8 days – 7 nights
A Renaissance of Taste is an exclusive gourmet & culture tour in Eastern Sicily, for individual travellers and small groups of travel enthusiasts, enjoying good travelling, local culture and people, taste for food and wine, a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, gorgeous landscapes.
Enjoy A Renaissance of Taste, join us!
Mt Etna: Discovery the biggest active volcano in Europe, visit winery and wine tasting
Catania: visit local market & home style cooking class
Scicli & Ragusa: herb garden nursery with cooking class and great Baroque-style architecture
Syracuse: visit Ortigia and the archaeological park
Taormina: visit Greek Theatre
Castelmola: almond wine tasting
ITINERARY & PROGRAM
Day 1: Saturday – Arrival
Arrival at Catania Airport, meet & greet with our assistant and private transfer to our country boutique hotel. Time at disposal. Welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)
Day 2: Sunday – Mt Etna & wine tasting
Superb beginning of the tour with one of the unique Sicilian experiences: a visit to Mt Etna the biggest active volcano in Europe. Don’t be too much impressed if along the way you will see sloping roofs emerging from cold lava flows. You will enjoy the lunar landscape of the craters and be amazed by the power of the nature. You can decide to take the cable-way (optional) OR the off-road buses (optional) to reach 2900 mt to enjoy the emotion of being close to the central crater and the spectacular view from there. Proceed to a top winery at the foothills of the volcano for wine tasting and rustic light lunch. Relax at the winery with your glass of excellent Etna d.o.c. wine. Return to the hotel and dinner on our own. (B, L)
Day 3: Monday – Scicli & Ragusa: the herbs garden nursery and the capital of the Sicilian baroque district
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. The area is the named as 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. First stop is a unique herbs nursery garden located in the countryside of Scicli: here, more than 150 varieties of Mediterranean herbs and spieces are cultivated and the nursery is now a unique benchmark for chefs and gourmands and food lovers. The inspiring tour along pineapple sage, lemon thyme, orange geranium, bergamot mint and many other unusual official herbs and tropical plants will end with a country style aperitif and a fun cooking class. Proceed to Ragusa Ibla, for a short tour of the historical centre of the town. Late return to the hotel. Dinner at client’s charge. (B, L)
Day 4: Tuesday – Catania
Today is entirely devoted to Catania, the second biggest town in Sicily, a true lively town with a Baroque – style charme, the “black-city” from the dark colour of the façade of the buildings made by the black lava stone. Catania is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Special early visit to its colorful and pictoresque fish-market located right in the historical centre, close to the Town Hall and the Cathedral. We will proceed then with a nice walking tour of the town centre to visit the hidden treasures of this special Baroque city. It may happen to stop at a typical chiosco just to refresh with a glass of the local version of soft-drinks. Our lunch with typical finger-food Catanese experience at a local bar: you can’t leave without having tasted the famous local tavola calda and sampled the delights of the pasticceria as cannoli, cassata and mignon pastries. Afternoon at leisure. (B, L)
Day 5: Wednesday – Syracuse
Full-day visit to Syracuse. Our first stop is a winery dating back to 1908, located in a fied that once belonged to the Imperor Frederick II, now producing a quality and rare Moscato di Siracusa. Proceed to the ancient Neapolis, the archaeological park with the most interesting remains of the Graeco-Roman heritage of Syracuse: the Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dyonisus, the Latomie. Finally, here we are downtown with its Baroque-style historical centre located in the island of Ortigia, the Cathedral, former a great temple devoted to Athene, the Fountain of Arethusa planted with papyrus, the Maniace Castle. Lunch at clients’ disposal. Return to the hotel and dinner. (B, D)
Day 6: Thursday – Riviera of the Cyclops & cooking class
Morning departure for a cuisine class to learn the secrets of the most representative recipes of the Sicilian cuisines. Our first stop is a delicatessen in the town of Viagrande: you will be surprised by the incredible variety of cheese, cuts, cold meats, fresh vegetables and other typical Sicilian specialties this shop may offer to a welcoming palate. Our gracious host is a local famous chef and food writer who will welcome us at her private mansion where she holds her cooking school, the most important in Sicily. Each lesson may include a complete menu and the visitor may choose to actively participate to knead pasta, use ingredients, control sauce consistency and so on. Lunch is included.
Proceed for a scenic drive along the Riviera of the Cyclops: Acireale, one of the most interesting Baroque-style towns in Sicily, Acicastello with the ruins of its Norman Castle on a cliff overlooking the sea, Acitrezza the fishermen village linked to the myth of Ulysses and Polyphemus. Return to the hotel. (B, L)
Day 7: Friday – Giardini Naxos, Castelmola, Taormina
Morning at leisure. Afternoon departure to visit some of the most famous tourist places in Sicily: Giardini Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily, Castelmola a small hamlet close to Taormina where it is possible to enjoy an almond wine as aperitif before dinner at the surprising bar Turrisi www.turrisibar.it. Here, don’t be offended by the unusual monothematic theme all around, just enjoy the place and the wine.
Finally, Taormina named the pearl of Sicily for a visit to its Greek Theatre with its breathtaking view over Mt Etna and the Ionian Sea. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Taormina. Late return to the hotel (B, D)
DAY 8: Saturday – Departure
Transfer by your own to the airport and departure.
Meal Legend: A (aperitif) – B (breakfast) – L (lunch) – D (dinner)
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