All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Cooking class with local Monica Consoli in her Sicilian kitchen
Learn about the different varieties of olives
Wine tasting in the Etna Wine Valley
Visit the La Pescheria (fish market) of Catania
Discover the area where chestnut and porcini mushrooms, strawberries and pistachios are grown
This wonderful new tour explores the gastronomic culture of Sicily in the company of our longstanding Sicilian guide Tullio Scurria who has organised and led tours for our clients on this wonderful island for more than 15 years. Sicilian cuisine is one of the finest in the world with wonderful local ingredients and a vibrant Mediterranean culture combining to forge a unique food culture, explored on this innovative tour. From colourful street markets, to produce tasting and tours, cookery demonstrations with local experts and lots of eating! Tullio will lead you on a (tasty) voyage of discovery.
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Catania and transfer by coach to the Santa Caterina Hotel in Acireale. Welcome drink and dinner in the hotel.
Day 2: Catania – Fish market and lunch
Morning visit to la Pescheria (fish market) of Catania, then time at leisure to explore one of Italy's most important historical centres located at the foot of Mount Etna, rich in culture and history with fabulous baroque squares, churches and palaces, before enjoying a light fish lunch, including several types of fish “antipasti” dishes with wine at the Osteria in Sicilia located in historical Piazza Mazzini, close to the Fish Market. Remainder of the afternoon and evening will be free.
Day 3: “La cucina” of Monica Consoli
This morning we go to Viagrande, situated in one of the most characteristic villages on the slopes of Mount Etna, to experience “la cucina” of Monica Consoli. Monica has followed the footsteps of Eleonora Consoli, her mother, who was a well-known cookbook writer and we will be her guests in her spacious home kitchen, in a typical Sicilian house dating from the 18th century. After a briefing on the history of “Cucina Siciliana” which has been influenced by so many invaders: Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, French, Spaniards, Italians, we learn how to cook the Sicilian way, where you may choose to actively participate. As you cook together, Monica shares personal anecdotes and stories of Sicilian culture and its age-old traditions, habits and culinary customs that she learned from her mother. Afterwards you will sit down and enjoy a scrumptious “full” Sicilian lunch, with wine of course, that you can be proud of! Remainder of the afternoon and evening will be free.
Day 4: Etna Wine Valley
Today we head to Passopisciaro Village in the Etna Wine Valley, to visit “Etna-Feudo di Mezzo”, a wine estate of the ancient family of Planeta, whose prestigious wines are renowned both in Italy and abroad. We will visit the winery built on the lava soil of the 1566 eruption, at 879 metres above sea level and taste five varieties of wine produced here. You can also buy it and Planeta will deliver your order directly to your home. The day will also include a typical Etna light lunch in the Wine Estate, followed by Etna home-made liqueurs and cake tasting in a local “Enoteca”, before returning to the hotel. This evening will be free at your leisure.
Day 5: Free day at leisure
Today is market day in Acireale and a great way to experience the local culture as well as explore this lively and historic town.
Day 6: Olive oil and Taormina
Morning visit to an old fashion oil mill, where pressing takes place in a traditional way. It is part of the Camolio Farm, in the town of Paternò at the foot of Mount Etna, and is a traditional family producer of olives and olive oil. Carluccio, the owner, a well- known olive oil sommelier in Sicily, will tell us about different olive varieties, extra virgin olive oils, its recipes, and of course, we will sample them accompanied by glasses of wine. You can also buy extra virgin olive oil and olives and Camolio Farm will deliver your order directly to your home. A typical Sicilian “Rosticceria spuntino” light lunch, in a nearby bar, before going to Taormina for an independent visit. Don’t miss the Greek Theatre or a stroll along the “Corso” with a piece of cake or an ice cream. This evening will be free at your leisure.
Day 7: Producer visits and Nelson Castle
A drive through the fertile agricultural land around Mount Etna where chestnut and porcini mushrooms, strawberries and pistachios are produced, crossing small towns and villages along the way, and stopping to sample local specialities. A lunch at your leisure is followed by a visit to Nelson Castle, a former Benedictine abbey, founded by the Normans and presented in 1799 to Admiral Nelson by the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV. We head back to the hotel via the pistachio growing region with stops for cake and ice cream. Farewell dinner in one of the typical restaurants along the Acitrezza coastline.
Day 8: Day free in Acireale until transfer to Catania Airport for return flight to London Gatwick.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Santa Caterina Hotel, Acireale
The four-star Santa Caterina Hotel enjoys a panoramic location overlooking the sea, with recently restored rooms, a swimming pool with solarium and restaurant “Aquadelferro” with a magnificent view. Rooms are comfortable with a Sicilian design; all have private bathroom, air-conditioning, TV, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer and fridge.
Santa Caterina Hotel Website
We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. The hotel was comfortable and the staff very pleasant. l. It would have been helpful if there had been a shuttle bus to thew town centre as it was not a pleasant walk especially in the dark.. The only problem with the hotel was the disappearance of the lounge on Saturday night as it was being used as a restaurant sopace. We felt the range of tours offered was good and we especially enjoyed the vineyard visit and the cookery school. We felt the visit to Taormina should have been longer, 2 hours was not enough time to do it justice. We were disappointed that the 'farewell dinner' was moved to the free day which meant that we were unable to do what we had planned as we had to get back in time for that.
Review by Wicks who travelled 23-October-2018
Our tour guide Tullio really made our trip.He was very knowledgable and helpful in every possible way.The only disappointment was the location of the hotel and no tea or coffee facilities in the room. The staff were excellent as was the hotel restaurant.A thourouly enjoyable trip.Thankyou.
Review by French who travelled 23-October-2018
Review by who travelled 11-October-2017
An excellent gastronomic tour of Sicily.
Review by Coomer who travelled 11-October-2017
Our Guide, truly on was wonderful and he chose some superb places for us to visit. The hotel and staff were excellent. Unfortunately the location of the hotel wasn't particularly nice. I really don't want to moan because we had the most brilliant time, but the early flight out and the very late flight back made travelling very arduous .
Review by Madders who travelled 11-October-2017
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