Culinary Tours to Sicily

Nov. 12-20, 2016 / Mar. 24 - April 1, 2017 / April 1-9, 2017

• Private guided "street food" tour in Palermo
• Tour and wine-tasting luncheon at vineyard near Trapani
• Private guided tour of the Valley of the Temples
• A private cooking lesson followed by dinner in Ortygia

Price: $4,599 ppdo

Tour Details

The following are included in the trip’s price:

• Charming accommodations: (4) nights in Palermo (4) nights in Ortygia
• All breakfasts, 5 luncheons, some with wine, and 2 multi-course dinners
• A cooking lesson followed by luncheon in Ortygia
• (2) winery tours and wine-tasting luncheons, one in Trapani and one in Noto
• A private guided walking tour of the UNESCO Valley of the Temples, the salt flats in Trapani, and the small seaside town of Marzamemi
• Lunch on the water in Cefalu
• Full-time tour director from Buon Gusto Tours, who is with you throughout the trip
• Admissions to historic sites, tastings, and other scheduled events as noted in the daily itinerary
• Transportation during the tour
• Transfers upon arrival and departure in Italy
• Pre-trip planning help

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: D
We arrive in Palermo and check in to our 4-star hotel in the center of the city, close to everything. After time to settle in and perhaps rest, we’ll convene in the evening for a welcome dinner of typical Sicilian cuisine at a wonderful trattoria within walking distance from our hotel.

Day 2: B, L

After a leisurely morning, we'll set off to discover Palermo's heart, through its traditional "street food." With our local expert guide, we'll take a walking tour through the main piazzas and mercati (markets), learning about the history of this amazing city, sampling its famous street food and learning about the legends behind the plates. Free evening in Palermo.

Day 3: B, L

This morning, we'll depart Palermo for Trapani, home to some of Europe's oldest salt flats. The natural process of salt "production" dates in Sicily from at least Greek times and continues to this day. With our local guide, we'll learn this process and have time to soak in atmosphere of this gorgeous part of the island. We'll then continue to a local organic vineyard for short tour and wine-tasting lunch. The vineyard overlooks the sea and is the perfect setting to enjoy some of Sicily's most famous wines. We'll return to Palermo pleasantly sated. Free afternoon and evening to enjoy the city.

Day 4: B, L

Nestled between the sea and an enormous rocky promontory, Cefalu is a wonderful combination of narrow medieval streets, small squares, and historic sites. Today, we’ll head to this quaint town, where some scenes from the film Cinema Paradiso were shot, for free time followed by a seaside luncheon of local specialties. Afterward, consider climbing to the top of La Rocca, the large rock that dominates the town, for spectacular views! We then head back to Palermo for a free evening.

Day 5: B

We pack up and depart Palermo for our next destination: the quaint yet spectacular ancient town of Ortygia. En route, however, we'll stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Valley of Temples for a private guided walking tour. Founded as a Greek colony in the 5th century BC, Akragas (Agrigento) was one of the most important Greek colonies in Sicily. Set on a gorgeous plateau filled with olive and almond trees, the Valley of the Temples houses the remains of 7 Greek temples, one of which is described as “the most impressive surviving Doric temple in the Greek world after the Parthenon in Athens,” according to UNESCO. We'll then continue on to our new hotel. Free evening in Ortygia.

Day 6: B, D

After breakfast, we’ll have a private guided walking tour of Ortygia. This tiny town is packed with 2,500 years of history and houses arguably one of the most beautiful piazzas in all of Italy, awash in white limestone. The Cathedral, built on the site of an ancient Temple of Athena, has been described as “all of Sicily in a single building.” It was built as a Greek temple, expanded by the Romans, converted by the Byzantines into a basilica, made into a mosque by the Arabs, added onto by the Normans, adorned by the Spanish—and these elements remain visible today, 25 centuries after it was built. We'll break for free time and lunch on our own and then reconvene in the late afternoon for a hands-on Sicilian cooking lesson followed by a dinner of our own creation.

Day 7: B, L

Our first stop this morning is at a gorgeous small ancient fishing village on the Ionian Sea:Marzamemi. In the 10th century, the Arabs gave the town its name (translating roughly to Turtle Dove Bay) and also built the original tuna processing plant there, which became the most important one on the island. Marzamemi continues its artisanal fishing and processing activities, producing all kinds of delicacies, including dried tuna roe (bottarga), smoked swordfish, marinated anchovies and much more. We’ll have a short walkabout with our tour leader and then will continue on to a famous vineyard that produces Santa Cecilia DOC Noto and Passito di Noto DOC for a wine-tasting tour. Our tour is followed by a delicious multi-course luncheon at the estate. Free evening in Ortygia.

Day 8: B, D

Today, we are free to discover Ortygia and Siracusa at leisure! Shop to your heart's content, go to the nearby archeological park of Neapolis, take a harbor cruise with a private boat captain or simply sit at an outdoor cafe with a glass of Sicilian wine and watch the world go by... Your tour director will be on hand to help you with any questions or help you may need. We'll reconvene in the evening for a group farewell dinner and have our last cin cin to returning to Italy again soon.

Day 9: B

Transfer to Catania airport for our return flights.

Give us a call if you’re ready to experience the magic of a small-group tour of Italy!