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We have been to Taormina twice the first time we took the train to from Messini to Giardini Naxos and then a taxi up to Taormina. There is also a bus from nearby the station that goes to Taormina. This time looked at the train timetable and did not want to rush everything so we booked the Taormina and beach excursion on the ship and could recommend this as it was excellent. At Naples it is so easy to catch the hydrofoil to Capri - can also recommend the island of Ischia which is a beautiful island and also you can get there on the hydrofoil. At Civitevecchia we did not go to Rome but walked on the front, went on the beach although pebbly and had a lovely relaxing day. At Livorno took the train to Florence so do not know about a Royal Canal trip. At Villefranche took the local bus onto Nice and then got on the little train that goes from the promenade and it takes you all around Nice. This we could recommend. In Barcelona can recommend getting on the open topped tourist bus to see all the sights. Hope you have a nice holiday.