabria Lido at 8:41) and another at 9:25 (arrives 10:37) on weekdays.

 

That sounds easier to me. 

 

Of course (unfortunately) my Med cruise next year is a back-to-back that does more of the Eastern Med. I booked it because Turkey is finally being offered again....  Departs from Venice but no other ports in Italy.

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