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Authentic Sicilian Culinary Tour in Italy

Savour Sicily will give you a taste of the history of Sicily where you will see, taste and feel the influences of the Arabs, Normans, Greek and Spanish along with many others who left a rich imprint of foreign cultures evident in Sicily's art, design, architecture and cuisine. In this tour, you will visit over 15 different towns and cities offering you a wonderful introduction to Sicily. You will visit some of the most popular historical sites, galleries and museums and also take you to places that are a little off the beaten track and not listed in travel books. Restaurants, dining experiences, hotels and activities are hand-selected by Chef Dominique Rizzo himself to give you a taste of land, sea, mountain and city. You will meet local characters, slow food producers and passionate chefs who like all Sicilians will embrace you with their love of their homeland.

Meet the instructors

Dominique
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Highlights

  • Palermo street food tasting
  • Catania markets visit and food tasting
  • Dolce, cheese, cannoli, and wine tastings
  • Fully escorted by chef Dominique Rizzo with over 10 years of experience in touring Sicily
  • Visit to Villa Romana del Casale Case della Musica and Sicilian Pupi
  • Guided walking tours and visits to UNESCO's world heritage sites
  • 13 nights luxury accommodation, full luxury breakfast
  • 2 cooking classes

Styles


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

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

4 and 5-star hotels, resorts and country-style accommodation is also personally selected for not only their quality but also their location, services, hospitality and the relationships they have built up over the years. They want to ensure you are not only very comfortable and relaxed but you also get to experience all aspects of a region's terrain and lifestyle.

Pure Food Cooking Tours is not about racing you around the country. They prefer to stay in each of the accommodations for a minimum of 2-4 nights giving you an opportunity to unpack and settle in.

Program

All of Dominique Rizzo's life, Sicily has fascinated her. Her father is Sicilian and she spent almost every year of her childhood visiting her Sicilian family and experiencing the Sicilian way of life. She fell in love with the land, its people, the cuisine and the culture.

With over 30 years of culinary experience, her unique food tours focus on old fashioned hospitality, quality, affordable luxury and personalised service. Above all, her food tours are created for the traveller who wants to pack a bag and book a ticket. Everything has been taken care of for you.

With small groups of up to 10 people, bespoke itineraries, luxury accommodation and your own private chef and local guide, this food tour package is definitely the best for value and experience offering something different for all travel lovers, solo, couples, young and old. Best of all, for your personal comfort, there is no twin sharing unless requested, rooms are all private, fully serviced and with your own ensuite.

Expect to eat and drink your way through Sicilian history, connect with authentic people and enjoy some of the best culinary and cultural experiences. If you desire something more out of your travel itinerary then come on a Sicilian adventure with Dominique Rizzo as you explore this enchanting island. See you in Sicily!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Catania

Pure Food Cooking Tours welcomes you to the majestic city of Catania. You will be personally greeted at the airport by Dominique Rizzo herself then escorted by transfer to your hotel right in the heart of this bustling city. You have the day free to do your own exploring of this cosmopolitan city with its close proximity to the sea and views of Mt Etna. The group then meets in the lobby in the early evening for the first dining experience celebrating local ingredients and classic Sicilian specialities. Overnight in Catania.

  • Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Catania and Taormina

Your morning begins with a visit to the historic "La Pescheria", Catania's famous fish markets with an atmosphere that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. You will enjoy tastings as you go, sampling some of Catania’s best and most interesting produce. You will stop for a light lunch then onto Taormina in the province of Messina.

Set in a magnificent position above the sea, Taormina is famous for its breathtaking and most photographed views, Greek theatre and great cafes and shopping. You will be taken for a guided visit to the Greek theatre with its spectacular views, then leave you to wander free, enjoy a bite to eat, grab a gelato or just sit and watch the passing crowds. The day ends with a sensational dinner at one of the local seaside towns. Overnight Catania.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Piazza Armerina - Villa Romana Del Casale

Today, your guide will drive you to a morning stop just outside Piazza Armerina. There, you will 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. The group will stop for a banquet-style lunch celebrating local produce including the traditional Piacentino cheese PDO made with locally grown saffron. You will then return to Catania for a siesta and give you the night free to enjoy this wonderful city. Overnight in Catania.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 4: Randazzo - music, wine and dolce

After breakfast, your guide will drive you to Randazzo, one of the most historically important towns in Sicily and the closest town to Mt Etna's volcano crater. The town throughout history has been destroyed by war and earthquakes, although surprisingly it has never been destroyed by the eruption of Mt Etna.

