Europe's last remaining train ferry service is used by the direct trains as they cross from the Italian mainland to the island of Sicily.
Also once the train is south of Salerno, this becomes Europe's most stunningly beautiful coastal railway journey!
Though an alternative to taking the direct trains is to use a combination of a train and a fast ferry, and taking this option has become easier recently, thanks to an increase in the number of rail + sea connections.
Final Destination: Palermo/Siracusa
All trains also call at: Villa San Giovanni
The Alternative Journey option:
You can travel from Roma to Messina in around less than 7 hours if you take one of the now much more frequent Frecce trains from Roma to Villa San Giovanni and then connect there into a fast ferry for a 20 minute crossing to Messina.
Though will also need to purchase separate tickets for the fast ferry, book the rail journey to Villa S.Giovanni
2 x trains per day
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date; though this period of time can be shorter, particularly when searching for journeys more than three months ahead during October and March.
These Intercity are the only direct trains from Rome to Messina and they are usually scheduled to depart from Roma Termini at around 07:26 and 11:26.
If you use the 'other search options' link on the home page, you can access the 'solutions without changing' facility, which will make these direct trains easier to find.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|Italia rail||from €19.90|
The InterCity train will be loaded on to a train ferry for the sea crossing to Sicily, the ticket price includes the ferry crossing.
This is now the only train ferry service in Europe used by daytime trains.
The air-conditioning etc will be disconnected when the engine is separated from the train on arrival at Villa San Giovanni, so in summer temperatures on the train will rise.
The fascinating procedure in which the train is pushed on the ferry should take around 25 minutes.
For the 40 min sea crossing you can leave the train and travel on the passenger deck on the ferry; in the summer you'll be relieved to escape the heat.
Take food and drink with you on this journey, there are no on-board catering facilities available on Intercity trains.
Step on board and experience one of Europe's most beautiful and fascinating 'train' journeys.
So fabulous that the part of the journey south of Napoli/Naples, which equates to 90% of the trip, has been included on The Guardian's pick of the world's best rail journeys.
The train will be loaded on to Europe's last remaining train ferry for the sea crossing to Sicily.
There are great coastal views for much of the train journey, particularly if you take the first train of the day from Roma.
Between Napoli and Villa San Giovanni the views will be on the right; when facing the direction of travel...
The train will reverse direction on departure from Napoli.
Help keep us advertising and paywall free!Donate
This second version of ShowMeTheJourney is exciting and new, so we are genuinely thrilled that you are here and reading this, but we also need your help.
We’re striving not to let anything get in the way of providing the most useful service possible, hence a facility has been set up with DonorBox which can be used to support the running costs and make improvements.
Instead of advertising or paywalls, your financial support will make a positive difference to delivering an enhanced service, as there’s a lot of ideas which we want to make happen.
So if you have found the info provided here to be useful, please consider saying thank you.
This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.