Getting lost in the pulsating streets of Palermo, and letting your nose lead the way to sweetly scented pastry shops turning out cannoli, cassata, and tart candied blood orange …
Scaling the steps of a centuries-old baroque cathedral, the outlandishly lavish façade a veritable feast for the eyes …
Uncorking a bottle of sweet Sicilian chardonnay to pair with your opulent lunch spread, made up of fresh pastas you just rolled out with the chef in your hands-on cooking class …
Walking in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks and Romans as you meander among towering temples, so well preserved you feel as though you stepped back in time …
Join Laney Sachs for 10 exceptional days and 9 nights spent exploring, touring, and tasting your way through the beautiful island of Sicily.
Studded with medieval hill top towns, verdant vineyards, valleys strewn with ancient ruins, and gracious cities, Sicily is a feast for all the senses. Our days will be filled with market tours, cooking classes, pilgrimages to ancient sites, and one very special excursion to monumental Mount Etna.
Arriving in Palermo and departing from Catania, our small group of 12* people will travel by our own comfortable minibus, with an entirely seamless itinerary designed for you. We've planned everything to the last detail—but, of course, we’ve made sure to include time for you to do a little exploring on your own.
Afternoon check in at the intimate, charming boutique hotel Palazzo Natoli in Palermo where we'll stay for two nights; enjoy free time to settle into your light-filled room
We dive right into Sicilian life with dinner in a private home with a Palermo family, where we will be treated to a lovingly prepared rustic Italian feast and a warm Sicilian welcome!
Embark on a morning visit with our private guide to the Capo Market, the oldest in Palermo, where you will see and taste famous Palermo street food such as panelle, arancine, crocchette and Pani Ca Meusa
We continue our tour of Palermo’s wide boulevards, traditional Sicilian Old Quarter, and baroque palaces with visits to the city's main sights—including the Norman section, Quattro Canti di Citta (the Four Corners of the City), the extravagant baroque square and the 12th-century Duomo. Enjoy lunch at your leisure—perhaps at a sun-splashed trattoria that lines the square!
Our driver will next whisk us off to Monreale, a hill-town dating from the 12th century, to discover the Arab-Norman splendor of the Cathedral and Cloister
After returning to the hotel, we’ll enjoy dinner together in a typical Sicilian ristorante
We’ll begin our day’s journey into the past in Segesta, for a guided tour of our first Greek temple—one of the best preserved ancient Greek temples in the world
Our next stop is Erice, a wonderfully preserved mediaeval town in southern Sicily, on the top of Monte San Giuliano—take in the astonishing hilltop view out over the city of Trapani and the lower western coast towards the Egadi Islands, where sea salt is made
We will visit Erice’s Norman Castle and Duomo—as you walk through the cobblestoned streets of the town, breathe in the fresh air mingled with the enticing aromas emanating from the numerous pastry shops for which Erice is known
We’ll stop by the most famous pastry shop, Maria Grammatico's Pastry School, for a pastry demonstration and to see the variety of sweets she lovingly creates; we’re in for a very special treat—lunch with Maria followed by ... a pastry tasting, of course!
In the evening, we arrive in Favara, a town being revitalized and rebuilt into the island's “capital of cool”—we’ll indulge in dinner and a two-night stay at the beautiful new 4-star Alba Palace Hotel
We arrive in the town of Sant'Angelo Muxaro to begin our “Sicani Day,” our chance to truly live like a Sicilian with a full immersion into the rustic, authentic side of Sicily
We’ll engage in town walks, tastings, and meetings with the local townspeople—all the while admiring the beauty of our surroundings—as we gather ingredients for our evening cooking class; lunch will be a traveling one while stopping along the way at local artisan shops .
In the evening we’ll partake in a cooking class held in Marzipan, the Almond Museum—an extra special setting for our class as almonds play an integral role in Sicily’s cuisine and history. Local folk musicians entertain us as we dig into our homemade dinner in this unforgettable setting!
