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13 Day Savoring Sicily, a Tour for the Senses Culinary Holiday in Italy

Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Via Cartari, 18, 90133 Palermo, Italy

Authentic Culinary Tour Italy

Pure Food Cooking Tours combine your love of cooking and eating beautiful food, with your love of travel. Chef, restaurateur, TV presenter and food writer, Dominique Rizzo, is your food tours host. Dominique is passionate about food and travel. As a result, she has designed a memorable series of personally escorted food, wine and cooking tours.

Meet the instructors

Dominique
Read more

Highlights

  • 1 hands-on cooking class
  • Cheese stretching demonstration
  • Take part in bread pizza making class
  • Sicilian cheese tasting and 3 wine tastings
  • Dolci tasting in Erice and Palermo street food tasting
  • Visit Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples
  • Monreale Duomo and the Catacombs
  • 12 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


12 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Italian, Spanish
Group size: 10-12 participants
Airport transfer included: Falcone–Borsellino Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
11:00

Pure Food Cooking Tours take you on a magical tour and provide personal attention. In addition, they focus on the quality of service. They provide comfortable travel and unique and distinctive accommodation tailored for you to relax and enjoy your holiday.

During the tour, you will stay in the following places:

  • Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa - Via Cartari, 18, 90133 Palermo PA, Italy
  • Duomo Suites and Spa - Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 23, 95121 Catania CT, Italy
  • Borgo Pantano - Traversa Fontana Mortella, 13, 96100 Siracusa SR, Italy
  • Agriturismo Case Perotta - Via Andronico, 2, 95010 Sant'Alfio CT, Italy
  • Baglio Oneto - Contrada Baronazzo Amafi, 8, 91025 Marsala TP, Italy

Program

Day 1: Welcome to Palermo

The staff will greet you at the airport in Palermo with a big “Ciao” welcoming you to beautiful Sicily and assist in transferring you to our hotel right in the heart of Palermo. The rest of the day is yours to take in the city atmosphere.

You will meet in the lobby in the evening for your first wonderful dinner showcasing some of the best slow food in Sicily where the passionate chef blends traditional ingredients with modern culinary styles. Overnight in Palermo.

  • Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2: Palermo City

Today is discovering Palermo with a walking guided tour visiting some of the most notable churches, monuments and sites which are iconic to this capital city. With a local’s insight, you will discover why Sicily is so rich in history and culture. You will visit the popular Ballaro markets where you have lunch on some of Palermo’s famous street food, the afternoon is free for you to enjoy the city for yourself.

For dinner, your guide will take you on a slow food gastronomic adventure with a wonderful couple passionate about showcasing some more unique products on the Italian market. Overnight in Palermo.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Monreale and the Catacombs

Today takes you to the eerie Cappuccine Catacombs and the beautiful town of Monreale for a guided tour. Monreale, located on the slope of Monte Caputo, overlooks the very fertile valley "La Conca d'oro" (the Golden Shell), famed for its orange, olive, and almond trees.

You will visit the stunning Norman-Byzantine cathedral, one of the most exquisitely golden mosaiced churches in Italy. Lunch is local wood-fired pizza and gelato before returning to Palermo. The afternoon is free before you meet for an evening’s entertainment. For dinner, you find yourself in one of the oldest Enoteca’s in Palermo where you enjoy a relaxed wine tasting and dinner. Overnight in Palermo.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Agrigento

You check out of Palermo and drive to the famous city of Agrigento, situated on a hilltop on Sicily's southwest shore and known for the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas and the Valley of the Temples. You enjoy a guided tour through the temples then drive to the white cliffs of the Scala dei Turchi where you enjoy a seafood lunch with sea views.

You then transfer to the city of Marsala on Sicily’s western coast to check into the hotel for the evening. Dinner is a relaxed affair with real Marsala wine tasting and local produce to welcome you to the region. Overnight in Marsala.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Erice, the Salt Pans of Marsala

Those of you who love photography, history or have a sweet tooth will be excited as you drive to the mountain town of “Erice”, known to the locals as “umunti” as it is usually shrouded in cool mist called “the veil of Venus”. Here you will sample traditional handmade “dolce”, where recipes have been handed down for generations, and made famous by the nuns and some of Sicily’s famous chefs and artisans.

Wander up to the Castello where you will be taken back in time in the 12th century Norman fortress with its spectacular, panoramic views, wander the cobblestone streets of Erice for a spot of shopping, practice your photography or to just lose yourself in the 14th Century Baroque architecture.

