(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Sicily, Italy - 7 nights
Available year round (excluding August)
Discover the secrets of Sicily with this unforgettable seven night experience. Stay in three different accommodations while immersing yourself in the tastes and flavors of this very special land. Take hands-on cooking classes with wonderful instructors, including a Duchess and the famous Eleonora Consoli's daughter, Monica, visit areas of interest including The Valley of the Temples and enjoy the culinary side of Sicily! You will be pleasantly surprised at how much Sicily has to offer.
You will visit the historical food market of Palermo with a Duchess and admire the most important points of interest all around Sicily, taste fabulous wines and learn to cook "Sicilian" style.
Palermo, Monreale, Erice, Segesta, Agrigento, Taormina and Siracusa are also on the itinerary with a visit to a special pastry shop and two famous wineries. A culinary experience is awaiting you in beautiful Sicilia!
Arrival Day: Fly into Palermo International Airport (Punta Raisi)
Departure Day: Fly out of Catania International Airport (Fontana Rossa)
Day One - Arrival in Palermo
Upon your arrival at Palermo International Airport you will be met and transferred by private car to your charming four star hotel.
After checking in you are free to relax and unwind. Dinner will be on your own.
Day Two - Palermo, food market and Monreale
Breakfast in hotel and then meet the Duchess of Palma. Follow the Duchess in a fascinating itinerary through Sicilian culture and cuisine. You will have a morning visit to the Capo market, the oldest in Palermo, where we will buy fresh seasonal ingredients, chosen amidst the colouful stalls glowing with fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, resounding with the "abbanniate", the sellers’ cries to attract customers. You will see foods you have never seen before! Then a short stroll home to savour the hidden beauty of Palermo, one of the most intriguing and mysterious cities of the Mediterranean, will take us past the baroque magnificence of the Quattro Canti along via Alloro to the luxuriant exuberance of Piazza Marina garden and the austere majesty of the Norman palazzo Chiaramonte. Once home, the spacious kitchen of the palazzo by the sea, comprising of the warmth of the shining old copper pots together with the coolness of the blue and white Sicilian tiles, welcomes us. Finally, our Sicilian fare will be enjoyed in the magnificent dining room of the palazzo, together with the Duchess.
After lunch you will meet your local guide to visit the most important monuments of Palermo as Quattro Canti (the Four Corners), Palermo’s extravagant baroque square and the twelfth-century Cathedral of Palermo. Transfer to Monreale, where you will admire the Arab-Norman magnificence of the Cathedral. Return to hotel and overnight stay.
Day Three - Segesta and Erice
Breakfast and departure for Segesta, an ancient village in the Western part of Sicily, to visit its magnificent Greek Theatre and Doric Temple, masterpieces of Greek architecture in Sicily. Transfer to Erice, a wonderful and mysterious medieval town. Walking through the cobble – stoned streets of the town, you will see the Norman Castle and the Duomo. Stopping at the world famous pastry shop “Maria Grammatico”, you will taste almond sweets, genovesi and nougat to match with Marsala wine.
Lunch on your own. After lunch, visit of Donnafugata Winery for a visit of the cellars and a wine tasting of their best wines.
Finally you will drive out to the Salt Pans located on the coastline between the cities of Trapani and Marsala. Locals extract the salt from the seawater following the same procedure used by the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians who once colonized this part of the Sicily. We will visit the windmills used to move the salt through the pans.
Arrive in Agrigento at a beaufitul olive estate. The farm stands out among the colors and fragrances of the immense olive groves which surround it. We suggest having dinner at their restaurant (not included). Overnight stay.
DAY FOUR - VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES AND COOKING CLASS AND OLIVE OIL
Breakfast at the olive estate. Depart for Agrigento to visit on your own the beautiful Valley of the Temples, one of the most representative sites of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean area. You can visit to the Temple of Hercules, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the wonderful Temple of Concord and finally the beautiful Garden of Kolymbetra. Lunch on your own in Agrigento.
During the afternoon we will roll up our sleeves and join a cooking class with your hostess. On the menu..? perhaps some Cavatelli all’agrigentina with eggplant and basil, one of the most ancient Sicilian dishes. We will also learn to cook panelle with chickpea sour, fritto di latte and finally a typical cake.
Before dinner we will meet with the owner of the olive estate to visit the farm, the olive tree groves, and the oil press. We will learn how to distinguish between 4 different kinds of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Dinner is included. (beverages not included) Overnight stay.
DAY FIVE - SIRACUSA AND TAORMINA
Breakfast at the farm and departure for Siracusa. Until the Arab conquest of 878, the city was the capital of Sicily. It was by far the most important city on the island. On your own, you will visit the Ear of Dyonisus, the Greek Theatre, the Altare di Ierone. Walk through the historical center on the Ortigia Island to admire the Cathedral, constructed over the ancient Temple of Athena, the Aretusa fountain and the ancient streets.
