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A three day itinerary to immerse yourself in Sicilian food, wine and cultural heritage.

Sicily has a strong culinary identity. Although Sicilian gastronomy is undoubtedly Mediterranean, it can’t be understood without referring to the culinary traditions of the various people who have come to rule this island of great strategic importance, throughout the centuries.

The blending of cultures that the successive waves of dominant powers produced resulted in an original cuisine with North African, Roman, French and Spanish influences. If a great many Sicilian dishes are based on local products, particularly sea products such as sword fish, tuna and anchovies, most seeds and spices were brought by different civilisations.

The same can be said for Sicily’s wines. Its production began with the first Greek colonizers. Today, Sicily is one of the largest wine growing regions of Italy, and the island produces a wide range of wines from the flavoured reds of the Etna region to the light and delicate whites of the western plains.

Although Sicily is undoubtedly a place for food and wine aficionados, it is also a land rich with art and architecture. Thanks to the many civilisations that have turned Sicily into a powerful and prosperous colony, the island now boasts an impressive range of art and architectural treasures, well-preserved Doric temples, Norman cathedrals with their extraordinary byzantine mosaics, and exuberantly decorated palaces and churches.

Program outline:

Day 1 – Arrival and transfer to your hotel in Palermo from the airport. Short orientation tour and wine tasting in Palermo’s city center

Day 2 – Morning cooking class and lunch, and afternoon guided tour of Palermo’s Unesco sites

Day 3 – Guided visit of Selinunte followed by a wine tasting and lunch at a local winery

Day 4 – Departure and transfer to Palermo’s airport.*
*Should your flight be scheduled late afternoon, you may be interested in taking another cooking class, focusing on traditional sweets or street food. Please contact us for further details on this option.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1:
Arrival and transfer to your hotel in Palermo
16h30-19:30 Palermo: Orientation tour and wine tasting at a local enoteca
Palermo can be perceived as a daunting city to visit. During this two-hour guided walk, your local insider will explain the city’s layout, and draw your attention to key architectural, artistic and social components of the city. Your guide will point out the best markets, cafes and restaurants to be found in the historical centre. The guided walk ends with a degustation of 4 Sicilian wines (whites and reds) accompanied by a platter of local cheese and cold cuts) at one of the city’s best enoteca. All in all, this guided tour of Palermo should make for a fascinating orientation to this complex capital.

Day 2:
10:00-14:30 Cooking class and lunch in the Vucciria
Sicilian cuisine stands as one of the world’s richest, drawing from Greek, Arab, Norman and Spanish traditions. Enjoy a market to table culinary adventure in the heart of Palermo’s historic center.
Besides learning to cook traditional Sicilian dishes under the wing of an experienced chef, this is a great opportunity to discover one of Palermo’s ancient food markets, soaking its popular atmosphere, identify some key ingredients of Sicilian cuisine, and understand their origins.
In the company of your Chef, you will shop at one of Palermo’s ancient food markets, gathering all the fresh seasonal ingredients needed to prepare traditional recipes. You will then stroll through the alleyways of the historic center, to the air-conditioned school kitchen where you will prepare a 4-course Sicilian meal.
During this hands-on culinary experience, you will learn the techniques needed to recreate the dishes upon you return home. Following the lesson, you will of course sit down together to enjoy the dishes you have prepared.
A selection of Sicilian wines will accompany your meal, and homemade liqueurs and coffee will round off your cookery experience.

15.30-18.00 Palermo’s World Heritage sites
This afternoon, you will be visiting Palermo’s Arab-Norman architectural treasures, which were recently included on the world heritage.
The Arab and the Norman periods are two significant highlights in the history of Palermo. Under Arab domination, Palermo was considered one of the most beautiful cities of the Arab world, rivaling with Baghdad.
Under the Normans, Sicily became, for the first time, an independent and powerful kingdom. The Norman kings established an efficient administration, and the prestige of the island shined far beyond the Messina detroit. They established Palermo as their capital and embellished it. Respectful of existing cultures, in particular Arabic but also Jewish, Byzantine and Roman, they called on their artistic heritage for the construction and decoration of some of Palermo’s most splendid edifices.
Palermo’s Arab-Norman architectural treasures, which were recently included on the world heritage list, are a living testimony of the convergence of Western and Eastern architectural and decorative traditions, i.e., Arabic, Byzantine and Latin. They include San Cataldo and Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, the cathedral of Palermo, the Palazzo Reale, residence of Conte Ruggero, as well as the Palatine Chapel.

Day 3:
08:30-16:00 Selinunte & wine degustation and lunch at a local wine estate
Looking toward Tunisia across the blue sea and fields of wild flowers, the site of Selinunte is awe-inspiring. In view of the countless heaps of ruins, many in the past have thought it not worth a visit. Yet thanks to the serious excavation and reconstruction works carried out in the 20th century, Selinunte now delights its visitors.
The site boasts Sicily’s second largest temple in Doric style, and is carpeted with wild flowers in the Spring. Your visit of Selinunte begins with the guided visit of a group of temples named F,E and G whose dates range from the 6th to the 4th centuries B.C.E. (every temple on the site is designated by a letter of the alphabet, there being no concensus over the deities to whom the temples were dedicated).
Temple G, probably dedicated to Apollo, is one of the largest Greek temples in the mediterranean world. If little other than heaps of ruins remain at temple G, temple E has been partially reconstructed, and all of its columns are standing.
The visit proceeds with a beautiful walk on the Strada dei Templi, leading up to the acropolis. Then, guided visit of the acropolis temples C and D, probably dedicated to Heracles and Aphrodite, respectively.  The tour ends with a walk through the inhabited area and the complex system of defense including walls, towers.

Following this visit, you will head off to a wine estate with an interesting portfolio of wines.
The visit includes a guided walk through the vineyard followed by a degustation of white and red wines served with a full lunch.

Transport: You will reach the wine estate by minibus (Mercedes V class or similar). The one hour and 15mn to Selinunte and the 30mn additional ride to the estate offer spectacular views of vineyards, fields of olive and almond trees. Return to Palermo by 16H30.

Day 4
Departure. Transfer to the airport (30mn)
*Should your flight be scheduled late afternoon, you may be interested in taking another cooking class, focusing on traditional sweets or street food

End of the itinerary.

Price of the program per person:
2pax – 875pp
3pax – 647pp
4pax – 533pp
5pax – 465pp
6pax – 420pp

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Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival and transfer to hotel

Orientation tour and wine tasting

Day 2

Sicilian cooking lesson and lunch

Palermo's World Heritage sites

Day 3

Selinunte guided tour

Visit to a winery (tasting & lunch)

Day 4

Optional cooking lesson

Departure. Transfer to the airport

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Trip Includes: Guided tours, wine tastings, cooking classes

Trip Excludes: Accommodation, admission fees, dinners

For additional information on pricing, see the table in the description. Rates start from
price: € 420 /Person

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