You head to the salt pans of Marsala for a salt tasting and fabulous local lunch then later that night you drive to the historical center of Marsala for a traditional dinner in a local Cantina. Overnight in Marsala.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Slow Food cheese making and Cefalu

You say goodbye to Marsala and set out to one of the most important food bowls of Sicily, The Madonie Regional Natural Park “Parco delle Madonie”, located between Palermo and Cefalù. As well as being a nature reserve, the park is an inhabited area with dozens of little villages and small towns, many of which trace their origins to medieval times.

You visit a beautiful slow food organic cheese production, where you enjoy a stretched cheese demonstration, an alfresco lunch, and cheese tasting while taking in the breath-taking scenery. In the afternoon, you drive to Cefalu, one of Sicily’s most beautiful seaside towns famous for its beaches and noted as one of Sicily’s holiday hotspots.

After checking in, you will have some free time to relax, then head to Cefalu. Here you are free to wander the little alleyways, visit the Duomo, or wander out to the beach. You meet in a fabulous small restaurant with amazing views for sunset drinks and dinner. Overnight in Cefalu.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7: Cefalu and the Leopard long lunch in Polizzi

You meet late in the morning to drive to Polizzi, a beautiful town perched high in the mountains to experience an aristocratic long lunch to the theme of “Il Gattopardo” in a stunningly renovated villa. The night is free so you can relax at the beautiful hotel with stunning views.

The rest of the evening is free to relax at the hotel or head back into Cefalu to enjoy the local nightlife of this bustling seaside town. Overnight in Cefalu.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch

Day 8: Breadmaking and pizza experience, and the mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale

Today, you step back in time to an old bakery whose passion and focus is on keeping not only the old traditions of pasta and bread making alive but also bringing back to life the ancient grains popular during the Roman rule of Sicily.

Here, you enjoy pizza and breadmaking with a father and son team and enjoy a rustic lunch with fresh ricotta, wine, and local traditions.

You then drive to just outside Piazza Armerina where you visit the Villa Romana del Casale, one of the finest examples of Roman mosaics and one of the most luxurious of its kind. Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is especially noteworthy for the richness and quality of the mosaics which decorate almost every room.

You transfer to a resort in Syracusa, a piece of paradise set amongst green lush grounds, olive trees, and beautiful surroundings. For the evening, you enjoy a relaxed dinner in the Syracusa resort. Overnight in Syracusa.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9: Syracuse and Ortigia

The morning starts with a guided visit to Syracuse and Ortigia which has a stunning and captivating display of history, architecture, and design. After a short walk, you arrive on the island of Ortigia to wander the narrow cobblestone streets, chance upon elegant Baroque piazzas and enjoy the character and charm of this beautiful living museum of a town.

You stop for a traditional granita and brioche in front of the spectacular Duomo then wander down to the port for a private boat ride around Ortigia and alfresco lunch on board. Returning back to the hotel, you meet for a wine tasting and canapes to leave you free for the rest of the evening to enjoy this wonderful town. Overnight in Syracuse.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10: Free day in Ortigia, foraging for herbs and cooking class

You have a free day today, giving you the chance to visit more of the beautiful island of Ortigia or relax in the resort in Syracuse, taking advantage of the pool and massage treatments on offer. You meet in the early afternoon for an alfresco style light lunch at the resort before heading out to your afternoon event.

During the cooking class, you will learn about foraging for edible greens and wild herbs. You finish with a menu celebrating the Sicilian garden and an evening of fun, laughter, eating and drinking. Overnight in Syracuse.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11: Catania

You arrive in Catania, the second-largest city in Sicily, with majestic stately buildings, an ancient history, sea breezes and views of Mount Etna. You start the guided walking tour finishing with a light lunch at one the city’s oldest Pasticceria. The rest of the afternoon and evening free for you to further explore this wonderful city. Overnight in Catania.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch

Day 12: A day in Taormina

You drive to Taormina in the province of Messina. Set in a magnificent position above the sea. Taormina and the Greek Theatre is famous for its breathtaking and most photographed views.

You will be taken to a guided visit to the Greek theatre and through the town, then leave you to wander free for the day to admire the many interesting shops, medieval churches, and get lost amongst the narrow streets and beautiful luxury gardens surrounding Gothic-styled villas.

On returning back to Catania, you meet in the evening for a banquet dinner celebrating Catania’s location to the sea and its Mediterranean fresh seafood. Overnight in Catania.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast, dinner

Day 13: Catania and farewell

You say goodbye as the Pure Food Cooking Tours team organizes all of your transfers and wishes you well for your return home or your onward journey.

