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8 Days Culinary Vacations Italy

Cooking Vacations in Italy 

Celebrate the Italian culture in Sicily. This private tour features the culinary and cultural highlights of this beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. During your private cooking classes, learn about the Arab, Greek, Roman, Norman, Spanish, Jewish, and other influences on Sicily’s delicious and fascinating cuisine. Sample Sicilian specialties, taste unique Sicilian wine and olive oil, visit local food markets, and tour ancient ruins and archaeological sites. This will be a worth remembering experience, full of Italian gourmet pleasures.


  • Cooking classes
  • Explore Mount Etna
  • Tour of lively local markets
  • Winery visits with wine tastings
  • Visit ruins, temples, museums, and many other cultural spots
  • Taste chocolate made according to Aztec recipes
  • Sample local desserts and gelato
  • 7 nights accommodation


7 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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During your vacations, you will stay in luxury rooms at 5-star accommodations. At Palermo, you will spend two nights at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea; Verdura Resort and Spa will be your cozy accommodation for two nights in Sciacca; in Noto, you will stay one night at Seven Rooms Villadorata; finally, your last two nights in Taormina, will be spent in the Grand Hotel Timeo.

Grand Hotel Timeo

Set high in the rocky hills on the east coast of Sicily, Grand Hotel Timeo has long been known as one of Italy’s most glamorous retreats. The first hotel to be built in Taormina, it sits in the most perfect location, directly in front of the Greek Theater. Sweeping views of the coastline and majestic Mount Etna stretch out beyond. This heritage building is a landmark within its destination. Let Sicily come to you as you admire its gardens, savor sensational local cuisine and sit out on the literary terrace where generations of celebrated guests have gathered in the sun. The rooms' features are:

  • Climate control
  • e-readers available in the hotel
  • iPod dock
  • King-sized or twin beds
  • More than 3000 newspapers and magazines in 18 languages
  • Spacious marble bathroom
  • Twice-daily housekeeping service, with evening turn-down
  • Widescreen LCD HDTV with DVD player
  • Wireless internet
  • Writing desk

Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

The Grand Hotel Villa Igiea brings you a 5-star hotel experience in a sumptuous villa right on the Palermo coast, the historical capital of sun-soaked Sicily. The villa, restored by renowned Art Nouveau architect Ernesto Basile at the end of the 19th century for the Florio family, still has its original frescoes, decoration and furniture. It has a state-of-the art facilities and gastronomic restaurants for a sublime stay in Sicily. Some of the room's features are:

  • Accessible rooms for handicapped people
  • Central heating
  • Direct dial telephone
  • Electronic key
  • Extra beds available on request
  • Individually controlled air conditioning
  • Laundry service
  • LCD television with satellite channels
  • Marble bathroom with shower and / or tub
  • Mini-bar
  • Non-smoking rooms on request
  • Safe deposit box
  • Soundproof windows
  • Sport and movie channels plus pay-per-view
  • WiFi Internet access

Seven Rooms Villadorata

The Villadorata lineage (literally golden villa) is a place where time is measured in centuries; and where churches and palaces have always formed part of the charming and evocative landscape. This guest house is a gem set amidst honey-colored eighteenth century buildings and the crystal waters of the Vendicari marine reserve. The ambiance of the rooms evokes a distinctive charm, with balconies overlooking the main road with views of the Cathedral and the Church of San Carlo, as well as the market lodge and the magnificent paved courtyard adorned by two symbolic ancient palm trees. The owners have taken care of every detail, and selected the most exclusive Italian and French linens and furnishings in order to make each room not only luxurious and comfortable, but also one of a kind. The highest quality decor and accessories were chosen for the rooms, with the aim of offering guests a high-caliber service comparable to the large luxury hotels, while remaining intimate and welcoming as only a small family hotel can be. The aim is to meet the needs of guests, for business or pleasure, who appreciate a simple yet refined ambiance. The rooms display elegant and refined features of the Baroque architecture and each carry an evocative name reminiscent of Greek mythology. The names are in fact inspired from the winds that blow over this land. Villadorata's rooms feature:

  • 52" LCD TV
  • Air conditioning
  • Cable TV
  • Docking station
  • Professional hair dryer

Verdura Resort

Verdura Resort is set on 230 hectares and nearly two kilometers of private Mediterranean coastline. There are three Kyle Phillips golf courses, a 60-meter infinity pool, six clay tennis courts, a world-class spa, four restaurants, five bars, and much more. It’s a place where your room will seem woven subtly into the landscape. Where you will enjoy a true sense of space and uninterrupted views of the azure waters from your private terrace. Above all, it’s a place where you will discover an outstanding level of service. The 203 rooms are characterized by intelligent design, comfort, and privacy; and were created by Olga Polizzi and Flavio Albanese.


