We will be in southern Italy for a week before we travel to Sicily for a second week. Train or ferry? We found transportation on Trenitalia from Naples to Messina for 9 euros per person on an intercity train, super economy. Seems very cheap and not sure what super economy means. Would having full size suitcases be a problem? Any suggestions on best way to get Sicily would be appreciated. The ferry runs overnight and we heard the cabins are very tiny.
Super economy is what it says - cheap tickets. Trenitalia used a multi-tier pricing system. For the earliest purchasers there will be the super economy, just a few, when those are sold, the pricing moves up to the next level and so on. These tickets are no change and non-refundable. So be sure of your schedule when you book them.
Linda, Another option for travel from Naples to Sicily would be a flight via Volotea or Alitalia to Palermo. Regarding the train tickets, tickets for the "premium" trains such as the Freccia high speed trains are usually offered in three tiers - Super Economy, Economy and Base. These will include reservations where required, and will be specific for a particular train and departure time. As you've noted, Super Economy is the cheapest but understandably these often sell out quickly. The pricing then moves up to the next level and finally to the Base level (kind of like the "sliding scale" used by budget airlines). Tickets on the slower Regionale trains are usually the same cost (no discount for buying in advance), so there's no benefit to buying them in advance. Tickets for Regionale trains MUST be validated prior to boarding the train, or you'll risk being fined on the spot! Full sized suitcases will NOT be a problem on the trains. You'll either place large luggage items in the rack at the end of the car, or in the racks above your seat (if they'll fit and if you can lift them). Best way to get to Sicily - quickest will be via a 55 minute flight, cheapest will be via 9 hour train journey (using Palermo as destination). If you can't get Super Economy tickets, Economy are only €29 and Base €56.50, so that's likely still the cheapest. Happy travels!
Linda, from Naples you can fly to Catania or Palermo. Last year I did it for about 100 euro (one way). You'll have to check your bags, the overhead bins on most domestic planes are very small. That super-economy fare may be gone by now, keep checking if your dates are flexible and you want to take the train. It's a long haul.