This twelve-day itinerary features a grand tour of the most spectacular sights, towns and foods in Sicily. It is a cultural and culinary adventure that begins in the capital city of Palermo, and winds its way through Monreale, Erice, Trapani, Agrigento, Castrofilippo (for a day of cooking and eating with a local family), then on to Ragusa, Modica, Catania, and Taormina. We visit markets to sample famous street food, explore Greek ruins, scale Mt. Etna (via cable car!), learn how to make chocolate in the ancient Spanish tradition, discover how to harvest salt, and sample famous Marsala and Mt. Etna wines. We savour lunch in some of the most unique venues where the people are gracious and generous in sharing their traditions with us. We travel by private coach and get immersed in the rich history of the island, thanks to our fabulous local English-speaking guides. Our accommodations are 3-4 star locations and include hearty breakfasts that fuel our daily adventures. We save some time for exploration, especially in the evenings.
A CULTURAL & CULINARY ADVENTURE – May 11 to 23, 2018
Example of our 12 Day Itinerary*
Day 1: DEPART FOR ITALY
Day 2: WELCOME TO PALERMO, SICILY
Arrive in Palermo, Sicily. Private group transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner provided. Overnight in Palermo.
Day 3: PRIVATE TOUR OF PALERMO & MONREALE
After breakfast, we experience a private guided tour of Palermo and lunch on its famous street food. Then a guided visit to Monreale, historic and picturesque hill-town, beautiful mosaics in the stunning Norman Cathedral. Dinner on your own with overnight in Palermo.
Day 4: THE MEDIEVAL HILLTOWN OF ERICE & TOUR OF TRAPANI
After breakfast we have a leisurely guided visit to Erice the exquisite medieval hilltown in the Trapani province, famous for almond biscuits and pastries, medieval churches, and quaint café-bars. Lunch included. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Trapani.
Day 5: FOOD & WINE TASTING IN MARSALA – PRIVATE TOUR OF TRAPANI SALT FIELDS
Breakfast in hotel. Guided tour of Marsala, home of the famous Marsala wine. Winery visit with food and wine tasting. Lunch included. Tour of Salt Fields. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Trapani.
Day 6: SICILIAN COOKING DAY IN CASTROFILIPPO
After breakfast in our hotel we travel to Castrofilippo for a culinary experience at Osteria del Cacciatore (Tavern of the Hunter). Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and experience the essence of Sicilian cooking and eating, with local ingredients and family recipes. Lunch included. Overnight in Agrigento.
Check out this YouTube video to get a glimpse of the people you will cook with. COOKING IN CASTROFILIPPO
Day 7: HERITAGE WALKING TOUR OF TWO UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES – AGRIGENTO & VILLA ROMANA DEL CASALE
After breakfast we experience a guided tour of the Greek temples in Agrigento, UNESCO World Heritage Centre where we will visit the Valley of the Temples and learn about the architectural history of the area. After lunch (included), we travel to Piazza Amerina to visit the Villa Romana del Casale, a majestic Imperial villa, with mosaics considered to be the most beautiful and best-preserved of their kind. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We then travel on to Ragusa. The evening is at your leisure. Overnight in Ragusa.
Day 8: PRIVATE WALKING TOUR OF RAGUSA – CHOCOLATE TOUR & TASTING IN MODICA
After breakfast, we set off for a private walking tour of Ragusa, known for its olive farming and the tragic 1693 earthquake, now a city divided into two: Upper Ragusa and Ragusa Ibla, the medieval town. Lunch included. After lunch we tour Modica and taste its famous chocolate. Overnight in Ragusa.
Day 9: CATANIA STREET FOOD & FISH MARKET
After breakfast, we travel to Catania. There we have a private guided tour of Catania with street food lunch included. The afternoon and dinner will be on your own, exploring at your leisure. Overnight in Catania.
Day 10: MOUNT ETNA & WINERY
After breakfast we’re off for a Full Day Etna Tour, including cable car. After lunch we tour an Etna winery and taste their products. Dinner on your own. Overnight in the Catania.
Day 11: TOUR OF TAORMINA & ANCIENT GREEK THEATRE
After breakfast we travel north for our private guided tour of Taormina. Lunch included. Afternoon at your leisure. Farewell dinner. Overnight in Catania.
Day 12: TOUR ENDS
After breakfast we depart Catania, Sicily for Toronto via Rome. Private transfer to airport as a group.