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Luxury Italian Food Tour in Sicily

The Aeolian Islands have always been a popular destination and now Pure Food Cooking Tours has made it even easier and more affordable to enjoy these stunning volcanic islands with this relaxing and insightful tour. Enjoy the best Eastern Sicilian cuisine, culture and history, discover the jewels of the Aeolian Islands, explore Palermo and its rich cultural history and just sit back and relax. This tour to the Aeolian Islands is high-end boutique travel, the perfect, no stress way to experience the delights that these regions have to offer. The relaxed itinerary takes care of all of the logistics but with enough flexibility to allow for spontaneous new adventures. Whether you are a seasoned traveller or a first-time overseas holidaymaker, you are welcome. It is the perfect food and wine tour for solo travellers, couples, in fact, anyone who enjoys meeting new people and enjoys new experiences and loves Mediterranean food.

Meet the instructors

Dominique
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Highlights

  • Hands-on cooking class
  • Wine tasting and caper tasting tour of Salina Island
  • Guided walking tour on Lipari Island, Palermo, and Salina Island
  • Fully escorted by chef Dominique Rizzo with over 10 years of experience in touring Sicily
  • Boat trip around Salina Island with lunch on board
  • Full day in Palermo with free optional activity
  • 6 nights luxury accommodation
  • Boat tour to Lipari Island

Styles


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

You will be staying in a family-run, bespoke Island resort with an ancient Greek-inspired thermal spa, mineral baths and wellness centre. The retreat is based on the Island of Salina. Salina is considered by many to be the prettiest island in the archipelago.

With two twin peaks, verdant valleys and charming towns, it is known as the “Isola Verde” (the green island) and boasts a number of vineyards that produce sweet Malvasia dessert wine. Studded with citrus trees, olives and caper plants much of the cuisine on the island comes from Salina itself with speciality foods coming from the remainder 6 islands and some from the mainland.

During this tour, you explore the natural reserve that is the island and its famous picturesque villages such as Pollara, Malfa and Santa Marina. Pollara is most noteworthy for its appearance in the beautiful Italian movie "Il Postino". There will be a tour to Lipari Island, the largest of the islands. It accommodates a busy centre full of gorgeous restaurants and bespoke artisan shops. Lipari is also a sought after destination for archaeology lovers.

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.

In this private guided Aeolian Islands tour, through the cooking class, food tastings, boat tour, you will see first-hand what the islands have to offer. Most of all, the islands are an extraordinary and breathtaking destination. They have attracted travellers worldwide ever since the times of classical mythology. The restaurants, dining experiences, hotels and activities are hand-selected by herself to give you a taste of the true Aeolian culture. You will meet local characters, slow food producers and passionate chefs who like all Sicilians will embrace you with their love of their homeland.

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 this unique island cuisine, 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 an Aeolian adventure with Dominique Rizzo as you explore these beautiful Islands. See you in Sicily!

Itinerary

Day 1: Salina Island

The team will meet you early at your hotel reception then board the transfer bound for the stunning Aeolian Island of Salina, stopping for a typical Sicilian lunch "on the move". For Italian movie buffs, you will have the chance to see the house where Italian actor Massimo Troisi from “Il Postino” brought Salina to the world.

Arriving on Salina Island, you will feel instantly relaxed as you are escorted into your beautiful room in a resort in the small town of Malfa. Traditionally built to suit island life, the whitewash walls and lush gardens with sea views are picture-perfect postcards of rest and relaxation. After check-in, you enjoy a dinner in the resort’s restaurant with one of Sicily’s most talented Michelin star female chefs. Overnight in Malfa

  • Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Cooking on Salina

With a relaxing start to the day, you dine on a delicious buffet breakfast Salina style then ease into your morning cooking class at the hotel which includes an alfresco lunch overlooking the Aeolian Islands. The rest of the day is free for you to continue enjoying this little piece of paradise.

Hire a Fiat, Vespa or three-wheel ape and cruise around the island, or simply relax at the resort with herbal, all-natural massages and treatments, floating around in the Greek-like thermal and mineral pools. You can also take the bus to Lingua a seaside town on Salina, to enjoy one of the island's best granitas and the traditional Pane Cunzata, a toasted flatbread loaded with delicacies from the island. Overnight in Malfa.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 3: Boat tour and visit to Lipari

Today, you will be taken by private boat to discover the beauty Salina and Lipari Islands. You will be given free time to wander and explore Lipari taking in the unique, boutiques, cobbled streets and great island life. You finish the tour with a panoramic sea view around Salina itself, all while enjoying a relaxing late lunch on board. Your evening is free in Malfa. Overnight stay in Malfa.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 4: Salina

Today is completely yours to do whatever you like. Feel free to rest and relax poolside at the hotel, book in for an incredible treatment and spa at the hotel spa. Take the local bus for a hop on hop off adventure, hire a Vespa or little car to do some travelling across the island or book a whole day boat trip and laze the day away on the turquoise waters.