Day 1: Arrive at Palermo

You will have a private transfer from the Palermo Airport (PMO) to your hotel and then, in the afternoon, you will have a private tour of the city. The vibrant capital of Sicily, Palermo, is home to some of Italy's most fascinating cultural gems, including impressive private museums, the country's largest opera house, and a robust food culture.

Day 2 : Palermo

This morning, you will explore Palermo's most interesting neighborhoods, local markets, the old Arab quarter, and unique UNESCO-listed, Arab-Norman architecture; visit a market to learn about seasonal ingredients and buy supplies for your cooking class with a respected local chef. In the afternoon, take a private excursion to the stunning Cathedral of Monreale, a masterpiece of Arab, Norman, and Byzantine art.

Day 3: Palermo, Trapani, Marsala, and Sciacca

Today, you will be transferred to a luxurious resort on the Mediterranean Sea outside Sciacca, where you will stay for the next two nights. Drive along Sicily's western coast, passing medieval windmills that dot the landscape. On the way, stop at the famed salt pans outside Trapani, and visit a winery in the nearby town of Marsala to taste the eponymous amber-hued dessert wine.

Day 4: Sciacca

On a private excursion to a countryside vineyard and winery, enjoy a private cooking class, have a gourmet lunch, and sample some of Sicily’s best wines and unique varietals. The afternoon is free to be spent at leisure. During your spare time, enjoy the extensive facilities at your resort, such as a beach, pool, golf course, and the award-winning spa. You can also visit the local village, known for its ceramics and coral studios.

Day 5: Sciacca, Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples, and Noto

Today, you will be transferred to your hotel in Noto. On the way, you will take a private tour of Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples, an outstanding collection of well-preserved Hellenistic ruins and early Christian sites, that is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. Enjoy lunch in Kolymbetra Garden, an enchanting valley amid the temples that is filled with aromatic Mediterranean shrubs, almond trees, olive orchards, and citrus groves. In the afternoon, continue to the baroque town of Noto, to tour the UNESCO-listed architectural sites and enjoy a dessert and gelato tasting with one of Sicily's most prominent pastry chefs.

Day 6: Noto, Modica, and Taormina

On your way to Taormina, have a beautiful touring of baroque cities en-route. In Modica, try local chocolate, which is still made according to Aztec recipes brought back by Spanish conquistadores. Continue to Taormina, a historic clifftop town overlooking the sea. During your private touring, visit the Greek theater, beautiful gardens, bougainvillea-lined backstreets, local markets, and gourmet boutiques stocked with prized pistachio cream, plump salt-packed capers, fragrant olive oil, fruit-shaped marzipan, and other Sicilian specialties. Also, sample local pastries in an ancient monastery.

Day 7: Taormina and Mount Etna

Today, take an excursion to Mount Etna, an active volcano and Sicilian landmark, whose fertile soil supports vineyards, orchards, and farms. Afterwards, visit a renowned local winery for an informative wine tasting and lunch of regional dishes.

Day 8: Depart Taormina

It is time to say goodbye, you will be transferred to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA).

Included excursions

  • Explore Noto's architectural sites
  • Explore Palermo's most interesting neighborhoods and local markets
  • Private excursion to the Cathedral of Monreal
  • Take an excursion to Mount Etna
  • Tour around Agriento and the Valley of the Temples
  • Tour of Taormina's Greek Theater, gardens, markets, and gourmet boutiques
  • Visit a countryside vineyard and winery in Sciacca
  • Visit a renowned local winery in Taormina
  • Visit an ancient monastery to sample local pastries
  • Visit Modica and try local chocolate
  • Visit the famed salt pans outside Trapani and a winery in Marsala


This culinary holiday will take place in Sicily, Italy. You will visit Palermo, Sciacca, Agrigento, Noto, Modica, and Taormina.


This tour of Sicily offers ample opportunities to taste and savor the flavors of this Italian paradise. One of your lunches will take place in Kolymbetra Garden and another one in a renowned winery with regional delicious dishes. On the sweet side, you will get fascinated with local pastries in an ancient monastery located in Taormina; in Noto, you will participate in a dessert and gelato tasting; and in Modica, you will try local chocolate, made according to Aztec recipes. Exquisite wines will be also part of this indulging experience, you will try some of Sicily’s best wines and unique varietals and learn a lot about Italian wines in three wine tastings.

Sicilian specialties

  • Arancini - fried stuffed rice balls
  • Cannoli
  • Caponata - eggplant relish
  • Pasta con le sarde - pasta with sardines and wild fennel

Things to do (optional)

  • During your spare time in Sciacca, enjoy the facilities at your resort or take a spa treatment
  • Explore Sciacca’s local village and its renowned ceramics and coral studios

What's included

  • 1 dessert and gelato tasting
  • 2 cooking classes
  • 2 lunches
  • 3 wine tastings
  • 6 cultural excursions
  • 7 culinary excursions
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Admission fees during touring
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides
  • Private touring with your own personal guides and drivers

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Gratuities
  • Other services specified as optional or not included
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please Arrive at Palermo Airport (PMO).

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