Randazzo offers an amazing medieval atmosphere with ancient palaces, alleys, churches and laneways built entirely in lava stone. You will visit the most interesting “Casa della Musica”, learning about the history of music, from prehistory to renaissance, and beyond. Ancient instruments will be brought back to life with a philosophically enlightening experience that will give you a glimpse of how music fits into the great workings of the universe, according to the geniuses of the past like Galileo Galilei.

You will stop for lunch in a local winery and on the way back a visit to the town of Zafferana Etnea to savour the excellent specialities of a local Dolceria. Overnight in Catania.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 5: Caltagirone

After checking of your hotel, the group will board a bus to Caltagirone, one of the iconic Baroque towns in central Sicily and known as “The city of Sicilian ceramics” due to its thousand-year-old ceramic tradition.

The name itself, "Caltagirone", derives from an Arabic word meaning the Castle or Fortress of the vases. There, you are free to wander through the many artisan workshops, do a spot of shopping, visit the Regional Museum of Ceramics and tackle the 142-step monumental Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, built from 1608 in the old part of the town.

You will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant with a menu sourced from produce with a 0 km distance. You then check into your resort accommodation in Syracuse and relax at the hotel kicking off with wine tasting and canapes, then a delicious dinner from our creative chef. Overnight in Syracuse.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Syracuse and Ortigia

After breakfast, you make your way to Syracuse with a guided cultural visit to the Neapolis Archaeological Park which encompasses outstanding examples of Roman and Greek theatres, including one of the most celebrated theatres in Syracuse with a stunning and captivating display of history, architecture and design.

You then drive to the island of Ortigia with our guide 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 will enjoy the famous granita and brioche in a local restaurant in the heart of Ortigia overlooking the stunning Duomo, a spectacular backdrop to a beautiful day.

The group will return to the hotel for an alfresco lunch, giving you the afternoon and evening free to enjoy Ortigia by night with a transfer service from the Hotel. This is a great opportunity to further enjoy this beautiful historic island, take a walk by the sea, enjoy the boutiques and artisan shops or enjoy some of the Eastern Sicilian cuisine. Overnight in Syracuse.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Noto, gelati, wine and Marzamemi

You start the day a little earlier to drive to one of the most charming places in eastern Sicily then stop at Noto for a relaxed tour admiring the baroque style and to taste some of Sicily’s best gelato. The fertile Valley of Noto where lies the Eloro doc zone, one of the best suited to the cultivation of the Nero d’Avola and Moscato di Noto grapes.

The group will head to a historical family estate for a wonderful wine tasting and lunch. Then drive to the seaside town of Marzamemi, famous for its world-class tuna, anchovy, sardine and fish products that can be purchased and tested in one of the many shops throughout the town. You will be given free time to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this quaint town then meet for drinks and dinner by the sea. Overnight in Syracuse.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Countryside cooking class

Today is all about delving into Sicily’s food culture in a hands-on class with a passionate local cook. You will be taken through some of the area’s most important ingredients and enjoy traditional recipes enjoying the fruits of your labour in a long lunch. Return to the hotel giving you the afternoon and evening to further enjoy Syracuse and Ortigia. Overnight in Syracuse.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 9: Cefalu

After finishing breakfast, you will visit Cefalu on a walking guided tour. Noted as one of Sicily’s most beautiful seaside towns famous for its beaches and a top holiday hotspot, there, you will explore the history of the town, visit the Duomo, and the interesting ancient laundry.

You will be given free time to wander the cobbled streets, do some shopping, grab some lunch or take a stroll along the beach. You then head to the heart of Palermo to your luxury accommodation in an old grand piazza. Giving you time to settle in, the group will meet in the evening to wander by foot to the dinner destination. Overnight in Palermo.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 10: Palermo - Opera dei Pupi and vintage wine bar

Today you discover Palermo city on a walking guided tour where you will visit some of the most notable churches, monuments and sites which are iconic to this capital city. After this walking tour, you have free time until the group meet in the afternoon to go to an evening’s entertainment and then onto enjoy one of the oldest wine bars in Palermo. Overnight in Palermo.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 11: Country cheese tasting and Monreale

This morning's tour takes you to a local farm for cheese making and tasting. You will spend the morning at a Masseria famous for being the set for the film “ The Leopard” an epic historical drama film based on Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's 1958 novel of the same title.

