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Sicily Food Adventure

from $2,249.00

Enjoy world famous Sicilian food while visiting the best heritage sites

  • Reviews 22 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely
    1/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 18
All about the Sicily Food Adventure.

From cannoli to arancini, Sicilian food is world famous, but on this tour prepare to be overwhelmed at how varied and diverse Sicily’s cuisine really is! The various civilizations that have occupied the island over millennia have not only left an unparalleled cultural heritage, but a culinary history that sets Sicily aside from mainland Italy. Sample Palermo’s fragrant street food in its vibrant markets, practice hands-on cooking with local chefs in Trapani, sip the finest wines in Marsala and Etna and indulge in mouth-watering gelatos while relaxing in sun-kissed Baroque piazzas. Let food lead the way in this captivating journey through culinary and cultural highlights!

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* 7 nights accommodation in *** and **** hotels
* All breakfasts, 2 wine tastings, 1 cooking class and 5 food
tastings/lunches included.
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* Transport by private air-conditioned minibus throughout the trip
* Special guided tours in main UNESCO sights and cities

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • City taxes (approx. €10-15)

Highlights

  • Wander through colorful markets and try Palermo’s unique street food
  • Enjoy a hands-on cookery class with a local chef in Trapani
  • Sample a variety of local specialties during the included produce and wine tastings
  • Visit unique heritage sights and Baroque cities, including Agrigento and Syracuse
  • 7 nights 3 and 4-star hotels with en suite facilities
  • Group normally 6‐18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned private minibus
  1. Day 1 Start Palermo.

    This tour starts in Sicily’s regional capital, Palermo. This busy port city situated on the north-western coast of the island encloses some very interesting and often overlooked attractions. There is some fine architecture to be admired, as well as good museums, palazzi and churches. It is the city’s food scene, colourful local markets and long established food shops, however, that give the city a very original and eccentric character worth discovering.**

  2. Day 2 Explore Palermo, the famous markets and indulge in the city's fabulous street food; afternoon visit Monreale and its Duomo.

    We start our week with a special guided foodie tour through the historic centre of Palermo, ranked amongst the best cities in the world for street food. During our walk we wander through carts and kiosks of street vendors, colourful markets and local bakeries whilst trying some of the best local specialities. These may vary depending on the season and usually include arancini (fried rice balls stuffed with meat sauce and cheese), panelle (fried chick peas pancake), and sfincione (Palermo’s traditional pizza) – all absolutely delicious. As we walk, the local guide will reveal some of the secrets of Sicilian street cuisine and explain the history of the city, while pointing out notable monuments and historic streets such as Piazza San Domenico, Vucciria, Quattro Canti. In the afternoon we visit Monreale, where we enjoy a visit to its extraordinary Duomo, considered the greatest example of Norman architecture in the world. Overnight in Palermo.

  3. Day 3 Transfer to Trapani; hands on cookery class with a local chef; continue to Marsala and sample the town's world famous wines.

    In the morning we transfer to our next destination, the coastal town of Trapani. The local gastronomy in this part of Sicily is strongly influenced by the Arabs, who occupied the area for many centuries until the Normans took over. A hands-on cookery course with a local chef will give us the opportunity to learn more about the interesting culinary fusions, while practising (and tasting!) traditional regional recipes. In the afternoon we head to the southern town of Marsala, internationally famous for its finest fortified wines. A wine tasting will be offered after a tour of one of the best local wineries. Overnight in Marsala.**

  4. Day 4 Morning visit to olive farm for olive oil and produce tasting; transfer to Agrigento for a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples.

    In the morning we leave Marsala and transfer to a traditional organic olive farm, run by the Centonze family, owner of the estate since 1953. We will learn of the cultivation and production methods and sample some of the world’s finest olive oil accompanied by local produce. In the afternoon we transfer to the iconic sight of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. A guided tour will allow us to discover and learn of the history of this splendid archaeological park, which consists of eight temples (and various other remains) built between about 510 BC and 430 BC. Overnight in Agrigento.

