Uncover and experience the layered and complex history of this cultural crossroads in the Mediterranean.
Sicily has become more than just a forgotten island or an add-on to a vacation to Italy; its unique soul, elaborate history, beautiful landscapes and weather, and spectacular food and wine make it one of Europe’s most enchanting places to visit. The island’s central location in the Mediterranean has resulted in a storied history as well as a variety of gastronomic influences from the ancient Greeks, the Normans, Spain, the Middle East, and North Africa. This, coupled with its fertile land and access to an abundance of seafood, results in an exceptional culinary landscape. With the recent revolution taking place in the island’s wine industry, Sicily is also starting to gain a much more respected reputation for producing some of the most highly regarded European wines.
Stroll through the large, bustling markets of Palermo and snack on a crisp and creamy arancini, and visit the Baroque, hilltop village of Modica to sample a unique type of chocolate. Take a leisurely break for some pesce spade outside the Catania fish market, or climb to the vineyards of Mount Etna to enjoy some crisp, refreshing carricante or a jammy, full-bodied nero d’avola. Uncover Sicily’s rich history through its food and wine, and relish in your newfound love affair with breadcrumbs…on practically everything.
Day 1 — Palermo
Arrival in Palermo. Private transfer to hotel. Welcome dinner. Two nights in Palermo.
Day 2 — Palermo
Morning market visit and street food experience. Afternoon cultural touring. Evening at leisure.
Day 3 — Palermo to Agrigento
Full day culinary and cultural experience including visits to a local bakery and Greek archaeological sites. Private transfer to Agrigento. Two nights in Agrigento.
Day 4 — Agrigento
Morning tour of the Valley of the Temples. Farm visit, olive oil experience, and lunch. Home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Day 5 — Countryside
Depart Agrigento in the early morning. Afternoon cooking class and lunch. Wine tasting and vineyard tour. Overnight at vineyard.
Day 6 — Siracusa and Noto
Depart the vineyard in the morning for Siracusa. City walking tour upon arrival. Local salumi and cheese lunch. Private transfer to Noto for afternoon cultural and culinary touring. Two nights in Noto.
Day 7 — Modica and Ragusa
Morning chocolate experience. Lunch at Michelin star restaurant. Evening at leisure.
Day 8 — Catania and Mount Etna
Morning departure to Catania. Fish market tour. Afternoon wine tastings on Mount Etna. Two nights in Taormina.
Day 9 — Taormina
Morning at leisure. Afternoon cultural touring. Farewell dinner.
Day 10 — Departure
Private transfer to Catania airport for international departure.
Palermo Market & Street Food
Begin the day navigating down narrow medieval streets and alleys lined with hundreds of stalls. Palermo’s oldest open-air market sells everything from fresh fish and meats, locally grown fruits and vegetables, and delicious snacks such as freshly fried panelle, a chickpea fritter, and spongy sfincione, a type of Sicilian pizza. After sampling some of these street snacks and enjoying a glimpse into daily local life in the city, retreat to a nearby café for a coffee and cannolo.
Vineyard Cooking Class
Head out of the city and into the mountainous Sicilian heartland to spend the day at a 19th century, 1,000-acre working farm and estate. Stroll through the grounds with the owners, stopping at the farm to pick some fresh ingredients to incorporate into the day’s lunch. Head to the kitchen and get your hands dirty while helping prepare a traditional meal sourced from the family’s own recipe collection, then retire to the courtyard to enjoy a feast of Sicilian dishes paired with delicious wines from the estate’s vineyards.
Farm to table tasting & lunch
Perched up on a hill just a few miles from the sea sits a secluded farmhouse overlooking the surrounding olive groves, some of which have occupied the land for several hundred years. This wonderfully restored farmhouse and award-winning olive oil production facility will be the site of your true “farm to table” experience. Enjoy the old age charm of this family-run operation and experience the fascinating olive oil production process before sitting down for a home-cooked lunch utilizing ingredients picked from the properties’ gardens.
For many years, Sicilian wine production was all about quantity over quality. Producers pumped out wine that was then transported to Northern Italy and blended with more well known, superior wines. The mentality has since shifted to a focus on quality, and the resulting popularity and recognition speaks to the excellence of the grapes, the varied terroir such as the volcanic soil of Mount Etna, as well as the expertise and passion of the winemakers. Throughout your Sapore Sicily tour, you can sample wines from a variety of vineyards across the island, from large producers leading the movement to boutique wineries experimenting with organic and natural wine production methods.
Catania Fish Market
An essential part of the city for hundreds of years, Catania’s fish market is an animated and gritty locale that supplies the city with a bevy of edible treasures plucked from the sea, including octopus, clams, swordfish, anchovies, and sea urchins. After a stroll through the main market area where locals and chefs battle it out for the best catch of the day, grab a table in a nearby restaurant to experience why seafood is a part of the lifeblood of Sicilian culture.
This charming, yet buzzing port city is the capital of Sicily and often the first stop in any visit to the island. Highlights include the patchwork of architecture indicative of its storied 2700-year history and the vibrant and lively outdoor markets with delicious street food options tempting at every corner.