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8 Day of Sicilian Wonders: Food and Culture Vacation in Palermo and Syracuse, Italy

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

A Charming Week of Discovery Sicily Culinary Vacation

Join an in-depth cultural vacation while savoring the best wine and Sicilian recipes. Starting in Palermo and ending in Taormina, you are in for a west-to-east ultimate tour of Sicily! Wonderful Italy, 8 Days of Sicilian Wonders is a small and intimate vacation that includes accommodation in the finest and stylish homes, expert local guides, authentic experiences, delicious meals, wine and local product tastings, private transfer, and time to live the real Sicily.

Highlights

  • Wine and local product tasting in Palermo and Noto
  • Cooking class and market tour with a local chef in Palermo
  • Discover hidden gems like Trapani, Erice, Marsala, and Piazza Armerina
  • Pay tribute to the guardian of the island with a soft hiking to Mount Etna and enjoy lunch
  • Tours of Neapolis, Pallermo, and Valley of the Temples with a local guide
  • Guided tour of Cathedral of Monreale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Private driver and transfer from one destination to another
  • 7 nights accommodation and airport transfers

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Styles


7 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Italian
Group size: Minimum of 2 participants
Airport transfer included: Falcone–Borsellino Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
10:00

During this holiday, you will be staying at one of Wonderful Italy's comfort accommodations: cozy and charming apartments that will allow you to relax after days exploring the local wonders. All the homes are fully furnished and well-equipped with Wi-Fi and everything else you need for your comfortable stay.

The vacation foresees four nights of accommodation in Palermo and three nights in Syracuse.

Program

Day 1 - Palermo

  • Transfer from the airport, check in, and welcome dinner

Ciao e benvenuto in Sicilia! or Welcome to Sicily! Your driver will wait for you at the airport to take you to your Sicilian home in the heart of Palermo, cozy and curated in the smallest details with a unique style. You will enjoy an amazing welcome dinner at one of the top food parlors of Palermo in the evening.

Day 2 - Palermo

  • Walk with a local tour

Get an insight into local culture, typical districts, and way of living the multicultural regional capital with an enthusiast local guide. With this introduction to the beautiful Palermo, you can now wander around and not get lost.

  • Cooking class and market tour with a local chef

Hands in the dough, put the apron on, and enjoy a cooking class with the best chef in town. Follow the maze of colors and sounds of the local market, and learn how to choose the freshest products and become an expert shopper. Then, join the chef’s table and cook some good traditional delights, and of course, eat it till it is all gone.

Day 3 - Palermo and Monreale

  • Antimafia tour

Wake up and get ready for the third day of wonders. Join the Antimafia tour and learn about the mafia. Walk through the city center and listen to how the habits of the locals changed through the years thanks to a group of young Palermitanos that created AddioPizzo, a movement that help entrepreneurs rebel to Pizzo, the money-protection imposed by mafia.

  • Tour of Duomo di Monreale in the afternoon and wine and tapas tasting in the evening in a typical Palermitan bar

A transfer will get you to Monreale for the guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy the view of Palermo and the Conca D’Oro from the hill, and when back to Palermo toast to the beauty seen today with the ABC of Sicilian wines and local delights with a “more than a wine tasting.”

Day 4 - Trapani, Erice, and Marsala

  • Discover the western pearls: Trapani, Erice, and Marsala

Get on board for a short drive to Trapani (1 hour 30 minutes) and take some time to wander freely in the old town, through old narrow streets, discover churches and monuments, and a fabulous seafront. Leave for a 30-minute unbelievable drive with a view, up to reach Erice, a medieval town perched on the side of the mountain with divine views over the coast.

  • Lunch in Marsala enjoy sunset in a magical location

Change location, and have lunch at one of the best wineries in all Sicily. Take a walk through the royal vineyards and learn about the well-kept secret of Sicilian winemaking. Get a glimpse of Marsala, the city of the wine, the wind, and the national hero Garibaldi.

End the day with a stunning sunset at the salt pans of Marsala for a daydream scenery of bucolic windmills, heavenly reflections, salty shining hills, and painted skies. Transfer to Palermo (1 hour 50 minutes' drive).

Day 5 - Agrigento and Piazza Armerina

  • Guided tour of the Valley of the Temples (Agrigento) and free time to explore Piazza Armerina, check in in Syracuse

Pack your bags! It is time to leave Palermo and get to the other side of the island. But first, your driver will take you to Agrigento (2 hours 15 minutes) and you will discover the Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples. Visit ancient Greek temples like the Hercules, Juno, and the Concordia’s with a guide.

Piazza Armerina (1 hour 30 minutes) is next on the list: with its Roman Villa, UNESCO World Heritage Site since ‘97. Get to know the town of the Roman mosaics and Baroque buildings, and encounter the Sicilian inland, simply amazing, more than you can ever imagine.

In the afternoon, get ready to check in in Siracusa (2-hour drive), then stroll in the city and fall in love with Ortigia Island. Do not hesitate to ask the local team for tips on where and what to eat for dinner.

Day 6 - Noto and Syracuse

  • Guided tour of Neapolis, wine tasting and lunch in Noto, and free time to explore the city

Today, you will step back in time with a guided visit of Neapolis with a local guide. Learn about the Greek and Roman theater, the Latomie del Paradiso, and the Orecchio of Dionysius, a huge ear-shaped marble extraction cave. Get ready for a short drive (40 minutes) to reach the “like in a movie set” Noto, the pearl of Baroque. Eat in one of the best restaurants in town for an unforgettable lunch and wine tasting.

