Culture, art, food, wine and breathtaking scenery are what this amazing Sicilian adventure promises to deliver, providing unforgettable memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.
Catania, the most important Sicilian city on the eastern coast, is our first introduction to this magical island. Like the rest of Sicily, it represents a perfect balance with past and present but with an eye focused on the future. Catania exemplifies the hardy resilience of the Sicilian people, and displays with grace and style the integration of its ancient roots in present-day life. Always mindful of Sicilian gastronomic heritage, we will appreciate its well-deserved culinary reputation during a dinner at a top local restaurant.
An excursion to Mt. Etna, Sicily's most famous active volcano, visible from almost anywhere on the eastern side of the island, will afford a unique opportunity to witness first-hand the landscape and surroundings molded by millennia of eruptions. The geological process created a blend of volcanic ash, sand ash and rock, which is a perfect combination for cultivating grape varietals such as Carricante, Nerello Cappuccio and Nerello Mascalese, culminating with the production of full-bodied whites, rosès and red wines with structure, character and depth. What better way to admire the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Etna than from the estate of Tenuta delle Terre Nere while sipping their full-bodied red, Etna Prephylloxera La Vigna di Don Peppino or as a guest of Barone di Villagrande for yet another interpretation of these magnificent wines!
As we make our way south-west, we will reach our home in this corner of the island, located in the area of Ragusa, where one can, on a clear day, see the shores of Malta. Our home is in fact an ancient homestead and fortified fortress where knights took refuge. Here you will see the extraordinary efforts devoted the reclaim and organically cultivate ancient grain varietals, which are in turn used for making amazing breads and pastas.
Such will be the ingredients used during our cooking lesson, during which we will have the opportunity to learn how to make, savor and appreciate some traditional Sicilian specialties.
From this vantage point, interspersed with visits to top wine producers, we will be sure to include Modica and its exquisite baroque and also famous for its chocolates, and Siracusa, the ancient Greek outpost boasting incredible art and Greek architecture. The Island of Ortigia, linked to Siracusa by a paved-over ancient river, will be further testament to this city's rich history and culture. You will be astounded by the Duomo, its most famous landmark and the focal point in one of the most beautiful piazzas of all of Italy. Of course we'll delight in an indescribable seafood meal accompanied by a perfectly paired, cool and crisp Insolia wine.
Further forays into Ragusa Ibla and Piazza Armerina, with the beautifully preserved remnants of a Roman villa, with its exquisite mosaics depicting various scenes relating to the purpose that each room was originally intended for, will further reinforce the well-known fact that Sicily was the cradle within which many cultures flourished, and whose impact are still felt today in every aspect of modern-day Sicily.
As with all of Italy, style, history, culture, food and wine are always at the heart of what makes this country so special, but nowhere else in Italy other than in Sicily has the convergence of so many cultures contributed to such richness and bounty.
The road we have outlined, will take us in the heart of Nero d'Avola and Cerasuolo di Vittoria territory. From this vantage point, it will be easy to reach COS, one of the most respected wine makers in Sicily. We'll delight in their fragrant Frappato, be astounded by their Scyri and appreciate their Cerasuolo Pithos, whose character has surely been influenced by the clay amphorae where it is aged.
Palermo is another magnificent Sicilian city surrounded by mountains and the sea. Its beauty and strategic advantage did not escape Phoenicians, Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Aragones, Angevinins, Savoy, Austrians and Bourbons, who at one time or another throughout the millennia made Palermo and the entire island of Sicily their own. Time will be devoted to visiting the most important landmarks of this complex and historic city.
Erice, a beautifully preserved medieval hamlet, perched at 750m above sea level, with sweeping views of Trapani's salt flats, windmills and the sea below, is the undisputed "capital" of Sicilian marzipan delicacies and boasts a temple dedicated to the goddess of fertility Astartes. A great lunch and a tasting of the beautifully crafted marzipan candies are sure to leave a lasting impression.
We hope you will visit this magical island with us!
Catania: 1 night at a 4* hotel.
Ragusa Area: 3 nights at a 4* hotel
Palermo: 3 Nights at a 4* hotel
Daily breakfast, daily lunch and dinner with wines. Meals served at the best local restaurants, some Slow Food designated, all serving the best typical, seasonal specialties,
Options for self-drive or with private car/driver
Special Features & Services:
* This tour may be scheduled as an independent departure. It may also be combined with any other tour to other Italian regions. