12 Day Culinary & Historical Tour

2 nights Palermo – 3 nights Buseto/Trapani – 1 night Selinunte, 2 nights Caltagirone – 3 nights Acireale “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily, is not to have seen Italy at all” - Goethe –

Visit, Live, Enjoy, and taste the best that Sicily has to offer. Meet with local Chefs, who will teach you how to prepare traditional Sicilian dishes. Visit local markets and local wineries. Enjoy the local feast.

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Board your overnight flight to Palermo with Alitalia Airlines from John F. Kennedy Airport.

Day 1
Buongiorno!! Welcome to Italy!!
Upon arrival in Palermo, you will be greeted by our local tour guide Josephine Asaro, and transfer to your hotel via deluxe motor coach. After check in enjoy a light lunch before departing to the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia the Patron of Palermo. Promenade in Mondello and in the evening; enjoy a Welcome Dinner, in a traditional “trattoria” restaurant in Palermo.
(L, D) Hotel – San Paolo Palace Hotel - Palermo

Day 2
After breakfast, visit the LaVucciria Market, in Palermo. Experience the charm and ancient “grandeur” of this Mediterranean style town, with its entire splendor – Norman Place, Chiesa Della Martorana, Chiesa San Cataldo, the Cathedral, Quattro Canti Square, Casa Professa dei Gesuiti, and Palazzo Mirto. After Lunch (on your own) we will transfer to Monreale an ancient village near Palermo. It is famous for the wonderful Norman Cathedral, and its adjoining Cloister (architectural masterpieces of King Roger II). We will then return at the Hotel for dinner. After dinner we will experience an enchanting night “Gattopardiana” in the Palazzo Conte Federico, Count Federico Alessandro, direct descendant of Federico II di Svevia is the most ancient noble family in Sicily. (Black-tie).
(B, D) Hotel – San Paolo Palace Hotel – Palermo

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Day 3
After breakfast we will leave for Castellammare Del Golfo and proceed to see La Marina, the Castel, the Belvedere, to enjoy the panoramic view of the entire gulf and coast of Castellammare. Then on to Scopello, to see I Faraglioni, and stop inside the Square of Scopello, where you can have a traditional Lunch (pane cunzato with olive oil, espresso coffee & gelato). After Lunch, proceed to Buseto Palizzolo and after stopping at the hotel for checking in, you will have the experience of helping to harvest the grapes,

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and to visit a local winery for a wine taste of the local grapes such as Nero d’Avola, Insolia, Grillo e Catarratto. Did you know that the Province of Trapani produces 10% of all the wine produced in Italy? After the wine tasting we will proceed to the restaurant for a genuine traditional Sicilian dinner with lots of wine, music, and a lot of fun!!!
(B, L, D Hotel – Ciuri di Badia in Buseto Palizzolo

Day 4
After breakfast, we will proceed to the town of Erice. This medieval town is located at the top of a mountain, set 751 meters, above sea level. Erice overlooks the whole Western Region, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Egadia Islands. It is also the city of reunion for all scientists in the world. This is where the Headquarters of the scientific cultural center “Ettore Maiorana” is located. You will have time to walk freely. Lunch on your own. Afterwards we will proceed to the old city of Trapani. This interesting town is known for its many Renaissance and Baroque style structures. The building of Giudecca stands in the heart of what was once an important Jewish center. (NOTE: in the 15th century, the Jewish Community made up over 10% of the Trapani population). You will also visit the Saline of Trapani, where you will see the Windmills used to draw water from the basins to facilitate salt formations and harvesting, and learn how natural sea salt is being produced. Dinner will be in a traditional restaurant in Baglio Santa Croce with a breathtaking view of the bay of Valderice.
(B, D) Hotel – Ciuri di Badia in Buseto Palizzolo

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Day 5
After breakfast, we will visit San Vito Lo Capo, and enjoy in the 10th international “Couscous Festival”. This festival is a chance for different cultures and traditions to meet and focus on the event – Mediterranean Multi-Ethnic Cuisine. For lunch you will finally discover the wonders of preparing the couscous with fish, and after you will eat the meal prepared by you. The afternoon there will be many events going on with Sicilian and foreign Chefs. In the evening there is entertainment in the plaza and you can taste a different type of couscous including a glass of red or white wine and a dessert. Then we will return to the hotel for the night.
(B, L, D) Hotel – Ciuri di Badia in Buseto Palizzolo

