Photo credits “The Thinking Traveller"
Culinary Journey to Sicily, Italy
$6100.00 US pp** | May 11-17, 2019 | Just added!
Want to indulge your senses in the heart of the Mediterranean? Sicily has you covered! Get ready to uncover the island’s rich history and culture, admire its extraordinary architecture, be surrounded by dramatic landscapes, and experience one of the world’s most diverse, interesting and delicious cuisines. And then, prepare yourself to unwind in exquisite accommodations with extraordinary views!
We’ll stay at a gorgeous villa in Taormina in the Catania Region, on the eastern coast, where the slopes of Mount Etna overlook the Ionian Sea. The culture, scenery and views, along with a unique culinary tradition, make this area one of the most special in all of Sicily. During our journey, we’ll enjoy meals that we’ve prepared together in our hands-on cooking classes, sample local sweet delicacies, visit vineyards and enjoy tasting at exclusive wineries, walk through charming and historic villages, and of course, shop at local markets!
And then there's the food. What I love most about Sicilian cuisine is its diversity. While many regions of Italy have a very distinctive culinary heritage that shares little with other cultures, Sicilian food shows ingredients, flavors, and dishes from every culture that has established itself on the island over the past two millennia – and trust me, that’s a long list. Plus, warm waters and frequent rains, combined with the temperate climate of Sicily, make the island a perfect place for growing a broad variety of foods…and for producing wine!! This combination makes this the perfect destination for culinary travelers, like us!
* Images above curtesy of The Thinking Traveller
** Price based on double occupancy. Airfare not included. Deposit of $1,500.00 US per person required to secure a spot. See tour Terms and Conditions.
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Sicily Italy Cooking Classes
While Sicilian food shares many of the classic dishes we associate with Italian cuisine, it also shows influences from all across the Mediterranean. Sicilian ingredients also hold the memories of the cultures that have dominated the island over the centuries: the use of spices like nutmeg and clove from the Arabs during the 10th and 11th centuries; couscous from North African cultures; the frequent use of fish, olives and olive oils, pistachios, and broad beans from Greek settlers; a fondness for meat dishes curtesy of French and German populations; and a variety of ingredients and produce from Spain. This is the kind of cuisine that makes cooking so much fun!! During our hands-on cooking classes, we’ll cook our way from succulent Eggplant Caponata to addictive Arrancini and then move on to create Sicilian favorites, such as Pasta alla Norma in our villa's well-equipped kitchen.
Our meals would not be complete without extraordinary wine! From smooth and juicy Nero d’Avola, the island’s flagship red, to elegant, mineral-driven reds and whites from the slopes of Mount Etna, we’ll enjoy some of the most exciting wines coming out of Italy. No wonder that Wine Enthusiast calls Sicily “one of the most exciting wine regions in Europe, blessed with a combination of abundant sunshine, varied terroirs, good indigenous grapes (and as the ability to grow just about anything well), investment in technology, two dozen or so dynamic estates…”
*Wine Enthusiast- Best Wine Destinations 2017 http://www.winemag.com/2017/01/05/sicily-italy-best-wine-destinations-2017/
We’ll stay at the Rocca delle Tre Contrade, perched in a stunningly panoramic position atop its own hill on Sicily’s east coast. Uninterrupted 360-degree views take in the sparkling Ionian Sea to one side and the fertile flanks and lava peak of Mount Etna to the other. The views of this former aristocratic estate are further enhanced by the intense greens and citrus flashes of the villa’s grounds, which feature lemon groves, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens.
The magnificence of Mother Nature is rivalled only by the spectacular 25-metre, south-facing infinity pool, the like of which we have never seen, and the delightful interiors, which have been renovated and refurbished to exactingly high standards. We’ll dine al fresco on panoramic terraces surrounded by luscious lemon groves, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. The views, in case you needed reminding, are bewitching, no matter where you look!
Situated near the town of Santa Venerina on the east coast of Sicily about half way between Catania and Taormina, Rocca delle Tre Contrade is the perfect home base from which we can visit Taormina, Catania, Mount Etna, charming fishing villages and nice beaches nearby. An eighteen-hole golf course is about 45 minutes drive away. Further afield, Syracuse, the baroque towns of the Noto valley, the quiet beaches of Vendicari and Capo Passero to the south and Messina to the north are all comfortably reachable for day trips.
Sicily Day Trips
We won’t have to go far to explore some of the best that Sicily has to offer! Everywhere you turn, there are streets filled color and history, and after Catania's colorful streets, famous fish market and the Baroque architecture of the grand Piazza del Duomo, we'll head out for excursions through Taormina, Etna and beyond!
Sicily Trip Details
The closest International airport to your villa is Catania Airport. Group transfers to and from Catania Airport are included in the cost of the tour. Private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. We suggest arriving to Italy at least one day in advance of this tour. Not only does this give you some time to adjust to the time difference, it provides you with more time to explore. We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance.
A non-refundable deposit of $1,500.00 US per person is required to register for this journey. See the Terms and Conditions link above for details. Single supplement charge applies for solo travelers. Accommodations, cooking classes, excursions and day trips, wine and tastings and meals (with the exclusion of one or two) are included. Airfare is not included in the package price. Final payments are made by personal check or money order.