9 Days Culinary Vacations in Italy

9 Days Culinary Vacations in Italy

  • Palermo, Italy

Road of Wines in Sicily, Italy

Enjoy a fantastic opportunity to tour private wineries, taste local products, and eat delicious meals in the incredibly beautiful Sicilian countryside. Discover the true flavors of the famous Italian cuisine and find the meaning of living la dolce vita as a true Italian. After this tour, you will leave this beautiful island having fallen in love with the Sicilians, their cuisine, and the superb wine.

Highlights

  • Top class wine tasting sessions
  • Guided tour of an archaeological park
  • Visit Consorzio Corfilac and taste Ragusano cheeses
  • Guided tours of Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, and Siracusa
  • Taste chocolate in Modica, made the traditional way
  • Taste the famous panettone in Castelbuono
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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During your holiday, you will spend two nights in Palermo, two nights in Taormina, one night in Marsala, one night in Caltagirone or Piazza Armerina, one night in Siragusa, and one night in Castelbuono. You will be staying at charming 4-star hotels. In Caltagirone or Piazza Armerina, you will stay at a farmhouse.

Day 1: Palermo

  • After your arrival at Palermo Airport (PMO), you will be welcomed by your driver and taken to Palermo to check-in at a first class, 4-star hotel, where you will be received with a welcome cocktail and meet the guide for an introduction to the tour.
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner in a elegant setting in central Palermo with the most refined Sicilian cuisine.
  • This is a restaurant where you will have a unique dining experience.
  • After dinner, take part in a panoramic tour of Palermo by night, before returning to your hotel for the night.
  • Meal plan: Dinner.

Day 2: Palermo street food and culture - The Corvo wines

  • The morning will be spent with a special walking tour of Palermo, dedicated to street food.
  • This is a special 3-hour walking tour, where you will sample the best of Sicily’s street food. Led by a local expert guide, you will explore the fascinating culinary world of Sicily’s Capital.
  • You will visit the famous and bustling outdoor markets of Vucciria and Mercato del Capo, tasting five different Sicilian treats along the way, including panelle, which are chickpea fritters, and arancine, deep-fried rice balls.
  • During the tour, pass major Palermo monuments, such as Palermo Arabo-Normanna and Palermo Barocca.
  • Round up your tour with some local sweet wine and seasonal dessert.
  • In the afternoon, you will visit the Corvo Winery and taste their production, before getting back to the hotel.
  • Tonight, you will have dinner in a local restaurant, where creative Sicilian dishes will be served between strings and retro furnishings, in an intimate and elegant setting.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, street food taste, and dinner.

Day 3: Erice and Marsala between wines and pastry - Tasting Donnafugata and Pellegrino cellars.

  • This morning, have breakfast at the hotel.
  • Then, transfer to Erice, a magnificent village nestled in a picturesque setting that rests untouched from medieval times and where you will visit its ancient churches and rich historic city centre.
  • Visit the Antique Convent Pastry Shop, one of the most renowned Sicilian bakeries, and enjoy a taste of the fine Erician pastries, first created within the convent walls, and as a special treat, sample some of the typical almond dough desserts filled with candied lemon.
  • Next, transfer to Marsala, a city famous for the production of its namesake wine.
  • Stop in Donnafugata winery, where you will enjoy a guided tasting of 4 wines in the charming sala delle botti, combined with bread, olives, tuna, arancini, focacce, and local cheeses.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a brief visit to the Cantine Pellegrino, for a tasting of Marsala Wines, conducted by an expert.
  • Check in at the hotel for rest and relaxation.
  • In front of one of the most peculiar landscapes of Sicily, the Stagnone di Marsala, you will have an Apero, a dinner in a charming place overlooking the salt pans during sunset.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, brunch, and apero dinner.

Day 4: Between history and gastronomy - Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, and the cellars of Tenuta del Nanfro.

  • This morning, have breakfast at the hotel, before you depart for Agrigento for a guided visit of the extraordinary Valle dei Templi, a masterpiece that stands testament to Greek art in Sicily.
  • Later, arrive at the Kolymbetra Park, an agricultural jewel returned to light after decades of abandon. This garden has fruit trees from every part of the world and some of the trees are over 1000 years old.
  • Then, surrounded by pomegranate, pistachio, orange, and lemon trees, and under the Mediterranean sun, you will enjoy a typical Sicilian lunch served to you outdoors, complete with local fruit, cheese, and wine.
  • In the afternoon, take a guided tour of the Villa Romana del Casale, built during the imperial age and famous for its precious mosaics, which constitute some of the best conserved in the entire Mediterranean basin.
  • Then, transfer to nearby Caltagirone, the Sicilian capital for ceramic artistry, and stopover at the wine cellars of the Antica Tenuta del Nanfro for a guided visit and tasting of typical vintages from the area, such as Nero d'Avola and the Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
  • Following the visit, check in at the accommodations provided by a nice agriturismo. The establishment is surrounded by a vast open territory dedicated to the cultivation of orange and lemon orchards.
  • You will enjoy an authentic evening meal at the agriturismo, where, with their exceptional kitchens showcase, typical regional cuisine and local produce are being created.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, picnic, and dinner.

