Wine & gourmet lovers of Sicily
Wine can of their wits the wise beguile; make the sage frolic, and the serious smile”
Homer 900 B.C.
Sicily its a wide region, a world of its own.
For wine, food and life lovers, a complete gourmet experience in this unique Mediterranean island.
Gourmet restaurants and typical trattorias, local delicacies, outstading wines.
The greatest collection of Sicilian monuments and architecture. Breathtaking landcapes and sceneries.
The truly Sicilian experience, the truly Sicilian flavours.
The best Sicily can offer.
Mt Etna: Discovery the biggest active volcano in Europe, visit winery and wine tasting
Chiaramonte Gulfi: visit winery & wine tasting
Ragusa: Baroque-style town, wine tasting
Modica: Baroque-style town, pastry shop
Marzamemi: impressive old tuna factory and tuna fish tasting
Noto: Capital of the Baroque distric, pastry shop
Syracuse: Ortigia and the archaeological park
Catania: fish market market, granita tasting, cooking class, Riviera of the Cyclops
Taormina: Greek Theatre, world-famous Mediterranean Resort, shopping
Piazza Armerina: Roman Villa del Casale and its world-famous ancient mosaics
Agrigento: world-famous Valley of the Temples
Castelvetrano: olive oil class
Selinunte: world-famous archaeological park
Marsala: wine tasting at top winery
Erice: Medieval village & pastry shop
Monreale: Norman Cathedral and Cloister
Palermo: Capital of Sicily, tasting of typical local specialties
ITINERARY & PROGRAM
Day 1- Catania
Arrival of participants at Catania Airport and transfer to the hotel in Catania area. Welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)
Day 2 – Mt. Etna – Cooking class
Departure to the south-east side of Mt Etna, the biggest active volcano in Europe, an exciting and fascinatingworld of its own, constantly shaped by lava-flows conditioning the landscape as well as the life of those who live in the several villages at its bottom. Afterwards, visit of a winery in a privileged position on the south-east slopes of Mount Etna. The owners are an important noble family of ancient origins. Their vineayards produce excellent Etna d.o.c. red and white wines as well as a delicious Malvasia delle Lipari, the wine of Gods. We will be their guests for wine tasting and rustic lunch.
Return to the hotel and time at disposal.
In the late afternoon, a cooking class at one of the most famous cooking schools to learn how to cook typical Sicilian dishes. Our famous chef is pleased to introduce Sicilian cuisine and the still-alive value of a culinary tradition to any beginner or accomplished cook. According to this tradition of bounty and simplicity cooking and meals are occasions to live joyfully and share important moments with relatives and friends.
The classe is held in her lava-stone made home in Viagrande, one of the most characteristic villages on the slopes of Mt. Etna and is based on the most typical recipes of the area.
Dinner will follow.
Return to the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 3- Catania – Riviera of the Cyclops – Taormina
Morning visit to the Baroque-style town of Catania and to its coloured and lively fish market in the heart of the historical center. Special Catanese brunch with typical Sicilian style street-food at a local bar: arancini, granite, cannoli. Back to the hotel to get ready for our evening excursion.
Before reaching Taormina, a scenic drive along the coast through the villages of the Riviera of the Cyclops: Acicastello with the ruins of the Norman Castle on a cliff to the sea and Acitrezza linked to the myth of Ulysses and Polyphemus.
Taormina is considered one of the jewels of Sicily. We’ll visit the truly magnificent Greek Theatre built in Hellenistic times and then almost completely reconstructed by the Romans. With the panoramic view of Mt. Etna and the sea, it is the second largest classical theatre in Sicily. Dinner will be at a local gourmet restaurant in Taormina.
Return to the hotel in Catania area. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Chiaramonte Gulfi – Ragusa
Early departure to Ragusa area, known as the “white province” after the limestone which dominates undisputed all over: in the baroque-style of the palazzi and in the dry-stone walls of the countryside. Ragusa is one of the most important towns of the Sicilian Baroque District, proclaimed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage.
Ragusa area is located in the very south-east side of Sicily where the African flavour can be breathe deeply along with the architectural shapes, the vegetation – olive-groves, carobs, almond trees, vineyards – and the red, yellow and ochre colours of the landscapes.
We will visit first one of the best Sicilian wineries located in Charamonte Gulfi area, producing outstanding Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Nero d’Avola wines. Lunch will be served in their elegant Locanda along with a selection of their wines.
Then, onto Ragusa Ibla, for a short tour of the histocial centre of the town. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation.
Dinner will be at a famous two star Michelin restaurant in Ragusa.
Accommodaton at the hotel in Ragusa. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Modica – Pachino – Noto – Siracusa
Departure to Modica for a short visit of the town and of one of the oldest cake-shop in the area, to taste superbe delicacies such us the traditional local chocolate. Proceed to Pachino area, the southest part of Sicily and of all Europe, southern than Tunis, a charming place which seems to be still immersed in past times. Our lunch will be an informal tasting based on the tuna fish delicacies and Pachino cherry tomatoes, both typical products of this area. Continue to Noto, the Capital of the Baroque-style District. We suggest a stop to the local Caffé Sicilia for another thriumph of Sicilian delicacies.