Using produce from their local gardens, the group will share a traditional country lunch and enjoy the traditional Sicilian cannoli filling them yourself with local ricotta. After lunch, you take your bus to Monreale, a town located on the slope of Monte Caputo, overlooking the very fertile valley called "La Conca d'oro" (the Golden Shell), famed for its orange, olive, and almond trees.

You will also visit the stunning Norman-Byzantine cathedral, one of the most exquisitely gold mosaiced churches in Italy. The evening is free for you to further explore Palermo and perhaps practice some of your Sicilian. Overnight in Palermo.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 12: Erice and Scopello

Those of you who love photography, history or have a sweet tooth will be excited as your guide drives you to the mountain town of “Erice”, known to the locals as “umunti” as it is usually shrouded in a 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 just lose yourself in the 14th Century Baroque architecture. The group will share lunch with a local chef in his home where he shares his passion for Sicilian cuisine.

On your way back to Palermo, you stop into Scopello, a fascinating little village centred around a fortified baglio. Scopello’s coastline is rocky, craggy and dramatic. In a small bay amongst all this bay of natural beauty sits the tonnara, a tuna fishery.

Dating back to the 13th century, the harmonious perfection of the tonnara and its surroundings has piqued the imagination of location managers, who have featured it in several films and TV programs in recent years, including Ocean’s Twelve (with Brad Pitt and George Clooney) and Inspector Montalbano. Heading back to Palermo the night is yours to relax and ponder over the day’s activities, take a tour to the opera, a horse ride around the city or take yourself on a passegiatta through town. Overnight in Palermo.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 13: Palermo

Today is yours to enjoy Palermo for your last day, venture out for some shopping, wander through the markets or take one of the local buses to the nearby beach town of Mondello. Your guide will meet you in the evening for the final dinner together.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 14: Palermo

Today, as you say goodbye, Pure Food Cooking Tours hopes you have enjoyed your magical Sicilian journey. They will assist you with your transfers.

  • Meals included: Breakfast

Important information about the tour

  • Moderate walking is involved on guided tours, and the tour can certainly accommodate people who are a little slower on their feet. Luggage services are available to assist with retrieving luggage off and on the bus and to and from the hotels/rooms if required.
  • The places visited do include some of the main tourist sites of a region. Although unique to Dominique Rizzo Tours are the sights and activities that are personally booked for these tours alone. You will not find these on any other tour.
  • The package includes everything! Even days and evenings off from the tour for you to relax on your own or to further explore a destination. There are no hidden costs or payments that are further required to complete the full itinerary. You are welcome to opt out of any of the activities to do your own thing, although they have selected each of the activities to give you an opportunity to see, do and taste as much of Sicily as possible with siesta time in-between.
  • The tours suit couples, solo travellers and people of all ages. The tours are privately booked with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12 guests so that you get personalised attention, comfort when travelling and the opportunity to visit boutique establishments, restaurants, and unique venues not suitable for a large number of tours.
  • The guides are personally selected for their knowledge of the regions, their spoken English and their humour. This ensures you enjoy informative, interesting and fun guided tours. They do when necessary use whispers or small group microphones to ensure you can wander at your own pace without missing out on understanding the history and unique aspects of each area visited.

Included excursions

Guided walking tours and UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Palermo, Catania, Randazzo, Taormina, Monreale and the Duomo/Syracuse and Ortigia UNESCO-listed Norman monuments, city centre in Palermo
  • UNESCO-listed mosaics of Villa Romana
  • UNESCO-listed archaeological park and theatre of Syracuse and old Ortigia
  • UNESCO-listed baroque monuments of Val di Noto

Instructors

Dominique Rizzo

Location

This tour of Sicily includes some of Sicily’s historic and well-noted cities and sights. This includes Palermo where the Arabs, Normans, Greek and Spanish among many others left Palermo with a rich imprint of foreign cultures evident in its art, design, architecture and cuisine. Other popular cities on tour include Catania, Ortigia, Randazzo, Taormina and Siracuse to name a few.

In this tour of Sicily, Pure Food Cooking Tours offers you a wonderful introduction to Sicily. You will visit some of the most popular historical sites, galleries and museums in Sicily. They also take you to places that are a little off the beaten track and not listed in travel books. This gives you the opportunity to further engage with Sicily and immerse yourself with the Sicilian culture, gastronomy and people.