The group will meet in the afternoon to drive to Pollara to watch the sunset, enjoy an aperitive with local Malvasia wines, a delicious tasting of local capers and finish with dinner sampling some of the islands freshest catch of the day.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 5: Salina - Palermo

After a late checkout, you will board the ferry back to Sicily and onward to Palermo. You then check into your accommodation and give yourself the rest of the day free. The group will meet in the late afternoon for an evening wander to one of Palermo’s local restaurants.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 6: Palermo

Today, you will be given a free day to explore Palermo city. You can either join the group and the guide to further explore some of the lesser-known but fascinating sites or wander off on your own.

Catch a glimpse of authentic Sicilian life and head to one of Palermo’s street markets. The three main ones are Vucceria, Capo and Ballaro markets, the latter being the biggest and busiest of them all, right in the centre of Palermo, you’ll find the gigantic Massimo Theatre, the third-largest opera house in Europe and the most impressive building in the city, you can book a theatre tour, a ticket for a show or just wander the exterior taking a view inside at their latest exhibition.

There is plenty to see and do in Palermo and just a short bus ride away can take you to the seaside town of Mondello, where you will find the locals sunning themselves on the beach or enjoying one of the many cafes and restaurants beach side. The group will meet in the evening to wander to a celebratory last dinner.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 7: Farwell

You say goodbye as all of your transfers are organized and wish you well for your return home or your onward journey.

  • 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.

Instructors

Dominique Rizzo

Location

Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands, located off the coast of northeastern Sicily, are one of southern Italy’s greatest natural and cultural treasures. Formed by volcanic eruptions over time, the archipelago is made up of seven islands: Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi. They all sound like a poetic rhyme. Just like their beautiful names suggest, the islands will captivate you in many different ways. Each island offers an astounding contrast in landscape, colours, lifestyle and cuisine. In addition, the nightlife, shopping and relaxation are all very unique.

From your Salina terrace, marvel at the 2000-year-old live volcano on Stromboli Island. See its frequent explosive eruptions and red hot lava stones flowing directly into the sea.

Sail around the beautiful green Salina Island and marvel at its perfectly perched tiny towns. See a natural reserve that is the island and its famous picturesque villages such as Pollara, Malfa, Santa Marina. Taste fresh salted capers and the popular Malvasia, a wine native to the islands from this particular grape.

Discover Lipari Island with its great scenery, typical island beaches, and the liveliest town to be found on the islands. Lipari is active late into the night (in the summer) and has a very wide selection of bars and restaurants.

Wander from Marina Lunga harbour on a short walk through pleasant colourful streets to get to the pretty, historic harbour area of Marina Corta which is the pretty focus of a visit to Lipari. Around the harbour area, there are lots of restaurants and cafes and this is a very pleasant place for lunch.

Try a Pane Cunzato, a popular island summer meal consisting of thin open focaccia piled high with options such as fresh mozzarella, tuna, olives, sun-ripened tomatoes and local condiments. You can also enjoy it with a homemade almond, pistachio or fruit granita, a true taste experience and perfect for a summer in the Aeolian.

Food

Full luxury breakfast every day, 2 lunches and 4 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:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • 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)

"Savour Sicily" - A tour for the senses

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, you are offerd a wonderful introduction to Sicily. You will visit some of the most popular historical sites, galleries, and museums in Sicily. You will be taken 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 jewelry making. Also visit the stunning photographic hilltop town of Erice, a picturesque medieval town where you will indulge in specialty pastries and desserts with recipes handed down through the ages.

You will 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 will 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 specializing in showcasing true Sicilian fare.

What's included

  • Fully escorted tour, 6 days, 5 nights in the beautiful scenic surrounds of The Aeolian Islands
  • Specialised escorted service of Dominique Rizzo, chef/author and owner of Pure Food Cooking, Pure Food Wine and Cooking Tours
  • Private Italian guide for 6 days, also speaks German, English, and Spanish
  • Transfer from Palermo Airport/train station or hotel in Palermo on the tour start date
  • Air-conditioned comfortable private bus with a private driver
  • Luxury Island Spa Resort and boutique-style accommodation selected for their personalised service, amenities, locations and hospitality
  • Signature kitchen apron, "My Taste of Sicily" Sicilian cookbook and shopping/travel tote bag.
  • Maps, Italian travel language brochure, travel hints and tips, details of hotels
  • All private escorted visits and tastings
  • Full luxury breakfast every day, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Some morning/afternoon teas and aperitives as stated
  • Transfers to Palermo Airport /train station or hotel on the tour finish date
  • 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 to and from Sicily
  • Everything not included in the itinerary (not mentioned under "What's included")
  • General expenses such as phone calls, laundry, or room upgrades
  • Transfers outside of the tour dates, personal transport outside the tour dates, excess baggage, security and government taxes outside the tour dates, travel and medical insurance.
  • Beverages and meals outside of described “What's included” – (you will not need to buy anything to eat)
  • Room service beverages and meals when not participating in the scheduled meals
  • Tourist taxes where applicable
  • Personal settlement of any extra charges made to the hotel or provider of any service

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Falcone–Borsellino Airport (Punta Raisi Airport) Airport transfer included: Falcone–Borsellino Airport (Punta Raisi 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.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 10 participants

Availability

Arrival: Sunday October 2, 2022
Departure: Saturday October 8, 2022

Solo travelers

This vacation can accommodate solo travelers.

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