Then, onto Syracuse and accommodation at the hotel. Walking tour of Ortigia, the historical centre of Syracuse. Dinner is at your own and we suggest to discover one of the several restaurants in the historical centre of Ortigia. (B, L)
Day 6 – Syracuse
Day devoted to discover Syracuse. Morning time at the archaeological park, the ancient Neapolis, where the most interesting remains of the Graeco-Roman heritage of Syracuse are to be visit: the Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dyonisus, the Latomie.
Lunch will be at a small winery located close to Syracuse producing the legendary Moscato di Siracusa doc, the oldest wine in the world. The estate is impressive as includes a small castle dating back to Frederick II of Swabia.
After lunch, proceed to Ortigia, the Baroque-style historical centre, to visit the Cathedral, former a great temple devoted to Athene, the Galleria Bellomo with its Annucniazione by Antonello da Messina and the Badia of St. Lucy with the Bury of St. Lucy by Caravaggio. Time at disposal for shopping and strolling around. Dinner is at your disposal. (B, L)
Day 7 – Piazza Armerina –Agrigento
Early departure to Piazza Armerina for a morning visit of the Roman Villa del Casale with its splendid mosaics, one of the most outstanding archaeological testimonies of the Roman Sicily of the Imperial Age. Lunch is at gourmet restaurant in the area. Proceed to Agrigento to visit the impressive Valley of the Temples: the Temple of Juno, of Concord, of Heracles, of Zeus and the Tomb of Theron. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner is at the hotel restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Agrigento – Castelvetrano – Selinunte
Early departure for an olive oil class and rustic lunch in Castelvestrano area, mostly devoted to olive oil and wine production. The owners produce one of the top Sicilian extra-virging olive oils.
After lunch, proceed to visit the archaeological park of Selinunte, one of the widest archaeological area in Europe.
Accommodation at a local winery hotel in the area which seems like a typical hamlet of rural houses placed on the hill to watch over the vineyards but offers you a high standard of pure Sicilian hospitality.
Wine tasting and dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Marsala – Erice – Palermo
Departure to Marsala where we will visit the two of the most famous Sicilian wineries among which the historical Florio winery famous for its Marsala dessert wine. A rustic lunch will be served in one of the wineries along with wine tasting. After lunch, departure to Erice a very well preserved Medieval town located on the top of Monte San Giuliano, enjoying a splendid view over the Aegadi Islands. A stop at famous Pasticceria Grammatico is included to taste the typical almond pastries of the area made according to the old rules of the convents. On the way we’ll pass along the salt pans area where still natural salt is produced. Proceed Palermo, accommodation at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Monreale – Palermo
Departure to visit Monreale and Palermo the capital of Sicily area and of its unvaluable treasures. The impressive Norman Cathedral in Monreale was built under Kind Willian II around 1175 its walls decorated with the most complete cycle of mosaics in the Byzantine tradition. Proceed to Palermo to enjoy the treasures of the Capital of Sicily: the Palatine Chapel, the Arab-Norman Cathedral, the Teatro Massimo the famous Opera House, the Four Corners of the City. Typical Palermitani lunch at a local Focacceria and farewell dinner at a restaurant in Mondello. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – San Cipirello & Piana degli Albanesi
Our last day in Sicily will be entirely devoted to discover the wines of Palermo area those belonging to the Monreale d.o.c. wine routes. Our first stop is San Cipirello, here the winery is we will visit is one of the biggest in Sicily holding about 300 hectares distributed among Corleone, Campofiorito and Mazara del Vallo areas. We will enjoy a complete wine and gastronomy experience with lunch.
After lunch, departure to Piana degli Albanesi. The town is the most important and populous Arbëreshë community in Sicily and it is the episcopal see of the Byzantine Catholic Church. The community has maintained many ethnic elements of Albanian culture like language, religious ritual, traditional costumes, music and folklore. The inhabitants are the descendants of Albanian families, including nobles and relatives of Skanderbeg, that settled in Southern Italy during the Ottoman Turkish conquest of the Balkans. The municipal government uses bilingual documents and signs in Albanian and Italian under existing Italian legislation on protecting ethnic and linguistic minorities. This town is famous for producing the best Sicilian cannoli, so we can’t miss a stop at a local pastry shop for a delicious tasting. Then, visit to a local winery belonging to one of the most important Italian noble families who in 1997 decided to turn his love for Sicily into a tribute for Sicilian wines.
Return to Palermo and farewell dinner.
Day 12 – Departure
Transfer to Palermo airport for departure. (B)
General info: “Wine & Gourmet Lovers of Sicily” is an escorted trip. It is a group tour available on request for small groups up to maximum 16-20 participants. It starts at the hotel in Catania area and end at the hotel in Palermo area. It is designed to create a good comfort and let participants enjoy Sicily at best. Accommodation provided is first-class, strategically located. The food is always typical Sicilian, with a blend of regional Sicilian delicacies and top wines. Transportation is top quality. Your tour escort is qualified, pleasant and with a long experience in the field.
Departures & Prices: from Catania, available all year-round on request
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