Day 1 Monday
On arrival in Sicily, you're met at the airport and transferred to Hotel Domina Zagarella in the heart of Bagheria (about 20 minutes) to settle in:
▪ Inclusions: Airport picks up / Welcome Cocktail Reception / Welcome Dinner with wine.
Day 2 Tuesday / PALERMO, MONREALE
Our journey in Sicily begins with an elaborate wine tasting at Duca di Salaparuta Winery in nearby Bagheria. The morning session will include various quality wines (paired with the right foods) produced by Sicily's oldest wine producers.
Monreale. Visit the magnificent Norman Cathedral, intact in its entire splendor, and it's one of the most visited buildings in Sicily.
Palermo. Guided tour of the historical center, followed by a must-stop to the outdoor markets of Ballaro'.
▪ Inclusions: Breakfast / Wine Tastings with food at Salaparuta / Dinner & Wine
Day 3 Wednesday / ERICE, ALCAMO, BAGHERIA
Today we travel to the western area of Sicily with a visit to the ancient medieval Borgo of Erice. Lunch at Archi di San Carlo Ristorante, operated by the talented and energetic Chef Vito, featuring the cuisine of Western Sicily.
After exploring the historic winding streets, we'll visit the most famous pastry shop in Sicily for a tasting. The shop is the brainchild of Maria Grammatico, featured in the poignant Sicilian memoir, Bitter Almonds.
Alcamo. Wine tasting at Four Cieli Winery, with locally-made foods.
Bagheria. Tasting of Pane Cunzatu filled with eclectic fillings, paired with a local artisanal beer at Unetto owned by the Michelin and Internationally recognized Chef Tony Lo Coco.
Pack your bags. We are moving tomorrow to the splendid city of Siracusa.
▪ Inclusions: Breakfast / Lunch / Dessert Tasting / Wine Tasting with food / Street Food Event
Day 4 Thursday / BAGHERIA, CEFALU', SIRACUSA
Today is a long day for us but certainly rewarding. Before we begin the second phase of our tour, we'll stop for a great Illy Brand espresso or cappuccino at Bagheria's famous Don Gino Pasticceria. Here, you will sample the Frutta Martorana (marzipan sweets in the forms of fruits and vegetables), invented sometime in the past by the nuns of The Martorana, an abbey founded in Palermo by the noblewoman Eloisa Martorana.
We will travel toward Siracusa, with the first stop in Cefalu' on the Island's eastern shores.
Cefalù is a lovely beach town on the Tyrrhenian Sea, almost halfway between Palermo and Messina. Its long beach is one of the most sought-after of Sicily. However, Cefalù is not only sea and sun: its historic center still conserves important symbols of the past, such as the Norman cathedral decorated with exceptional Byzantine mosaics. Seafood-based lunch at Café' 74, located in the heart of the town, operated by Chef Lorenzo and his gracious wife, Susanna. In the afternoon, we'll depart toward the second leg of our tour; Siracusa. Check in the elegance and comfort of Hotel Parco delle Fontane, followed by a welcome cocktail, some free time for you to enjoy the spectacular setting, and a leisure dinner in the evening at the hotel's restaurant Eduardo.
▪ Inclusions: Breakfast / Martorana tasting / Lunch / Welcome Cocktail Reception / Dinner
Day 5 Friday / CATANIA & TAORMINA
We are departing from Siracusa today, head along the coast towards Taormina on the slopes of Monte Mauro overlooking the sea. However, our first stop will take us to a brief visit to the center of Catania and its famous Pescheria (fish market). The entrance to the Catania fish market is just behind the Baroque Amenano Fountain. Then, back traveling again toward Trecastagni for an elaborate educational wine tasting with food at Nicosia Winery.
In the late afternoon, we'll get descent toward Taormina. Visit the Greek theater and the sub-tropical terraced gardens. Then stroll along the elegant Corso Umberto and onto the piazza for splendid panoramic views across the bay. Lunch on your own (if needed), followed by an afternoon sugar break stop at La Pignolata Guinness, for the most delicate cannoli on the Island. Enjoy some free time for you to absorb the ancient splendor of the city.
After a total immersion in Taormina, we'll return to Siracusa for a tasting and dinner at the local restaurant La Mentirosa located nearby our hotel and operated by Chef Graziano and lovely host-wife Lucia. At Mentirosa, you will taste the famed Pizzolo, a unique type of savory-filled pie native to Sicily's town of Sortino, topped with a base of olive oil, oregano, pepper, Pecorino Ragusano cheese, and marine salt, and few typical pasta dishes of the area.
▪ Inclusions: Breakfast / Wine Tasting with food / Cannoli and Sweets Degustation / Dinner
Day 6 Saturday / MODICA, RAGUSA, NOTO
After breakfast this morning, we head to Sicily's southeast. Flattened by an earthquake in 1693, the towns in the area were all wholly rebuilt in striking Baroque style. Ragusa, Modica, and Noto, three of the best towns to visit as their contrasting characters offer a broad overview of the region. A joy to explore, in each, you'll find elaborate churches opening onto palatial squares and streets lined with the grand mansions of noble families, protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their harmonious town planning and exceptional architectural detail. Our food experience will begin with an elaborate chocolate work-shop and tasting at Bonajuto, perhaps Italy's finest chocolates. We will then depart toward Ragusa and enjoy a pranzo (Italian lunch) at one of Ragusa's most prominent restaurants. In the late afternoon, we'll depart toward Noto for a brief visit to its splendid architecture. Finally, we'll wrap up the day with a wine tasting in the beach town of Avola, namesake of its exquisite wine at Assennato Winery, for some outstanding wine selections with food pairings.
▪ Inclusions: Breakfast / Chocolate Tasting / Lunch / Wine tasting with Sicilian street food
Day 7 Sunday / SIRACUSA, FANUSA, ORTIGIA
You will have the morning option to visit the ancient ruins near our hotel—departure toward downtown Siracusa. Free time in Ortigia to admire the local outdoor markets and their old charm. In the early afternoon, we will visit the prosperous lands of Contrada Fanusa to visit Cantine Gulino Winery for a great tasting with light lunch. The Gulino family carries on, with commitment and dedication, the noble art of winemaking, a precious family heritage dating back to 1793. After the tasting, you will have some free time to walk around the Island of Ortigia, admire the outdoor market, shop for souvenirs, laces, and Sicilian Specialty foods. We’ll reconnect in Piazza Duomo of Siracusa for a tasting of Artisanal gelato and Ginsana at Fiordilatte. In the evening, our farewell dinner at Hotel Parco delle Fontane will wrap up our week-long together.
▪ Inclusions: Breakfast / Wine Tasting with food / Gelato Tasting / Farewell Dinner
Day 8, Monday / SIRACUSA, CATANIA
Early breakfast followed by the departure toward Catania Fontanarossa Airport (1 hour) for the connecting flights, based on scheduled departures.
▪ Inclusions: Breakfast / Airport Transfer to Catania Fontanarossa
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