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Old 08-20-2006, 04:24 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 257

Messina, Sicily is one of the ports on our 10/29 cruise from Venice to Galveston on the Splendour of the Seas. Taormina is highly recommended. There is a ship excursion to Mount Etna and Taormina. Any ideas or recommendations as to an individual tour (or by ourselves using train or bus transportation). As of now it looks like we will be in Messina for 9 hours.


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Old 08-22-2006, 05:11 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 11
My husband and I just did an excursion on Celebrity that took us to Taormina and Mt. Etna. It was absolutely fabulous. We were also only in Messina for 9 hours, so I thought booking the tour would help maximize our sight-seeing time. It was truly phenomenal. The tour took us to see the Greek Theater in Taormina, and we had a little time to do some shopping. Found a 19th century cameo ring in an antique shop. We traveled up Mt. Etna to 6,000 ft and had lunch on the volcano overlooking a series of craters. Then we had time to walk around and down into a crater. Looked like Mars up there. All of our photos were stolen after that, on a train back in Rome. But I can still visualize the beauty. I would do this same excursion in a heartbeat. Bring warm clothes if you do this excursion. We were there in August, and it was warm at sea level and felt like 40 degrees at 6,000 ft above sea level.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 08-22-2006, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Valley Center, CA 92082
Posts: 2,362
Fruby, I would suggest taking the ship's tour here. While the train station is only about a 20-minute walk from the port, the schedule is such that it is difficult to get to Taormina and back with any kind of comfort zone. The bus is a local run and can take hours each way.

The Mt. Etna / Taormina tour has gotten rave reviews. This is one of the few where I would take the ship's excursion.

Have a great day in Messina.

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Old 08-24-2006, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 751
Another option is to simply rent a car in Messina and drive to Taormina. This gives you a little more flexibility to go to other places (such as Mt Etna or some other villages) and, assuming you have 4 in the car, its cheaper than taking the cruise line's bus. I agree with Tom about the train. Its somewhat of a pain because the Taormina station is on the coast below the city and you still need to get transportation to the town.

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