8 Days Cooking Holidays in Italy

  • Palermo - Menfi

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Overview

Italy Food Tours

Join Savory Spoon on a culinary holiday in Sicily! Savory Spoon's La Foresteria Planeta is a resort immersed in vineyards, which stretch to the beaches of Porto Palo, Menfi, near the famous Planeta wineries. It is the perfect place for a gourmet holiday with delicious food, great wines and lovely company, in the heart of the ancient sun-kissed Sicily. Chefs Janice Thomas and Judy Witts Francini will guide your culinary senses and daily adventures for a holiday to remember.

Highlights

  • 3 hands-on cooking classes
  • Olive oil, cheese, and wine makers visits
  • Information and tasting of the best Sicilian local flavors
  • Stunning coastline views along Sicily and its surroundings
  • Make your own Ricotta cheese with a local sheep farmer
  • Visit the village of Sciacca, famous for ceramics
  • Visit the flour mill and bakery of Filippo Drago
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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While touring Sicily, you will be provided with daily 4 and 5-star accommodation. On your first evening, you will be staying at The Grand Hotel Wagner in Palermo. For the next six evenings, you will be staying at Savory Spoons Sicilian home: La Foresteria Planeta Estate, a resort located on the southwestern coast of Sicily, in Menfi.

La Foresteria Planeta Estate

La Foresteria Planeta Estate resort is a hallmark of hospitality, from the Planeta family, the ambassadors of Sicily and of its fine wines and oils throughout the world. Located on the southwestern coast of Sicily, in Menfi - a town between Selinunte and Agrigento, it bears resemblance with a typical village of rural homes, standing on the hill to watch over the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. La Foresteria has 14 spacious rooms, each of which blends a sense of essentiality and style to offer a vacation truly Mediterranean in spirit, in a place of genuine beauty and superb hospitality of the Planeta family.

Amenities

  • Bicycles
  • Deck
  • Fitness area
  • Guided tours
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming pool
  • Turkish bath

Grand Hotel Wagner

The hotel was named after the famous German composer Richard Wagner, who lived in the namesake street with his family between 1881 and 1882. With its refined rooms and prestigious suites, the hotel is the result of a perfect symbiosis: between the elegance of the furnishings, the golden decoration and the efficiency of the services. Whilst maintaining a classic style, the rooms are equipped with the latest technology for those who wish to dedicate some time to work.

Amenities

  • Car rental
  • Fitness room
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Lounge bar
  • Meeting room
  • Newspapers
  • No-smoking rooms
  • Parking
  • Roof garden
  • Room service
  • Taxi service

Monday, May 15, 2017:

You will fly into Palermo on the west coast of Sicily, which has one easily accessible airport. A driver will pick you up and transport to your hotel. Upon arrival on your first night in Palermo, you will stay at one of Savory Spoon's favorite hotels, The Grand Hotel Wagner. The location is perfect for getting around the city. Your welcome dinner will be at one of Judy's favorite restaurants and features a variety of scrumptious local flavors. A taste of Sicily you will not forget. You will meet in the hotel lobby at 18:30.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017:

Your private driver will transport you to Menfi and the Foresteria Planeta, a lovely estate known for its great wine and agritourism. The location, near the sea, is the perfect destination for your daily adventures to surrounding areas to sip, savor, and shop. Savory Spoon have planned the perfect combination of cooking, cultural touring, and relaxation. Spring in Sicily, by the sea, is breathtaking. Your morning visit to Monreale will be magical and memorable too! You will enjoy a walking tour of Palermo's Mercato del Capo, which is the most famous in Palermo. You will have a flavorful lunch and city tour with a local guide. In the afternoon, you will drive into the countryside to Menfi and Savory Spoon's estate, Foresteria Planeta, which you will call home for the rest of the week. You will enjoy poolside relaxation, a walk, and a great sunset before dinner with wine pairing at Planeta.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017:

Morning tour at Selinunte and then, off to Porta Pala at the sea for your lunch at Da Vittorio, one of the area's best restaurants. After lunch, you will visit the village of Sciacca which is famous for ceramics. Dinner at Planeta.