In the morning, we’ll visit Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples, a place where time seems to have stopped—here we’ll explore all the iconic temples including Juno, Concord, Castor and Pollux with our private guide
Next we’ll travel to Piazza Armerina to visit the Roman Villa del Casale, an elaborate Roman palace containing sprawling mosaics, still perfectly intact .
We’ll depart for historic Siracusa for our stay on the island of Ortigia at the luxury 5-star Ortea Palace for three nights; we’ll end our evening with a delicious dinner at a local trattoria.
Today, we’ll explore stunning Siracusa, which flourished in 480 B.C. and soon became the most important Greek city in Sicily—we’ll start with a morning tour of the isle of Ortigia and its bustling food market.
Then, we’ll continue with a walk through the narrow streets of the Giudecca, the ancient Jewish quarter; here you’ll discover the site of the synagogue and the Miqwè (Mikvah), the Jewish ritual bath that lies 11 meters below ground level and is the oldest in Europe. We’ll enjoy lunch at a historic (and delicious!) salumeria to refuel.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit remarkable Greek and Roman ruins—including the cave called "The Ear of Dionysius”—baroque buildings, and classic churches such as the Duomo, which was built upon the old temple of Athena; enjoy dinner at your leisure
Today we drive to Noto, one of Sicily’s most breathtaking cities and a UNESCO World Heritage site—a powerful earthquake completely destroyed the town in 1693, leading to Noto being rebuilt in a sumptuous Baroque style sure to scintillate your senses.
Here, we will visit Caffe Sicilia, which has stayed in the same family for over a century, to taste some special Sicilian pastries.
We’ll return to Siracusa and enjoy the afternoon and dinner at your leisure
Our highlight today is Catania; situated between the Ionian Sea and majestic Mount Etna, it’s one of the greatest baroque cities in the Mediterranean. The city radiates a strange romantic beauty with its broad boulevards, spacious squares, and great cathedrals, still striking in their black and white colors composed of lava and limestone, crumbling plaster, and cracked marble columns
We’ll visit the Pescheria, a daily fish and vegetable market, for lunch in a typical trattoria.
Then we’ll travel to Taormina, the Pearl of the Mediterranean, which offers a breathtaking panorama from its Greek theatre—on one side, you can admire the Bay of Giardini Naxos and Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, while on the other you can gaze out over the coastline toward Messina and the Calabrian Coast.
We’ll check into our hotel for the next two nights, the gorgeous 5-star Mazzarò Sea Palace Hotel, and then spend the afternoon in Taormina and dinner at your leisure.
This morning we’ll drive to Mount Etna with our guide to explore the largest active volcano in Europe; discovering Mount Etna is one of the greatest adventure tours in Sicily, not only for the volcanic phenomena but also for the different kinds of vegetation visible during the ascent
Next we’ll visit the Barone di Villagrande Winery surrounded by organically cultivated vineyards, where, for centuries, the tradition of winemaking has been handed down from generation to generation—we’ll get to meet the chef as we enjoy a cooking class and wine tasting during our final lunch together .
We’ll return to Taormina for the afternoon at your leisure and our farewell dinner at a local restaurant, where we’ll toast our incredible journey through Sicily!
Departure from hotel to Catania Airport
* Minimum of 8 for trip to take place
** Itinerary subject to change due to weather, transport strikes, natural disasters or other issues that might cause a modification to the schedule.
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Double Occupancy (double room) - $5,900 per person
Single Occupancy (double room) - $7,500 per person
Room type availability is first come first serve.
Price includes 9 nights of hotel, ground transportation from Palermo airport and to Catania airport, daily breakfast, all activities and meals as noted above.
Airfare, travel insurance and incidentals are not included.
Reduced price available for pre or post Sicily Experience travel planning by Ortensia Blu Italian Adventures $175 (regularly $250).
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