Fastest journey17hr 43m
The overnight train from Milan to Sicily runs every night and is an excellent option for reaching the town of Taormina on Sicily’s east coast. The train also transports sleeping cars and couchettes from Milan direct to other towns in Sicily: Cefalù, Catania, Palermo and Syracuse.
The night train from Milan to Taormina first runs south to reach the coast at Genoa. It then broadly follows the west coast for the entire length of Italy down to Villa San Giovanni where the train is shipped onto a ferry for the short sea crossing to Sicily.
If you don’t fancy the idea of such a long overnight journey, it is also possible to travel by daytime trains from Milan to Taormina, usually with just one change of train along the way. Take a high-speed train from Milan to either Naples or Salerno, connecting at one of these stations for an onward Intercity train to Sicily. Whichever route you choose for your train journey from Milan to Sicily, bookings normally open about two months prior to travel, and that's when you'll find the cheapest tickets.
Milan to Taormina (night train)
The night train to Sicily departs from Milano Centrale around eight in the evening. You have a choice of either couchette or sleeping car on this Intercity Notte service. The latter is more comfortable and therefore a better choice for the long journey.
This train stops during the evening at a number of places along the Ligurian and Tuscan coast to pick up passengers. These stops include Genoa, Pisa and Livorno. The train then runs without stop for some hours to allow passengers to sleep. By the following morning, you’ll be running down the coast of Calabria as the train heads to the ferry bound for Sicily. The train slips on board the ferry and within an hour you are in Sicily. The train then tracks south down the coast of Sicily to Taormina.
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Image credits: Taormina, Sicily by Luca Volpi