Cooking in Sicily

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Tour Details

11 nights/12 days

Depart from Palermo and arrive in Taormina

Itinerary

Day 01:PALERMO – MAZARA DEL VALLO

Arrival at Palermo airport. Welcome to our beautiful island. Meet your English speaking driver and be transferred to your hotel in Mazara del Vallo. Accommodation at hotel in Mazara.

Day 02:MAZARA DEL VALLO

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. At the indicated hour, meet your driver to be accompanied to the main food market in Mazara del Vallo going through the fishing port which is one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean Sea. We will then by all the fresh products we will need to participate to the cooking lesson. Enjoy the cooking lesson and receive some of the Sicilian food secrets. After lunch, rest of the day at leisure. Accommodation at hotel in Mazara.

Day 03:MAZARA – SEGESTA – ERICE – MARSALA

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. At the indicated hour, meet your driver and depart to Segesta: visit to the Doric Temple. Continue to Erice, a medieval village located on a top of a hill viewing all the Sicilian Western coast. Walk through the tiny streets and visit some of the monuments as per the Cathedral or the Eryx Castle. We will enter one of the most famous Pastry shop in Erice to taste some almonds sweets. Lunch in a characteristic local restaurant. Continue to Marsala and have a panoramic visit to the city famous for its cellars and the production of Marsala wine. We will then have a wine tasting at the famous Cantine Florio then visit their cellar before to travel back to Mazara del Vallo. Accommodation at your hotel in Mazara.

Day 04:MAZARA – SCIACCA – MONTALLEGRO – AGRIGENTO

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. At the indicated hour transfer to Montallegro to participate to a knowledgeable cooking lesson with one of the best Chefs in Sicily. Enjoy your lunch. In the afternoon Continue to Agrigento. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Accommodation at hotel in Agrigento.

Day 05:AGRIGENTO

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. At the indicated hour, meet your guide for a visit of the Valley of Temples. You will have a private guided tour, with a specialized guide, and the rest of the day is free. The archaeological ruins of the Greek domination are numerous and they were visited and narrated by Goethe in his work Viaggio in Italia In the middle of the valley the most spectacular structure, the Concordia temple, rises surrounded by the ruins of the temples dedicated to Juno, Jupiter, Castor and Pollux, Hercules, Vulcan and Esculapio. Rest of the day at leisure. Accommodation at hotel in Agrigento.

Day 06:AGRIGENTO – PIAZZA ARMERINA – CALTAGIRONE – RAGUSA

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. At the indicated transfer to Piazza Armerina where we will visit the Roman villa del Casale known for its more than 3500 square meter of mosaics which has been declared Unesco patrimony. Time at leisure for lunch. In the afternoon depart to Caltagirone, baroque city where we will have dinner at Donnafugata’s cellar to taste also the regional wines like Nerello Mascalese or Cerasuolo de Vittoria. Overnight in Ragusa.

Day 07:SCICLI AND MODICA, COOKING LESSON

Meeting with your driver – guide at the hotel, pick up and departure to Modica for your cooking lesson followed by lunch. In the afternoon you will have a guided visit of the Baroque towns of Scicli and Modica. Modica is also famous for its chocolate still produced with the ancient Aztec method learned by Spanish, we will find there the most ancient chocolate factory in Sicily and we will have a chocolate tasting. Modica has also some of the world’s best ice cream and produces flavours such as jasmine, tangerine, rose. Scicli is a small Baroque village perched on a hilltop, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then transfer back to your hotel in Ragusa, dinner at leisure.

Day 08:RAGUSA

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning dedicated to a guided visit of Ragusa an unusual two towns combined into one municipality in 1926. Lower Ragusa, known as Ibla, was the ancient city, rebuilt after suffering heavy damage due to the infamous 1693 earthquake that devastated south-eastern Sicily. Upper Ragusa, is the main part of the new city built on the ridge across from the old city of lbla after the earthquake. Due to the fact that upper Ragusa was built in the early 1700s, most of its churches and main buildings were constructed in the Baroque and Neo-Classical Styles. Lunch and afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Ragusa.