During the tour, you will visit bustling food markets and towns which are famous for their old techniques and artistry in ceramic and jewellery making. You will also visit the stunning photographic hilltop town of Erice, a picturesque medieval town where you will indulge in speciality pastries and desserts with recipes handed down through the ages.

Apart from that, you will also taste the real Marsala, visit ancient theatres, enjoy cooking classes with passionate chefs and foodies and discover the history of music with an incredibly talented maestro. You wander through cobbled streets to find hidden treasures, bustling markets and dine on local fresh produce, seafood and meats in slow food restaurants, agriturismo, cantinas, enotecas and more. All specialising in showcasing true Sicilian fare.

Destinations

  • Catania
  • Palermo
  • Taormina
  • Randazzo
  • Caltagirone
  • Syracuse
  • Ortigia
  • Noto
  • Marzamemi
  • Erice
  • Scopello
  • Cefalu
  • Castelbuono

Food

Full luxury breakfast every day, 9 lunches and 7 dinners are included. Some morning/afternoon teas and aperitives are provided as stated - where lunches/dinners are not provided. The listed multi-course meals are of ample abundance including a combination of fine dining, long lunches and street food. All beverages with meals including wine, beer, juice, soft drink, tea and coffee are provided.

Menus' selected restaurants and dining experiences are hand-chosen to give you a variety of tastes and flavours allowing you to experience foods from the land, sea, city and mountain. This tour consciously includes zero kilometre venues and restaurants with slow food accolades that support sustainability, preservation of tradition and local produce.

Pure Food Cooking Tours can certainly cater to dietary intolerances and can accommodate coeliac, dairy-free, vegans and vegetarians. This is not just a cooking tour, although cooking classes are for everyone from the novice cook to the budding chef and are fun and informative giving you an opportunity to pick up some new skills and learn about the cuisine.

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
  • Vegan
  • 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)

Salina and The Aeolian Islands Tour

Enjoy a relaxing 6 days and 5 nights in the beautiful Aeolian Islands. The Aeolian Islands are 7 volcanic Islands sitting northeast of Sicily. These islands are a little corner of paradise, most noteworthy as the seven mysteries of nature. For centuries, nature and history have shaped the landscape showcasing spectacular views and enchanting sunsets. Not to mention, wonderful fresh Italian cuisine. Most of all, the islands are an extraordinary and breathtaking destination. They have attracted travelers worldwide ever since the times of classical mythology. In this private guided Aeolian Islands tour, you will see first-hand what the islands have to offer.

What's included

  • Fully escorted tour, 14 days, 13 nights in the beautiful scenic surrounds of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
  • Specialized escorted service of Chef Dominique Rizzo, director and curator of Pure Food, Wine and Culture Tours
  • Private Italian guide for 14 days also speaks German, English, and Spanish
  • Pick up transfer from Catania Airport or your hotel in Catania on the tour start date
  • Transfer to Palermo Airport/train station or hotel in Palermo on the tour finish date
  • Air-conditioned private bus with a private driver
  • All accommodation and taxes in 4 and 5-star spa hotels and bespoke residence
  • A copy of Dominique's " My Taste of Sicily" cookbook, apron, travel tote bag, maps, printed recipes, travel hints, and tips
  • Contact sheet with phone numbers and addresses of all the hotels on the tour
  • All private escorted visits and tastings
  • Daily full luxury breakfast. 9 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Some morning/afternoon teas and aperitives
  • Where lunches/dinners are not provided, the listed multi-course meals are of ample abundance including a combination of fine dining, long lunches, and street food
  • All beverages with meals including wine, beer, juice, soft drink, tea, and coffee
  • All guided tours as specified in the tour
  • All transfers by boat, bus, car, taxi as specified in the tour itinerary
  • Admission to all historical sites, galleries, and museums mentioned in the itinerary
  • 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 the "What's included" section
  • General expenses such as phone calls, laundry, or room upgrades
  • Transfers outside of tour dates, personal transport, excess baggage, security and government taxes, and travel and medical insurance
  • Beverages outside of described "What's included"
  • Meals not specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Hotel tourist tax
  • Entry fees to places other than those specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Optional excursions or activities that may be available but not included in the tour price
  • Personal settlement of any extra charges is made to the hotel or provider of any service not included in the inclusions
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Catania–Fontanarossa Airport Airport transfer included: Catania–Fontanarossa 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.
14 days / 13 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 10 participants

Availability

Arrival: Monday September 19, 2022
Departure: Sunday October 2, 2022

Solo travelers

This vacation can accommodate solo travelers.

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