Fastest journey6hr 44m
Taking the train from Naples to Taormina in Sicily is extremely easy, but it’s not fast. The trip from Naples to Taormina takes just under 7 hours on the two direct day trains and a bit longer by direct night train. You’ll be rewarded by some fabulous coastal scenery, so consider a daytime train if you have the time. These trains are usually much cheaper than the overnight service.
Sit on the right side of the train for the best views. The train skirts Vesuvius on the route out of Naples. Heading south, the railway plays cat and mouse with the wild Cilento coast, here and there diving down to the sea before retreating inland. Once into Calabria, the line more consistently hugs the coast. At Villa San Giovanni, the entire train rolls onto a ship for the short crossing to Sicily. Dry land is reached at Messina, from where it is just 40 minutes down the coast to Taormina.
Bookings for the journey from Naples to Taormina normally open about three months prior to travel, and that's when you'll find the cheapest tickets.
Naples to Taormina
All trains to Sicily depart from Naples Centrale station. You'll arrive at Taormina Giardini station which is on the coast just south of Taormina itself. The station is notable for its tilework. It’s a good glimpse of Taormina style.
Trenitalia Intercity trains run two times per day from Naples to Taormina. In addition there is a direct overnight service. The daytime trains make four intermediate stops on the mainland while travelling south from Naples to the ferry terminal for Sicily. The ferry lets you catch the sea breeze before the short final part of the journey from the port of Messina down to Taormina. All in all, this rates as one of Europe’s finest rail rides.
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Image credits: Taormina, Sicily by Luca Volpi