Day 09:RAGUSA – SYRACUSE

Breakfast at the Hotel. Pick up from the hotel and travel by car and English speaking driver to your Hotel in Syracuse. Check in at the Hotel. Lunch at leisure. In the afternoon meet your Guide at the Hotel lobby for a Syracuse Private Guided Tour. Syracuse, splendid and magnificent, in the classic age was the richest and the most powerful among the Hellenic towns in Sicily and some archaeological ruins testify the former glory. Visit the superb Archaeological Museum Paolo Orsi, which displays an important and well organized collection of items covering the late prehistoric period up to the Magna Grecia era. Stroll through the archaeological park of Neapolis, admiring one of the largest of all surviving Greek Theatres, a Roman amphitheatre built to allow for gladiators ‘sporting’ activities, which the Greek theatre could not accommodate, and the Ear of Dionysius, a huge cavern shaped in a way that gives it surprising acoustic properties. A great many legends are associated with this cave. In Ortigya, you will stop at many important sites such as the ruins of the Apollo Temple, the famed Arethusa fountain and the Piazza del Duomo, certainly one of the most suggestive Italian Baroque piazza. Overnight in Syracuse.

Day 10:SYRACUSE – CATANIA – TAORMINA

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. Meet your driver at the Hotel lobby to transfer you to your Hotel in Taormina. On route meet your Private Guide to explore Catania. You will visit the Roman Amphitheatre, built using basaltic dark lava stones, at a lower level than the baroque town. You will see archaeological finds showing you the layers below the baroque town, dating back to the Roman period, the University Palace with its lovely courtyard decorated with Etna pebble mosaic, The Cathedral (fortress church), two of the “Seven Doors” protecting S. Agatha’s treasure and the famous “candelora”, in full silver sculptured by hands and carried on people’s shoulders around town during the patron saint’s celebration. You will find an abundance of quaint shops, boutiques, very tempting cafeterias, with unique Sicilian ricotta or almond and pistachio cookies or traditional Gelato. You will visit the “Pescheria”, the open fish market with all the fishermen shouting their prices. In the heart of this colorful and picturesque open market, just in front of a typical “bancarella” (fish stall) you can taste some fried fresh fish matched with the best of Sicilian DOC wine. After Lunch in a local characteristic restaurant continue to Taormina to spend rest of day at leisure. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 11:MOUNT ETNA – TAORMINA

Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver and Guide at the hotel lobby. This morning visit Mt Etna Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes in Europe. You will reach 2.000 meters (7.000 ft) where you can admire and take a walk on the “Silvestri” craters (1892) and the latest new lava flows and craters from 2001/2002/2003 – Eruptions of Etna follow a variety of patterns. Most occur at the summit, where there are currently (as of 2008) six distinct craters: the Northeast Crater, the Voragine, the Bocca Nuova, and the Southeast Crater. Other eruptions occur on the flanks, which have more than 300 vents ranging in size from small holes in the ground to large craters hundreds of metres across. Summit eruptions can be highly explosive and spectacular, but rarely threaten the inhabited areas around the volcano. You will then visit a local family farm where it is possible to taste local Etna wine, a selection of different types of honey (orange, lemon, eucalyptus, strawberry…), almond pastries, olives, and extra virgin olive oil. Driving down from Mount Etna through wonderful scenery with photo stops at the most beautiful locations; you will visit the Piazza Belvedere (Lookout square) where you will have a breathtaking view of Isolabella (Beautiful Island) and the Messina coast line. We will then take you to the historical centre of Taormina. The gods must have been smiling on Taormina, because this Sicilian town has been blessed with heavenly beauty. Taormina, the ancient Taurominum, is a spot of infinite loveliness, the land of Dolce far niente – of sweet do nothing. The town lies in an elevated position of amazing, almost unique beauty, affording magnificent views combining sea and sky of a marvelous blue, miles of a curving coastline and picturesque mountain scenery, while the majestic pyramid of Mt. Etna on one side constitutes a scene of indescribable beauty. Upon arrival we will visit the most impressive monument of the city: the Greco-Roman Theatre. It has the finest site of any theatre in the world and one of the most striking monuments of antiquity. We continue our walking tour to the Villa Comunale: the public gardens which are planted with a huge variety of flowering plants and shrubs ranging from the most common to the exotic, your guide will be able to describe you all the botanical curiosity. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 12:TAORMINA – PALERMO AIRPORT

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. At the indicated hour, transfer to Palermo airport. End of our services. Arrivederci Sicilia!!