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Day 6
After a delicious breakfast you will board the bus and the unique journey begins: you will experience the “Garibaldi Quest” – in 2010 Italy celebrated its 150th anniversary of its unification, and you will assist to the reenactment of the beginning of its unification. You will meet at the port city of Marsala to watch the reenactment of the arrival of Garibaldi’s ships. Afterwards you will travel to Salemi. Then you will observe the reenactment of the Declaration of Salemi as Capital of Italy for a day. Onward to the “paese di Vita” (the town of Vita) as you make your way to Pianto Romano for the reenactment of the Battle of Calatafimi. After the show we will taste Garibaldi’s favorite food in a restaurant overlooking the Temple of Segesta and after lunch we will visit Segesta, it is an ancient village in the western part of Sicily. There you will visit its magnificent Greek Theatre & Doric Temple, and masterpieces of Greek architecture. From there we will proceed to Selinunte to the Admeto Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
(B, L, D) Hotel – Admeto Hotel - Selinunte

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Day 7
After breakfast, we will go and visit a local “Frantoio” an Oil Mill for an oil tasting class. During the class you will learn ALL the benefits of consuming extra virgin olive oil regularly: It is “l’elisir di lunga vita” the long life elixir. We then go to Sciacca the town of John Bongiově’s ancestors. Afterwards we will proceed for Agrigento this city was built in the year 581BC, as “AKRAGAS”; but in the 3rd century BC, it was conquered by the Romans, that renamed the city “AGRGENTUM”. We will then have a guided visit to the “Valley of the Temples”, that contain the spectacular ruins of the Greco-Roman City. We will have lunch in a beautiful restaurant in the “Valley of the Temples”. After lunch we will continue to Caltagirone the “Ceramic City”. Dinner in Hotel.
(B, L, D) Hotel – Hotel- Villa San Mauro - Caltagirone

Day 8
After breakfast we will leave for the Baroque Cities of Ragusa and Modica were you can admire the Church of San Giorgio, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, is a monumental example of Baroque architecture including a staircase of 250 Steps that were built after the church in 1818. A walk along Corso Umberto is well worth it. This road is Modica’s viewing lounge, right up to Piazza Principe di Napoli, where you can find the Town Hall (Palazzo Municipale) and the castle walls that have survived time and nature’s hazards.Ragusa Ibla hosts a wide array of Baroque architecture, including several stunning palaces and churches: The Cathedral of San Giorgio was built starting in 1738 by architect Rosario Gagliardi and many more. After lunch we will return to Caltagirone. The city has been long famous for the production of pottery and terra-cotta wares. Nowadays the production is more and more oriented to artistic production of ceramics and terra-cotta sculptures. The city's name derives from the Arabic qal'at-al-ganom ("Castle of the Genies"). It was inhabited since pre-historical times, as attested by the presence of two necropolis dating from the 2nd millennium BCE and by numerous other archaeological findings. The city was almost completely destroyed by the severe earthquake of 1693. Many public and private buildings have then been reconstructed in Baroque style. Primarily for this reason, the city has been inserted, together with the surrounding territory in an area protected by the UNESCO World Heritage program. We will assist a short pottery demonstration. Then we will return to hotel for dinner
(B, L, and D) Hotel- Villa San Mauro - Caltagirone

Day 9
After breakfast we will go to visit Noto, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century, considered among the main masterpieces in the Sicilian baroque style. We will then preceed to Syracuse the Island of Ortigia. There we will visit the Temple of Apollo, adapted to a church in Byzantine times, the Fountain of Arethusa in Ortygia Island. Lunch in the Island of Ortigia in a beautiful restaurant overlooking Archimedes’s Plaza. After lunch we will visit the Greek Theater and the Orecchio di Dionisio (“Ear of Dionysius”) the Roman Amphitheatre and the Tomb of Archimedes. After we will proceed for Acireale at the Hotel Excelsior Palace Terme were we will have dinner.
(B, L & D) Hotel - Hotel Excelsior Palace Terme – Acireale

Day 10
After breakfast departure for Mt. Etna, the highest mountain of Sicily. Etna is the largest active volcano of Italy; from there you can admire the sea coast. Lunch at the “Casa Cantoniera” on Mount Etna. After lunch we will spend an unforgettable afternoon promenading on the street of Taormina. We will visit the Greek Theatre and admire one of the most beautiful landscapes of Sicily. We will then return at the hotel for a special dinner with music and dancing.
Hotel – (B, L, & D.) Hotel - Hotel Excelsior Palace Terme – Acireale

Day 11
After breakfast we will visit Catania and spend a day at your leisure for shopping and for visiting the very many sites such as Saint Agatha Cathedral, Villa Bellini (named after the opera composer born in Catania in 1801).
(B, D) Hotel - Hotel Excelsior Palace Terme – Acireale

Day 12
After breakfast transfer to airport for flight back home

Highlights of the trip

  • Cooking classes
  • Winery & Wine Tasting
  • Visit the Harvest of the Grapes
  • Lunch & Dinners in typical Italian restaurants, with mineral water & wine
  • Off the path visit to some small villages
  • Service of a multilingual Tour Director
  • Qualified Local city Guides
  • Stay in Twin-bedded rooms with private facilities
  • All hotel service charges, local taxes and porterage (one suitcase per person) All airport Tax, service fees and fuel surcharge

Sicily Discover

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