  • Meal plan: Breakfast

Included excursions

Guided walking tours

  • Palermo
  • Catania
  • Taormina and The Greek Theatre
  • Monreale and the Duomo
  • Syracuse and Ortigia

Notable sites

  • Sicilian puppet theatre UNESCO listed world heritage
  • Historical salt pans salt mill museum
  • The medieval city center of Erice
  • UNESCO-listed Norman cathedral and medieval city center of Cefalu
  • Medieval towns of the Madonie Natural Park
  • The Valle dei Templi site in Agrigento (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Villa Romana del Casale (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Instructors

Dominique Rizzo

Location

This tour of Sicily includes some of Sicily’s historic and well noted cities and sights. This includes Palermo, Erice, Siracusa, Ortigia, and Cefalu to name a few.

This Italy tour, Savour Sicily departs from Palermo on a personally escorted high-end boutique travel and food tour of Sicily with Australian Chef Dominique Rizzo and passionate local chefs and guides. Travel through the major cities in Sicily on a gastronomic journey showcasing the most wonderful food. As well, take in the region’s rich history and culture.

You will find this 13 day, 12-night tour truly a “Sicilian Tour for the Senses.” You begin the tour in Sicily’s capital, Palermo where you spend three days taking in all this beautiful city has to offer, from its amazing cuisine to mountain vistas and wonderful history.

In Palermo, Pure Food Cooking Tours treats you to a one-day cooking class held in an authentic kitchen and many opportunities to enjoy the local cuisine. From here you head west, traveling in comfort to the best Sicilian food destinations and authentic cultural and culinary experiences. All the while, staying in bespoke four and five-star accommodation.

Food

Pure Food Cooking Tours source the best restaurants personally to give you food experiences from land, sea, city and country. They ensure that the menus are varied so that you are not just eating tourist food but really enjoying a vast array of different flavors showcasing slow, food, Zero food miles and ethically sourced produce. Pure Food Cooking Tours' aim is to reflect the true culture of each region. Therefore, they focus on escaping the crowds, and getting to the places the tourists don’t go. As a result, this provides a richer experience and an opportunity for personal discover

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Lactose Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Take a guided tour to the ancient ruins of Siracusa with a cultural visit to the Neapolis Archaeological Park. This is most noteworthy as one of the most marvelous archaeological sites in existence in Sicily
  • Wake up in beautiful, historical and inner-city 4 and 5 star accommodation
  • Wander the cobblestone streets for a spot of shopping. Practice your photography or rather, just lose yourself in the 14th Century Baroque architecture
  • Take in the breathtaking views of coast and mountains
  • Most of all, sample mouth-watering menus. From wine, olive oil and chocolate tastings, to full degustations, alfresco lunches, banquets and more

What's included

  • Fully escorted tour, 13 days, 12 nights in the beautiful scenic surrounds of Sicily
  • Specialized escorted service of Chef Dominique Rizzo, director and curator of Pure Food, Wine Culture Tours
  • Private Italian guide for 13 days also speaks German / English / Spanish
  • Pick up transfer from Palermo Airport or your hotel in Palermo on the tour start date
  • Transfer to Catania Airport / train station or hotel in Catania on the tour finish date
  • Air-conditioned spacious private bus with your own private driver
  • 12 nights accommodation and hotel taxes in 4 and 5-star hotels / agriturismo and spa resorts selected for their personalized service, amenities, locations hospitality (room upgrades are available upon request, prices to be quoted upon application)
  • Dominique signature kitchen apron and shopping / travel tote bag
  • Maps, Italian travel language brochure, travel hints and tips, details of hotels
  • All private, escorted visits and tastings
  • Meals – All breakfasts are provided, 10 lunches and 10 dinners are also included, some morning/afternoon teas and aperitives are provided as stated – where lunches/dinners are not provided, activities and tastings are of ample abundance
  • Beverages - All beverages with meals including wine, beer, juice, soft drink, tea and coffee are provided
  • All guided tours as specified in the tour are included
  • All transfers by boat, bus, car, taxi as specified in the tour itinerary are included
  • Admission to all historical sites, galleries, and museums mentioned in the itinerary are included
  • Tips for restaurants and guides

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Tips for the bus driver (it is customary to tip the bus driver after the tour if you have been happy with the service)
  • Everything not included in "what's included"
  • General expenses – phone calls, laundry, room upgrades
  • Transfers outside of tour dates, personal transport, excess baggage, security and government taxes, travel and medical insurance
  • Beverages outside of what's described on "what's included" list
  • Meals not specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entry fees to places other than those specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Optional excursions or activities that may be offered but not included in the tour price

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Falcone Borsellino Airport (PMO). Pick up transfer from the airport or your hotel in Palermo on the tour start date is included in the package. Also included is the transfer to Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) or train station or hotel in Catania on the tour finish date.

Airport: Falcone–Borsellino Airport Airport transfer included: Falcone–Borsellino Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 15% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
13 days / 12 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 10 participants

Availability

Arrival: Friday May 21, 2021
Departure: Wednesday June 2, 2021

Solo travelers

This retreat can accommodate solo travelers.

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