After a good espresso, you have free time to explore the historical center, every corner of town is worth to be visited! Check Corso Vittorio Emanuele III, the Monastero San Salvatore, the Villa Romana, and Palazzo Nicolaci. Take the rest of the day to enjoy the scenery of red-gold buildings that glow at sunset and transfer to Syracuse.

Day 7 - Etna and Syracuse

  • Soft trekking on the Etna volcano with lunch

Depart from Siracusa (1 hour 30 minutes' drive) and get ready to visit the highest active volcano in Europe, the Etna. The hiking is soft, enjoy moonscape scenery and walk on ancient lava beds, while a breathtaking view of the surroundings and shining vegetation will be your company. Relax and taste the most delicious lunch with epic panoramas.

After lunch you have free time to relax in Syracuse where you could check the top things to see in town: Castello Maniace, the undergrounds, the Cathedral, the district of Giudecca, Fonte Aretusa, or simply relax at the view of the horizon at sunset.

Day 8 - Taormina and check out

Get ready to leave Sicily, but not before visiting the last wonder, Taormina. Check-out and reach Taormina in a little bit (1 hour 30 minutes' drive).

Once arrived in the rose of the east, enjoy your free time visiting Corso Umberto I, Piazza IX Aprile, St Nicolas Cathedral of Taormina, Public garden - Villa Comunale, the Greek Theatre of Taormina, and Isola Bella.

No doubt, Taormina will bewitch you with its romantic views, elegant buildings, and wrapping nature.

At last, your transfer will take you to the Catania airport (1-hour drive). You will not say goodbye, you will say "A presto, see you next time!".

Included excursions

Apart from the meals included in this vacation, there are also some amazing excursions which will introduce you to the local culture and history of each destination:

  • Walk with a local tour in Palermo
  • Cooking class and market tour with a local chef
  • Antimafia tour
  • Guided visit of Duomo of Monreale
  • Guided visit Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
  • Tour of Neapolis in Syracuse
  • Soft trekking on the Etna Volcano with lunch
  • Free time to explore and discover: Trapani, Erice, Marsala, Noto, Piazza Armerina, Taormina

Location

This vacation will take you on a discovery of Sicily, starting from the west and ending on the east side of the island.

Sicily

Sicily is an amazing land. It is the cradle of flavors and professions, and Palermo is no different. The city lies between the sea and the mountains, between traditions and an ever more quivering social revolution.

Cosmopolitan, mysterious, and sensual at the same time, Palermo is the capital of the island, and you can truly feel the different influences of its melting pot. You’ll feel Palermo and its embracing welcoming energy.

It was elected a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016 and more recently, the Italian Capital of Culture and hosting city of Manifesta 12, the biennial of contemporary art. Culture is a tool of contrast, knowledge of the other, and helps to overcome differences as an obstacle to peaceful coexistence.

Palermo

Palermo, in its history, is the expression of European cultures that have engaged in dialogue with the Arab world. It is the product of dominions that, throughout the centuries, took place here, as well as the ability of its inhabitants to be capable of welcoming different cultural influences and being able to produce a new culture through processes of the original redevelopment of knowledge acquired at the same time.

During this holiday, you will get to know the highlights of this magical land:

  • Palermo
  • Monreale
  • Trapani
  • Erice
  • Marsala
  • Agrigento
  • Piazza armerina
  • Noto
  • Etna
  • Siracusa
  • Taormina

Food

This vacation includes 2 lunches, 1 wine and local product tasting, 1 wine tasting with lunch, 1 dinner, and 1 cooking class with lunch.

Additionally, Wonderful Italy's team will help you select the best ingredients from the territory and the most authentic experiences, customized to your preferences and needs. You can taste seafood, as well as organic and vegetarian specialties. However, the attention will be stolen by amazing pasta dishes, which play a big role in the daily life of Italians. What better way to live like a local?

Moreover, you can customize your trip as you want to. Meals can be added to your vacation for an additional cost, Wonderful Italy can accommodate any dietary requirements, just share your thoughts with them and they will be more than happy to arrange it for you.

The following meals are included:

  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

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

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Seafood
  • 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)

There is no shortage of attractions in the area, you will always find something interesting to discover and explore. The best idea is always to mingle together with the locals and let them advise you on the upcoming events and shows. It is not unusual that you will end up spending the night at someone's place, sharing stories and good wine.

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Welcome dinner in a local restaurant in Palermo
  • Walk with a local tour of the city in Palermo
  • Cooking class and market tour with a local chef in Palermo
  • Antimafia tour in Palermo
  • Guided tour of Monreale cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Wine and local product tasting in Palermo
  • Free time to explore the Western Pearls: Trapani and Erice
  • Lunch in Marsala and free afternoon to enjoy this wonderful destination while enjoying a beautiful sunset in a one-of-a-kind location
  • Guided tour Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
  • Free time to explore Piazza Armerina
  • Guided tour of Neapolis in Syracuse
  • Authentic wine tasting and lunch in Noto
  • Soft trekking on the Etna volcano and lunch with spectacular views
  • Free time to explore Syracuse and Taormina
  • Private driver and transfer from one destination to another, from and to the airport, 6 city transfers in total

What's not included

  • Breakfasts
  • Extra snacks and beverages
  • Lunch or dinner when not mentioned as included
  • Flights

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO) in Palermo. Transfer from this airport is included in the price. Wonderful Italy will pick you up from the airport.

Upon departure, please fly from Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) in Catania. Transfer to this airport is also included in the price.

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 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --

Availability

This vacation is available on-demand, all year long, except for Easter and Christmas holidays.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Select your package:

For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.

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