Day 5: Baroque, cheese and chocolate - Ragusa, Modica, and Syracusa.

  • This morning, breakfast is served at the farm.
  • Transfer to Ragusa and stop in its old historic center, Ibla, a place of an extremely ancient origin and home to an incomparable array of typical Sicilian baroque architectures and ambiances.
  • Today, visit the Consorzio Corfilac, a highly and unusual organization that studies and promotes traditional Sicilian cheeses. You will tour their unique laboratories and enjoy a specially arranged tasting of the traditional, protected denomination Ragusano cheeses.
  • Transfer to Modica, the ancient capital of Contea, a city full of fascinating architectural, artistic, and scenic attractions, unique among those pertaining to the splendid Sicilian Baroque period.
  • Take a guided stroll through the area and stop at the Antique Pastry Shop Bonajuto, where the Ruta family is famous for their chocolate, a delicacy they continue to prepare in the same style once used by the ancient Aztec people.
  • Along with chocolate, enjoy their peperoncino, vanilla, and cinnamon, which help lend their desserts their typical Ragusano flavor.
  • Today, you will have lunch at your own expense.
  • Afterwards, head toward Syracusa and spend the rest of the afternoon on a brief guided visit of this splendid city, which along with Athens and Alexandria, was one of the largest political and cultural centers in the Greek world.
  • Join a guided tour of the archaeological park, followed by a visit to the historic city center on the island of Ortigia, before you check in at a hotel.
  • Dinner will be at a splendid old location, where you will taste the famous moscato di Syracusa wines, synonymous of greatness, class, and gentlemanliness. The moscato is an absolutely classic wine, golden in color, round, and harmonious.

Day 6: The power of nature and its products - Etna's wine and honey and Taormina

  • In the morning, you will have breakfast at the hotel.
  • Join an excursion to the foot of Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
  • Stop in a local family honey farm, where it is possible to taste a selection of natural honey with orange, lemon, eucalyptus, and strawberry; almond pastries; olives; and olive oil.
  • You will then continue in the territory of Santa Venerina and visit a wine estate for a true discovery of the wines of Etna.
  • Tour the cellar, where the area's traditional wines and esteemed champagne, V.S.Q. Metodo Classico, are produced.
  • Enjoy a wine tasting and lunch at the estate, with a menu characteristic of Etnean tradition.
  • Afterwards, transfer to Taormina, check in at the elegant hotel, and enjoy free time for visits, strolls, and shopping in this incredible city, a place known throughout the whole world for its panoramic setting above the Ionian Sea and for its breathtaking view of Mount Etna, the ancient Greek theater, and a high spirited dolce vita. *This night, you will have dinner at your own expense.

Day 7: The Eoliand Islands

  • After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Milazzo port.
  • From there, you will set out for Salina in the Lipari Islands, by ferry or hydrofoil, and spend a day on this lovely Island to enjoy more of the Malvasia Wines.
  • Visit a famous winery, Hauner, and taste its famous wine, the Malvasia.
  • Today, you will have lunch in a typical fish restaurant before you transfer to Lipari, the largest of the Aeolians, that greets you with Baroque architecture, colorful fishing boats, and a lively port lined with cafés.
  • Later, you will take the hydrofoil to Milazzo and go back to the hotel.
  • Tonight, you are free to dine where your senses take you; at your own expense.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 8: The landscape of The Madonie and Cefalù - Sant’Anastasia wines

  • Enjoy a delicious breakfast in hotel.
  • Drive along the coast to the fishing town of Cefalù, where you will be joining an unforgettable panoramic tour.
  • In the afternoon, transfer to Castelbuono, a village with a fascinating history as well as valuable masterpieces. It was the capital of the Ventimiglia, one of the most powerful families in Sicily for several centuries.
  • Stop in one of the most famous pastries to taste the delicious panettone with creams.
  • Continue to Abbazia Santa Anastasia, a former Benedictine abbey built in the twelfth century in the hills high above the north coast.
  • Check in at the splendid resort and enjoy a wine tasting and dinner before going to sleep.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 9: Departure

  • It is time to say goodbye.
  • After breakfast in the farm, transfer to Palermo Airport (PMO) for your return flight.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast.

Aeolian Islands

Aeolian Islands and the above all Salina, are the native lands of the Malvasia of Lipari, already called from Sicilian Diodoro "the nectar of Gods”.