We suggest to have lunch at the exclusive restaurant Don Camillo.
Transfer to your charming four star hotel in Taormina and walk through the historical center of this beautiful town, famous for its Greek-Roman Amphitheatre. Dinner on your own. Overnight stay.
DAY SIX - cooking with MONICA consoli and wine tasting
Breakfast at hotel. Departure for Viagrande. During the tour you will admire the beautiful volcanic landscape of the biggest European volcano. You will meet Monica, the famous Eleonora's daughter, in her La Cucina del Sole (The Sun’s Kitchen). Eleonora has written several cookbooks on Sicilian gastronomy and she was an official expert on Sicilian cooking in the world. Her daughter will do a hands-on cooking class, teaching the class several classic Sicilian dishes. Your lunch will be spent with Monica in her home.
During the afternoon you will explore with your driver escort the Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. There is hardly a more fascinating mountain with its unique combination of nature and the uncontrollable essence of fire. Finally transfer to Barone di Villagrande, an ancient estate located on the slopes of the volcano Etna. You will meet with the owner to visit the winery and taste their best wines.
Return to Taormina and overnight stay.
DAY SEVEN - TAORMINA AT LEISURE
Breakfast at hotel. Today you will be free to enjoy Taormina, Sicily’s most famous city. Dating from the fourth and third centuries B.C., Taormina is perched dramatically high on a rocky promontory overlooking the Ionian Sea. It is a charming medieval town with typical cobblestoned streets leading into spacious squares. You can admire the extraordinary classical Greco-Roman theater and the historical center.
Dinner on your own. Overnight stay. (no services on this day)
DAY EIGHT - ARRIVEDERCI
Breakfast and departure for Catania International Airport.
*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Palermo Airport Punta Raisi (33km - 35 minutes from first accommodation)
Catania Airport Fontana Rossa (60km - 40 minutes from last accommodation)
DOUBLE ROOM - SELF DRIVE VERSION
*Please inquire about lower pricing for 4 or more persons
PRICE PER PERSON IN DOUBLE ROOM WITH ENGLISH SPEAKING DRIVER AND PRIVATE CAR (AIRPORT TRANSFERS AND DAY TWO THROUGH SIX)
*Please inquire about lower pricing for 4 or more persons
*Inquire about Christmas and Easter options/supplement applicable
**Supplement for tourist guides on request
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% deposit per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
*Two (2) nights' accommodation at Four Star Hotel **** in Palermo (4 Star)
*Two (2) nights' accommodation at an Olive Oil Estate **** near Agrigento (beverages not included) (4 Star)
*Three (3) nights' accommodation at Four Star Hotel **** in Taormina (4 Star)
*Accommodations in classic room
*Cooking class in Palermo with lunch and beverages
*Cooking class at the olive oil estate with dinner and olive oil tasting
*Cooking class with Monica Consoli with lunch and beverages
*Visit and wine tasting at Pastry Shop, Donnafugata & Barone di Villagrande Winery
*Tourist guide in Palermo and Monreale (4 hours)
*Entrance fees in Palermo and Monreale
*Individual extras and suggested lunches
*Entrance fees and tips
*Beverages at olive oil estate
*All has not been clearly indicated in “The price includes”
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Elissa F., Cambridge, Massachusetts
"Our stay in Sicily was wonderful. Amazing food, wine, sights. In November the weather is mild and no tourists! Our cooking lessons were a pleasure."
Tim and Marianne
"Thank you for a wonderful itinerary on our recent trip to Sicily, it was the best vacation we have ever taken! Again, our thanks and warm regards."
"Well, we are back in the states after a wonderful trip to Sicilia. The trip was a great pleasure! The tour guides were all excellent! You were always available to help and answer our questions and attempt to smooth out any problems. You are a delightful person and a true asset to your company!
We look forward to our future visits to Sicilia! With warm regards"
"We had a marvelous journey to Sicily. Massaria Rosselle is a lovely quiet place and Mandranova is a magical place where the hosts are exceptional. Silvia was there to cook with us, she is a excellent chef. We spent at least four hours preparing a variety of delicious dishes for twenty guests. Her almond cake with only four ingredients is to die for. Our guides were knowledgeable, kind and gracious. Accommodations were lovely. Cooking classes were fun and informative. We were amazed at the generous amount of olive oil used to prepare Sicilian dishes...and so many delicious sweets and potatoes (as well as pasta). Many thanks for arranging a memorable journey to Sicily for my daughter and me.
"Thank you again for all your hard work in making such a wonderful vacation for Sue and I. We had the best of times and have been telling all our friends about our trip.
Thank you so very much."
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*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.