Food, Wine & Culture in Sicily

3-13 September, 2018

Palermo • Catelvetrano • Agrigento • Piazza Armenia • Siracusa (Ortigia) • Catania • Taormina • Mt. Etna Safari

Sarracini Travel and Pasqualino Restaurant visit Sicily on their 2nd annual 11-day Italian culinary & cultural experience.

Itinerary

Day 1: Toronto-Rome

Departure from Toronto for Rome with Alitalia Airlines departing from Terminal 3 at 9:30 pm. Group will meet at airport 3 hours prior to departure.

Reminder: Your travel document must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your return date.

Day 2: Rome-Palermo

Arrive Rome Fiumicino airport at 12:05 pm. The group will board a connecting Alitalia flight for Palermo departing at 1:20 pm arriving in Palermo at 2:30 pm. After clearing customs meet your driver for immediate private transfer to your hotel in Palermo. The Grand Hotel Wagner will be our home for 3 nights. Welcome cocktail followed by Dinner. Overnight.

Day 3: Markets & Street Food in Palermo

Palermo is known as the capital of multicultural Sicily. Palermo ranks as one of the world’s top destinations for Street Food. (“Palermo da Mangiare”). The city’s frenetic markets and down-to-earth street stalls offer an authentic taste of Sicilian culture, featuring flavours that range from the familiar pizza-like sfincione to the exotic chickpea fritters with minty potato croquettes to the daring spleen sandwiches and skewered entrails.

Snacking in the street is a proud, centuries old tradition in Palermo. Afternoon visit of Monreale with its famous Cathedral, a Unesco site. Return to your hotel. Dinner at leisure. Overnight.

Day 4: Noblesse Oblige Palermo

The rich and artistic history of Palermo is second to none. Its history is intertwined by the many conquests that the island of Sicily was subjected to during its glorious past. We dedicate the morning to the discovery of the “Palermo of Kings.” We will visit the Royal Palace of Palermo and the Cathedral where the emperors tombs are located. Enjoy a tasting of the “desserts of the Kings” including “Cassata” and “Cassatelle.”  Afternoon at leisure. This evening the group is transferred to Palazzo  Valguarnera Gangi used in the famous film “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopord) starring Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale. We will meet Princess Carine Vanni Mantegna di Gangi. Cocktails will be followed by Dinner in the Palazzo. Return to hotel. Overnight.

Day 5: Palermo – Castelvetrano – Agrigento

We leave the beauty and richness of Palermo to discover a territory that is known for its “Green Gold”, extra virgin olive oil. Special visit of the Estate of Principi Pignatelli, located not far from Selinunte, one the most important archeological sites of the Mediterranean. We will visit the estate strolling thru the olive groves including a  visit of the mill. The group will enjoy an oil tasting, giving us the opportunity to learn and recognize the quality and different types of extra virgin oil. A typical country estate Lunch is included. We continue to Agrigento for a guided visit of the famous Temples. Dinner will be served on the terrace of  Villa Athena Hotel with view of the Temples. Overnight.

Day 6: Agrigento – Piazza Armerina – Siracusa (Ortigia)

The group departs to discover “Red Gold” at the Principi di Butera Feud which is located in the province of Caltanisetta, in the heart of Sicily renowned for its production of excellent red wines. We will visit the wine cellars, participate in a wine tasting followed by Lunch. We continue to Piazza Armerina with its splendid Villa Romana del Casale. After our visit we depart for Siracusa. Our home for the next two nights will be the Grand Hotel Ortigia. Welcome cocktail will be followed by Dinner on the roof garden. Overnight.

Day 7: Siracusa (Ortigia) – Greek Heritage & Baroque Style

Morning guided visit of the Archeological Park of Neapolis that includes the most important monuments of the Greek and Roman eras of the city. This will include a visit of the roman amphitheatre and the famous cave carved out of the Temenites hill known as the “Ear of Dionysius deriving from its similarity in shape to the human ear. Return to Ortigia with the afternoon at leisure. Late afternoon visit of the heart of the city, including the main square, its baroque churches and narrow streets. The group will walk along the seaside promenade arriving at famous Ristorante Don Camillo. The Chef’s philosophy is tied to regional traditions using new techniques of cooking as well as quality ingredients. We enjoy Dinner before returning to our hotel. Overnight.

Day 8: Siracusa – Catania – Taormina

Morning departure from Siracusa for the ancient port city of Catania. It sits at the foot of Mt. Etna, an active volcano with trails leading up to its summit. The city’s wide central square, Piazza del Duomo, features the Fontana dell’Elefante stature and richly decorated Cathedral.  In the southwest corner of the square, “La Pescheria”  fish market is a rowdy spectacle surrounded by seafood restaurants. We will shop in the market before visiting the city and then proceeding to a private estate on the outskirts of the city to partake in a family style, hands on  “cooking class” followed by Lunch. We proceed to spectacular Taormina and check in at the Grand Hotel San Pietro our home for the last three nights of our tour. Welcome cocktail will be followed by Dinner on the sea view terrace. Overnight.

Day 9: Taormina

Morning visit of splendid Taormina. Located between Mt. Etna and the sea.  Visit the Greek Amphitheatre with its spectacular views of Capo Taormina and Isola Bella. Time at leisure before late afternoon walk to a “sea side’ restaurant to enjoy a typical fish dinner. Overnight.

Day 10: Taormina – Mt. Etna Safari – Boutique Winery Farewell

Morning dedicated for shopping, final sightseeing or simply enjoying the beach/pool at your hotel. Final afternoon dedicated to a Mt. Etna excursion. The group will “safari” up to a height of 2000 metres to admire an unbelievable panoramic view of the coast. Our “Farewell Dinner” will take place at the Cottanera Winery located at the base of the mountain.  The fertile soil surrounding Mt. Etna contributes to the production of special red wines. Enjoy a final Dinner dedicated to the food of Sicily. Overnight.

Day 11: Catania – Rome – Toronto

Transfer from Taormina to the Catania airport for your return flight to Toronto with connection in Rome. Your Alitalia flight from Catania will depart at 12:10 pm connecting in Rome with departure at 3:15 pm and arrival in Toronto at 7:05 pm.