Thursday, May 18, 2017:

Your day trip to Castelvetrano will feature a cooking class at the Becchina Estate which is one of Sicily's best olive oil producers. You will learn about the processing procedure as well as having an extensive tasting. You will also make your own Ricotta cheese in a large copper kettle with Savory Spoons favorite, local sheep farmer. In the afternoon, you will visit the flour mill and the bakery of Filippo Drago, who is saving the ancient grains of Sicily. You will return to Foresteria, for a lovely dinner with wine pairing.

Friday, May 19, 2017:

Your morning will include a hands-on cooking class with chef Angelo Pumilia at Savory Spoon's own Foresteria. The class will feature all the best of the local flavors and the culinary craft of making handmade couscous, in their state-of-the-art blue and white tiled kitchen, followed by feasting on the lunch you have prepared. The afternoon is off to relax by the poolside. Dinner at Planeta.

Saturday, May 20, 2017:

Your adventure, today, will lead you to the village of Trapani, which hugs the harbor and is the capital of the province. Trapani is laden with elegant baroque palazzi and impressive churches. You will also visit the famous salt flats of Trapani. Your lunch will be at Cantina Sicilliana with famous chef, Pino Maggiore. After the class, you will head up to Erice for a lesson on marzipan from the famous Maria Grammatica, featured in the book "Bitter Almonds". Light dinner at Planeta.

Sunday, May 21, 2017:

Today's cooking class will feature the best of local flavors. After the class, you will visit a local woman winemaker, Marilena Barbera, and you will tour her small winery which is next door to Planeta's property. Your farewell dinner will feature the delicious foods you have prepared in your cooking class.

Monday, May 22, 2017:

Depart the Planeta Estate to Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO).

  • Cheese, olive oil and wine makers visits
  • Day trip to Castelvetrano
  • Excursion in the archaeological park of Selinunte
  • Flour mill and bakery visits
  • Monreale town visit
  • Sciacca village visit
  • Walking tour of Palermo's Mercato del Capo

This tour will take place in the Sicilian cities of Menfi, Trapani, and Palermo, Italy.

Sicily's kitchen is made up of fresh ingredients, delicious fish from the Mediterranean, almonds, pistachios and some delectable combinations of pasta, sardines and saffron. Each day, you will venture out on side trips especially designed to give a true taste of the traditional Sicily and an intimate look at the soul of the island. Aside from history, architecture, and natural beauty, one of Sicily's greatest attractions is its great food. Every village, town, and city has markets exploding with fresh produce, fish, and a lively culinary scene. Sicilians' attitude towards food is much like it's character, including lots of tradition and just a taste of the modern.

  • 1 night in Palermo
  • 6 nights at the La Foresteria Planet Estate
  • Airport transfers
  • All ground transportation during the holiday
  • Cooking classes with Savory Spoon chefs
  • Daily breakfast

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO). Savory Spoon will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Savory Spoon an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by a traveler from Appleton, US

    "My bridge group and I spent an hour enjoying the talents of chef Teri and her crew. They made lunch and we loved eating it. The lunch was wonderful: both tasty and fun to do within a group. There were nine of us at the September "lunch and learn" session, that accommodates 18 persons. A truly fun way to start an afternoon with friends."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Paula from Brussels, US

    "What an amazing experience to cook with seven other women! Our group had such a wonderful time, learning techniques, tips, tricks and everything to do with flavor blends. Janice has a perfect set up for cooking instruction. There is plenty of room and plenty of hands-on experience. The best part was that we had to sit down and eat our goodies: salad with an amazing dressing, pea soup, poached fish and veggies in orange sauce, perfectly roasted potatoes and a chocolate and raspberry dessert."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Carol from Redmond, US

    "My husband and I both had misgivings when we first started out. How were a dozen people going to manage to put together a multi-course lunch in a couple of hours? Not to worry, even though the kitchen is inside a former school, and it is very well laid out and organized. We were divided into groups and each person made one part of the meal. When everything was ready, the worktables magically became eating tables, complete with fresh flowers and tablecloths. Janice, the owner, and her helpers, were organized and very helpful. Anybody with an interest in cooking good, healthy menus, will love Savory Spoon. I plan to share my experience by inviting my neighbors for a repeat."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Martha Bates

    "Thank you for the terrific trip. Your resourcefulness, meticulous planning, and unfailing good nature made for a wonderful, rich experience, and we particularly appreciate those experiences that money just can't buy. You did a fabulous job, both in conception and in execution."

    Savory Spoon website, edited