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Want to indulge your senses in the heart of the Mediterranean? Sicily has you covered! Get ready to uncover the island's rich history and culture, admire its architecture, be surrounded by dramatic landscapes, and experience one of the world's most diverse, exciting, and delicious cuisines. And then, prepare yourself to unwind in exquisite accommodations with extraordinary views!
We'll stay at a gorgeous villa in the Catania Region, on the eastern coast, where the slopes of Mount Etna overlook the Ionian Sea. The culture, scenery, and views, along with a unique culinary tradition, make this area one of the most special in all of Sicily. During our journey, we'll enjoy meals that we've prepared together in our hands-on cooking classes, sample local sweet delicacies, visit vineyards and enjoy tasting at exclusive wineries, stroll through charming and historic villages, and of course, shop at local markets!
And then there's the food. What I love most about Sicilian cuisine is its diversity. While many regions of Italy have a very distinctive culinary heritage that shares little with other cultures, Sicilian food shows ingredients, flavors, and dishes from every culture that has established itself on the island over the past two millennia – and trust me, that's a long list. Plus, warm waters and frequent rains, combined with the temperate climate of Sicily, make the island a perfect place for growing a broad variety of foods…and for producing wine!!
The island of Sicily packs the perfect combination for culinary travelers like us, and I can't wait to explore it with you!
** Price based on double occupancy. Limited single rooms available and supplement charge of $2000.00US applies for solo travelers. Airfare not included. Deposit per person is required to secure a spot. See tour terms for more detail.
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We'll stay at the Rocca delle Tre Contrade, perched in a stunningly panoramic position atop its hill on Sicily's east coast. Uninterrupted 360-degree views take in the sparkling Ionian Sea to one side and the fertile flanks and lava peak of Mount Etna to the other. The views of this former aristocratic estate are rich with vivid greens and citrus flashes from lemon groves, fruit orchards, and vegetable gardens.
The magnificence of Mother Nature is rivaled only by the spectacular 25-meter, south-facing infinity pool, the like of which we have never seen, and the delightful interiors, which have been renovated and refurbished to exactingly high standards. We'll dine al fresco on panoramic terraces surrounded by luscious lemon groves, fruit orchards, and vegetable gardens. The views, in case you needed reminding, are bewitching, no matter where you look!
Situated near the town of Santa Venerina on the east coast of Sicily between Catania and Taormina, Rocca delle Tre Contrade is the perfect home base from which we can visit Taormina, Catania, Mount Etna, charming fishing villages and lovely beaches nearby.
Ready to see more? Take a virtual tour of our villa!
* Images and video courtesy of The Thinking Traveller
While Sicilian food shares many of the classic dishes we associate with Italian cuisine, it also shows influences from all across the Mediterranean. Sicilian ingredients also hold the memories of the cultures that have dominated the island over the centuries. With spices like nutmeg and clove from the Arabs; couscous from North Africa; fish, olives and olive oils, pistachios, and broad beans from Greek settlers; a fondness for meat dishes courtesy of French and German immigrants; and a variety of ingredients from Spain, this is the kind of cuisine that makes cooking so much fun!! During our hands-on cooking classes, we'll make our way from succulent Eggplant Caponata to addictive Arrancini and then move on to create Sicilian favorites, such as Pasta alla Norma in our villa's well-equipped kitchen.
Our meals would not be complete without exceptional wine! From smooth and juicy Nero d'Avola, the island's flagship red, to elegant, mineral-driven reds and whites from the slopes of Mount Etna, we'll enjoy some of the most exciting wines coming out of Italy. No wonder that Wine Enthusiast calls Sicily "one of the most exciting wine regions in Europe, blessed with a combination of abundant sunshine, varied terroirs, good indigenous grapes (and as the ability to grow just about anything well), investment in technology, two dozen or so dynamic estates…"
*Wine Enthusiast- Best Wine Destinations 2017 http://www.winemag.com/2017/01/05/sicily-italy-best-wine-destinations-2017/
We won't have to go far to explore some of the best that Sicily has to offer! Everywhere you turn, there are streets filled with color and history, and breathtaking scenery and our villa is just a short ride to Catania, Taormina, Mt. Etna and beyond!
While I don't want to spoil the surprises in our trip itinerary, we'll take scenic drives, taste fabulous Sicilian wines, visit the famous fish markets in Catania and cross the bridge to the beautiful and historic island of Ortigia. We'll discover excellent street vendors serving outstanding local specialties like arancini and cannoli. There is so much to see, and this is going to be a fantastic trip!
The closest International airport to your villa is Catania Airport. A group transfer to and from Catania Airport is included in the cost of the tour. The tour begins with a welcome reception on the evening of the first day and concludes with breakfast on the final day. Private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. We suggest arriving in Italy at least one day in advance of this tour. Not only does this give you some time to adjust to the time difference, but it also provides you with more time to explore. We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance.
A non-refundable deposit of $2,000.00 US per person is required to register for this journey. See the Terms and Conditions link above for details. A single supplement charge of $2,000.00 US applies for solo travelers. Accommodations, cooking classes, excursions and day trips, wine and tastings and meals (with the exclusion of one or two) are included. Airfare is not included in the package price. Final payments are to be made by personal check or money order. See the Tour Terms and Conditions for more detail.
We are committed to following Federal, State and local health guidelines to the best of our ability during this tour.
Oct. 22-28, 2023Registration opens soon!
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