This wine is produced following a millenary technique, with grapes previously deposed on rush mattings in order to be withered by the sun. An ancient wine, been born from grapes imported from the mythical homeric heroes disembared on these coasts, that still intact conserve the memory of the ancient Mediterranean civilization. Taste it accompanied from fine cheeses or cream sweets, as the experts advise. Mean to discover history of that past far away, bathed of transparent sea and sunny beaches.

Lipari is the largest of the Aeolians, it greets you with Baroque architecture, colourful fishing boats, and a lively port lined with cafés. The pace is slow, laid back,and infectious. Linger over a freshly almond granita or stretch out on the black beach at Acquacalda. Be sure to visit Lipari's archaeological museum, which boasts an excellent collection of ancient Greek painted vases discovered in the waters nearby.

Cefalù

Cefalù is famous for its rich historical center, the Norman Cathedral, and the medieval quarter, as well as for its beautiful beach and blue sea.

Abbazia Santa Anastasia.

Abbazia Santa Anastasia is a former Benedictine abbey, built in the twelfth century in the hills high above the north coast. The medieval abbey or abbazia is steeped in a natural landscape, so extraordinary that the present owner, entrepreneur Francesco Lena, originally purchased the land to turn the estate into a holiday resort. Instead, he began experimenting with international varietals such as Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the indigenous Nero d’Avola.

Corvo Winery

Today, Corvo is a historical brand, not only for Sicilian wine making, but also for one of the leading and most popular wines in the world. The unique and distinctive features of Corvo wines are the crystal, a clear expression of the land of origin; only Sicily ‘s best native grape varietals, first and foremost Inzolia and Nero d’Avola, are selected every year from the vineyards, which, depending on the climate, have yielded the grapes with the best quality to create wines with a great character and delight.

Donnafugata winery

Donnafugata grew out of the commitment of a family in Sicily that has always believed in the extraordinary enological potential of its land and has 150 years of experience in producing premium wines. Convinced that it is always necessary to be open to change in order to grow and improve, Giacomo Rallo and his wife, Gabriella, launched a new production project in 1983: Donnafugata. Their adventure took wing from the family’s historic cellars in Marsala and the vineyards at Contessa Entellina, in the heart of western Sicily, and soared as far as the island of Pantelleria. Do not miss the delicious red Mille e Una Notte and Donnafugata's version of the famous Passito di Pantelleria, a sweet dessert wine, with intense notes of apricot, made partly from raisins on Pantelleria, an island off Sicily's southwestern coast.

Lipari Island

Discover seven little volcanic islands, surrounded by a warm and deep sea in an out-of-time atmosphere, recalling a history of sea-adventures going back 5000 years. The main island, Lipari, the green landscapes of Salina, the wild nature of Alicudi and Filicudi, the sophisticated Panarea, and the charming Vulcano and Stromboli.

Salina is the second largest Aeolian island. It was named after the little salted lake of Lingua, lying at the south-eastern tip of Salma, where the inhabitants once used to gather the salt needed to preserve capers and fish. More than 400 different types of plants grow here. It is also the island with the highest peaks, such as the three volcanoes that originated it.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna is one of the most important places in Italy from a naturalistic point of view. Viticulture in this area dates back to ancient times, as the finding of coins of the fifth century B.C. witnesses. On the slopes of this volcano, the highest in Europe, excellent red and white wines are produced. Nerello Mascalese and carricante are the most used species of wines.

Other excursions

  • Guided tour of the Valley of the Temples
  • Guided tour of the Villa Romana del Casale
  • Guided visit of Syracusa
  • Stop at the Antique Pastry Shop Bonajuto
  • Street food walking tour in Palermo
  • Tour of the wine cellars of the Antica Tenuta del Nanfro
  • Visit Cantine Peregrino for a tasting of Marsala wines
  • Visit Kolymbetra Park
  • Visit to a local honey farm
  • Visit to a wine state in Santa Venerina
  • Visit to the Antique Convent Pastry Shop
  • Visit to the Consorzio Corfilac, where you will taste cheese
  • Visit to Vucciria and Mercato del Capo

This vacation will take place in Sicily, Italy.

During this vacation, you will taste the Sicilian flavor with daily breakfast, 5 special lunches, and 6 gourmet restaurant dinners. You will have the chance to taste panettone and traditional chocolate, as well.

You will have plenty of opportunities to dine at local restaurants and get to know the surroundings at your own pace.

  • 1 chocolate tasting in Modica
  • 1 panettone tasting in Castelbuono
  • 1 private visit to Consorzio Corfilac, with cheese tasting
  • 5 lunches
  • 6 gourmet dinners
  • 7 top class wine tasting session
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • Transfers to and from Palermo Airport (PMO)
  • English speaking driver guide
  • Guided local tours in Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, and Siracusa
  • Transportation by private minibus to excursions
  • Additional activities
  • Additional drinks
  • Airfare
  • Entrance fees for the monuments and museums
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Palermo Airport (PMO). Sicily By Experts di Fransicile will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Cefalù, Italy

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