A Perfect Sicily Culinary Tour

A 8 day trip to Italy 
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Bask in the simultaneously simple and complex flavors of Sicily in a paradise that you never knew existed. The Mediterranean Sea sparkles along the golden sandy beaches. Greek ruins adorn hilltops and overlook the surrounding valleys. Citrus orchards and olive groves provide ample tastes of the island’s natural flavors. Wineries blanket the undulating landscape and chocolateries fill the streets with indulgent rich aromas. Your Sicily culinary tour is custom tailored to your desires, allowing you to immerse yourself in the cuisine of Sicily that can be rustic or refined, sweet or savory, and is never less than scintillating. 

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Palermo, Sciacca, Selinunte, Agrigento, Taormina, Noto, Modica, Mount Etna 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Delectable Palermo

Palermo is an amalgamation of global history, enriched by cultures from around the world, spanning over two millennia. The markets thrive and produce a warm, inviting atmosphere. The Capo Market runs along Via Porta Carini and Via Beati Paoli, filled with food stalls. The aroma of vivacious spices fills the air. Vendors call out to you with magnanimous smiles. Awnings cast shade between the buildings and create a distinct North African atmosphere on the European island. Your private transfer meets you at Falcone-Borsellino Airport upon your arrival in Sicily.

You make your way into the city center and find the heart of the city. Palm fronds rustle in the sea breeze, sweeping across the port. Your accommodation has an unobstructed view of the Mediterranean Sea. Lush trees frame your window. The quiet resort-style accommodation is located in a stunning historic palazzo. The city has an endless vibrant life teeming along the cobblestone streets. Your guide meets you at your hotel, eager to show you the historical depths of the city, along with the visible combination of cultures that have shaped the traditions of Sicily.

The Norman Palace was erected in the 9th century as an Arab castle, but was repurposed by the Normans after their invasion of Sicily in the 11th century. The stunning architecture boasts Norman characteristics; however, the details of the structure’s Arab roots are still visible. The interior holds the Cappella Palatina, a glittering chapel filled with gold mosaics. Your footsteps echo against the marble floors. The wooden honeycomb vaults are an element of the pre-Norman history of the structure.  

What’s Included: dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 2: True Introduction to Culture

The secrets to the culture of Sicily are hidden in tits cuisine. At breakfast, the aroma of rich espresso emanates from the cafes. The citrusy aroma of freshly squeezed orange juice filters through restaurant doors. Street-carts boast fresh baked brioche and treccine, a pastry with a twisted shape and topped with sugar, filling the markets with a sweet air. After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel. You are ready to venture out into the marketplace and explore the lively stalls and culture enriched by the quality of the food. The most famous market in the city is La Vucciria, which means “voices,” in the Palermo dialect.

Vendors haggle with customers, both in search of the best deal. Bright herbs and colorful produce are on display. An entire section of the market is dedicated to the fresh, quality seafood caught that morning, showcasing swordfish, prawns, muscles and a variety of the Mediterranean’s best. Your guide leads you along the pathways, buying ingredients along the way. After your excursion, you arrive at the kitchen where your guide turns into both chef and teacher. You learn the importance of each ingredient in Sicilian cooking, making pasta, simmering sauces, and melting cheese until you have created the perfect Anelletti, a baked pasta dish with little ring-shaped noodles.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 3: Enchanting Open Space

In the morning, you wake up in your luxurious resort-style accommodation near the city of Sciacca. Your hotel is situated on nearly 570 acres overlooking the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the lush prairies running to the foothills. At breakfast, you find the aroma from the nearby citrus orchard refreshing. You sip a decadent cappuccino at breakfast and enjoy the sweet pleasures of a freshly baked brioche. The day is yours to enjoy Sciacca and its surroundings at your leisure, whether it’s basking on the golden sand beaches or learning how to kite-surf in the sea breeze. Consider reading some of our Sicily travel reviews to gain additional ideas as to how to perfectly complete your trip. For another in depth look into the fabulous cuisine of Sicily, you make your way into Old Town.

The history of the city is palpable, which was founded in the 5th century BC as a thermal resort. The medieval streets divide the town into quarters. Cafes set out tables in Piazza Scandaliato. Stairs leading down to the harbor provide an open view of the sea. You make your way down a tiny, hidden alley to find a nationally acclaimed restaurant. The restaurant uses organic and local ingredients to produce quality regional cuisine in accordance with the Slow Food movement. The taglioni al nero di sepia e ricotta salat, flat strings of pasta cooked in cuttlefish ink and served with salted ricotta cheese, is the perfect amount of savory, embodying the history and evolution of the regional cuisine in one dish.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, accommodation

Day 4: Captivating Cultures 

At breakfast, you can listen to the sea lap against the gold-sand shores of the coastline as you sip your refreshing morning espresso. After your meal, your guide meets you at the hotel and takes you on an enriching culinary and wine tour of Sciacca, taking in the wondrous flavors of the regional cuisine, along with sampling the local wine at a celebrated vineyard to discover the various ways the soil can affect the vines. In the afternoon, you continue to Selinunte, a remarkable Greek archeological site that was erected approximately 2,500 years ago.