  5. Day 5 To Piazza Armerina; guided tour of the famous Villa Romana del Casale followed by a delicious produce tasting; afternoon visit the charming town of Ragusa Ibla.

    Today’s destination is Piazza Armerina, home of world famous Villa Romana del Casale. Built in the 4th Century AD as a hunting lodge by a Roman patrician, the villa is home to some of the best preserved Roman mosaics spread over around 3500 square meters. After a guided tour of this extraordinary UNESCO sight, we enjoy a delicious produce tasting of local sicilian delicacies. In the afternoon we transfer to the Baroque gem of Ragusa, without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily and Italy. The town is part of the Val di Noto UNESCO Heritage site and 18 of its buildings are protected by UNESCO patronage. After a short orentiation walk we will have time to enjoy a relaxing and well deserved aperitivo (word for the traditional Italian pre-dinner drinks and snacks) in one of the town’s elegant piazzas. Overnight in Ragusa.

  6. Day 6 Transfer to rural farm for cheese tasting; stop in the UNESCO Baroque town of Noto before reaching Syracuse; free time.

    We start our day with a transfer to a family-run farm in the countryside near Ragusa, a province where cheese making traditions are stonger than anywhere else in Sicily. After a cheese making demonstration and a tour around the farm we will sample some delicous cheese, including the famous ricotta, hand-made by the proud owners. Later, we transfer to the other Baroque gem of the Noto Valley, the town of Noto itself. After a relaxing stroll through what is considered one of Sicily’s most beautiful historic centres, we have the opportunity to enjoy another staple of Sicilian cuisine: the famous ’granita’ (thin flakes of ice flavored with fresh fruit or nuts and sugared) accompanied by the traditional ’brioche’ (a soft and fragrant sweet delicacy). We end our day in Syracuse, the most powerful city-state in the Greek world and briefly capital of the Byzantine Empire. The late afternoon can be spent free wandering around the narrow streets of Ortigia, the island where the city was founded, or simply relaxing and soaking up the cosy atmosphere in the historic centre while enjoying a glass of superb local wine!

  7. Day 7 Drive to the Etna region for an excellent wine and produce tasting; free afternoon in Taormina.

    After breakfast we have the opportunity to stroll through the historic food market of Ortigia. Held every morning except Sunday, this market is everything one expects an Italian market to be: there is always a lot of shouting and wonderful smells and colours. It sells authentic regional produce ranging from fish, cheese, spices, vegetables and sweets – this is without doubt the perfect opportunity to buy your favourite products to take back home! We then transfer to the northern region of Etna for a short walk around the highest most active volcano in Europe (1 to 2 hours walking depending on time, 5 km maximum). At lunch time we enjoy a delicious wine and produce tasting in one of the famous wine cellars of the area. We conclude our trip in the beautiful Taormina, a chic resort town spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town’s picture-perfect alleys, and perhaps take an optional visit to its amazing ancient Greek theatre. In the evening our leader will recommend an excellent local restaurant where to enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.

  8. Day 8 End Taormina.

    This tour ends in Taormina in the morning of day 8.**

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Where you stay

3 and 4-star hotels

On this trip we use 6 different comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels. Some of them have been chosen for their warm hospitality and typically Sicilian character and others for their convenient location. They are often located in proximity of the historic centres we visit so that we can easily explore the towns in the evenings or during our free time. All rooms have en suite facilities and some hotels have a pool and WiFi.

List of hotels normally used:

Palermo: Hotel Posta

Marsala: Hotel Carmine

Agrigento: Hotel Dioscuri Bay Palace

Ragusa: San Giorgio Palace

Siracusa: Hotel Mastrarua

Catania: Hotel Katane Palace & Hotel Nettuno

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 wine tastings, 1 cooking class and 5 food tastings/lunches included.

Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of all the different cultures that have occupied the island, from the Arabs to the Normans. The island itself is incredibly fertile, enjoying a perfect climate which is ideal for the cultivation of fresh produce such as olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more—not to mention all of the seafood, tuna and swordfish fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Sicilian wines are also superb and known to be strong and syrupy, like Marsala and Moscato. These are some of the regional specialities we recommend to try during this trip:

Caponata: a tasty salad made with eggplant (aubergines), olives, capers and celery, makes a great appetizer.
Sfincione: a local form of pizza made with tomatoes, onions and (sometimes) anchovies. Prepared on a thick bread and more likely found in a bakery than in a pizzeria.
Pane e pannelle: A favorite street food of Palermo, panelle—or chickpea fritters—are served between bread, like a sandwich.
Arancine: fried rice balls stuffed with meat or cheese.
Pani ca meusa: The name of this street food means, literally bread with spleen! But don’t let that scare you. It is delicious speciality of Palermo!
Cannoli: tubular crusts with creamy ricotta (made from sheep’s milk) and sugar filling. A must!
Cassata: a rich, sugary cake filled with the same delicious filling.
Pasta alla Norma: it’s made with fried eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and salted ricotta.
Pasta with pistacchios pesto.
Pasta con le sarde: Sardines are popular in Sicily, so it’s common to see them as a topping for pasta. One common variety is bucatini with sardines, fennel, saffron, pine nuts, and raisins.
Frutta martorana: Other places call this ‘marzipan’ but here in Sicily, the almond paste is molded into little (incredibly realistic) fruits—hence fruits of Martora, or frutta martorana.
Cassata siciliana: A sponge cake is soaked in liqueur, its slices layered with sweetened ricotta, and the whole thing covered in almond paste, then icing. It is also studded with candied fruits and other goodies.
Granita: The perfect summer refreshment, granita, originally from Sicily, can now be found all over Italy. It’s just ground ice with sugar and fresh fruit, simple but truly delicious.
Involtini di Pesce Spada: Little rolls of thinly sliced swordfish are stuffed with pine nuts, raisins, bread crumbs, anchovy filets, orange juice and lemon juice, eggs and grated pecorino.
Tonno e Spada Affumicata: Smoked tuna and swordfish shaved paper thin, and layered on a plate. These can be accented with shaved fennel and oranges, or olives and sun-dried tomatoes, or can be served with just a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some good crusty bread.

Grade: 1 (Leisurely) This is a very relaxing week where you can enjoy excellent regional gastronomy while visiting the most beautiful and important heritage sights and towns of Sicily. All the transfers will be by private air conditioned vehicle. Due to the distance covered during the week some of the drives are quite long but should never exceed 4 hrs (including stops).  Please note that due to traffic restrictions in place in a lot of the historic centres visited you may have to carry your suitcase over cobbled pavements, although the bus will be leaving you as close as possible to your hotel. When this is not possible, portarage service will be provided and it has been included in the cost of the trip. Please also be aware that sometimes hotels don’t have a lift. Sicily can also be very hot, possibly high 30s in the summer months from June to September. The excursion on Mt Etna is on foot and we walk for up to 1 hour on hilly terrain of old dried lava, rocky ash and sand. The walking isn’t too strenuous and will be done at a leisurely pace. The overall Activity Level for this trip is 1 (Leisurely) meaning that it is suitable for all people who are in good health and fitness.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Sicily Food Adventure

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were lots, but real highlights for me were: eating fresh seafood overlooking the harbour in Sciacca, an incredible meal in a restaurant under the church in Ragusa, amazing food tasting in the boutique hotel at Piazza Armerina after seeing the Roman mosaics, wandering through the market in Siracusa checking out all the fresh produce, and plenty of cheap but excellent local wine!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabio is a nice guy and obviously loves his island, although he did sometimes lack the authority needed in a tour leader, perhaps because this was the first time the trip had run and he was not so familiar with the itinerary. His knowledge of Sicily was excellent, especially the geology and geography.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go on this trip, be prepared to eat lots! There was so much good food on offer that you'd never go hungry, and you'll never eat the same thing twice. Try as many of the local specialities as possible, and make sure you have plenty of space on your memory card because there's so much to take pictures of, whether it's the beautiful old towns, the market stalls or the dishes that arrive in front of you at the restaurants.Also, try to relax and adjust to the Sicilian way of life - service in restaurants can be slow and seemingly disorganised, especially in the west of the island which receives less visitors, and drinks are usually served at the same time as the food, not before the meal.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Sicily Food Tour