The city of Selinos was once the wealthiest and most powerful city in the known Classical world with over 100,000 citizens. The city built elaborate temples overlooking the natural harbor. The Acropolis rises above the plain and contains five temples. The largest and oldest, known as Temple C, was erected in the 6th century BC. The structure is nearly 58 feet long and 18 feet wide. It is easy to imagine how the city looked over two millennia ago, brimming with activity and stunning columns. A variety of metopes depict Perseus and the Gorgon, along with Heracles and the Cercopes, lending spiritual credence to the famous legends.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Ruins to Recognition 

In the morning, your guide whisks you away from your resort and escorts you to the edges of the marvelous Valley of the Temples located outside of the modern city of Agrigento. The tremendous Greek ruins speckle the countryside, rising around the hills valley. Aromatic flora blossom in the Kolymbetra Garden. Olive orchards and citrus groves grow near almond trees, as the latter emanates a sweet scent. After your exploration of the stunning Greek ruins, you continue to the cliff-side town of Taormina, which offers unparalleled views of the turquoise Mediterranean Sea below. Cobblestone streets wind along the hillside leading up to the castle atop the summit.

Designer and boutique shops line the main street leading to medieval churches and an ancient Greek theater. Your guide leads you along Corso Umberto, a pedestrian-friendly walkway lined with Renaissance palaces. You can see the marvelous peak of Mount Etna overtaking the horizon in the distance. You follow the sweet aroma of fresh pastries to Café le Quattro Fontane in the Piazza del Duomo. Your guide brings you a cannolo; trips to Sicily aren't complete until you try one. The crunchy outer layer wraps around the sweet Ricotta cheese. The combination of crunch and soft textures, along with the vanilla and chocolate mixture make every bite heavenly, and it is only the first stop on your pastry tour of the city.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Richness of Sicily

In the morning, the light shimmers along the surface water of the Bay of Naxos. The crystal clear sea changes from indigo to turquoise. A narrow sand strip connects the shore to the small island of Isola Bella. Boulders surround the coastline and growing verdant trees. Your guide meets you at the hotel in the morning and escorts you to the Baroque city of Noto. The main avenue of Vittorio Emanuele contains elegant walkways. Graceful palaces and churches border the street. The Cathedral of San Nicolo’s dome glows a vibrant peach color underneath the drifting sun. The dome is the central point of the city’s skyline.

Your guide leads you along the café-studded streets to begin your tour of the exquisite gelato produced in the city. Caffé Costanzo has been rated one of the best gelaterias in the world. Each flavor is displayed with signs protruding from the container of gelato, promoting its taste and central ingredient. The dark chocolate aroma accentuates the quaint bohemian décor. The creamy, delicate texture allows the fruity or decadent flavors of the gelato to be highlighted.  At Caffé Sicilia, you find an eclectic selection of fruity gelato and even a mixture of fruit with chocolate to create a sweet and rich combination.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Characteristics of the Soil

From the top of the Greek Theater in Taormina, you can look out over the stadium seating to the distant city of Catania, which sits at the foothills of the magnificent peak of Mount Etna. The summit rises to 10,991 feet above sea level and is the largest active volcano on the European continent. After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the base of the mountain, where the shadows of the peak loom. The volcanic soil is rich in nutrients and enhances the qualities of the locally grown produce, cultivating a shinier rind and a bolder taste.

You venture to a family-owned winery near the charming town of Motta Camastra. The hillside town sits atop stonewall terraces. Citrus trees and prickly pears grow around the rugged boulders bordering the streets. The vineyard encompasses 37 acres, on which the family grows vines, olive trees, fruit orchards, and vegetable gardens. Your guide takes you along the vines and explains the entire process of winemaking, from cultivation to bottling, as well as harvesting the grapes late in the season in search of a specific ripeness. You sample a wine made from Nerello Mascalese, a dark-skinned grape. The flavor has a lively spice and an interesting earthiness emanating from the cherry notes.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Taking the Flavor with You

In the morning, delight in waking up to the scent of the almond sweetness of a marzipan. The aroma drifts from the various display windows in Taormina. The sensational dessert is shaped to resemble various types of fruit, from strawberries to apples, gleaming in the windows. At breakfast, you can enjoy the view of the water once more, as you sip your creamy and rich cappuccino, accompanied by a freshly baked brioche. Your private transfer meets you in the hotel lobby after your meal. You make your way to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport where you board your flight home. You can always continue your culinary exploration of Europe, venturing to mainland Italy or France to witness the indulgent gastronomic traditions that have captivated people around the world.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized Italy tour packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $450 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $350 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $300 per person per day

The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within Italy, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.