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stunning church at Monreale. Our local guide in Palermo/Monreale, Marina, was exceptional, so knowledgeable and so much fun. And the visits to the markets.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Very kind and well meaning but inexperienced and her English not good enough for such a tour. (At one point there was almost a mutiny, which was averted when a Spanish-speaking Norwegian group member intervened and conversed with her in Spanish which she was more comfortable with than English.) This was my fourth Exodus tour in Italy and I'd have to say the guide was definitely the low point/biggest disappointment of the trip.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be nice if Exodus could include the room taxes, after paying so much for a tour it does seem very "cheap" that we must pay a Euro or two at every hotel. Some dinner suggestions at each stop as we were sometimes "dumped" in a hotel either on the edge of town or not visibly close to any restaurants. Also a farewell dinner inclusion would be nice.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Sicily food adventure

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking at the mosaic floors of a 2000 year old Roman villa, exploring the amphitheater in Taormina and tasting home made Sicilian delicacies at a funky Art hotel in Modica
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader was very pleasant and conscientious but he did not understand the English of the group very well and was not great at communicating. He also had a hard time asserting himself with some group members who had some issues with fellow travelers so the group dynamic was testy at times!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was the first time this trip was run and despite minor issues it was really enjoyable. Don't hesitate to go! Sicily is a wonderful destination

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Immerse yourself in Sicily!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mixture of architecture which display Sicily's history through its Roman, Byzantine, Arab (etc, etc) periods, but now sit harmoniously together - is truly inspiring. Also, the endless mosaics at Piazza Armerina which taught me (both visually & by the enthusiastic local guide!), more about Roman way of life and their amazing feats, than any book or tv documentary ever did! I'm not usually enamoured by "old ruins", but the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is a sight to behold! Mount Etna - I hadn't expected it's lush rich vegetation and then the contrast of the stark black ash landscape on areas affected by historic lava flow.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Vincenzo was extremely knowledgeable and his passion for his home land was infectious. He hit the balance just right in telling us about wherever we were visiting that day, without feeling that you were ever getting "information overload". Always cheerful and polite ... the whole week's itinerary was run efficiently and (it would appear) effortlessly. Given we were changing hotels most nights (which had so far put me off doing this trip), we seemed to blend magically from one resort to the next in a very relaxed manner - ready for the next day's adventure! Also a "shout out" to Salvatore who drove our bus for the week - kind and courteous - who even stopped the bus en route in order to pick some fruits from the trees for our enjoyment!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip not only gives you a Food Adventure, it also gives you a taster of Sicily's many beautiful villages/towns. Though our visit was transient, there's a whole list of places I'd like to revisit .... Noto, Ortigia, Trapani ... where do I stop? There's art and courtyards hidden throughout the land - you need to keep a keen eye out, or you'll miss something!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Trip of a lifetime

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was brought to tears several times, it is hard to say what was the most inspirational. The whole thing was outstanding. Generally the best thing about the trip was the schedule. It was just so well planned with the right amount of adventure but also enough rest time. Really well done!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    I loved Vincenzo!!! He was like a brother to all of us, he put up with our silly questions and helped us in every way he could. He was very professional and knowledgeable. I would go on a tour again with Vincenzo as the guide any time.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure to have electrolyte tablets with you at all times. It is very hot and it is easy to get dehydrated. Those tablets saved our bacon a few times.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You cant go wrong booking the Italy Food Adventure. It was so well planned, the daily excursions were just right - we were tired some days but not too much and every day was a new and wonderful adventure. We were all ladies in our 50's and 60's and we got along really well in spite of not knowing each other. The hotels were really good, a couple were not the best but certainly suitable, a couple were "OMG gorgeous" and the rest were just really nice. I would not hesitate to recommend this trip.

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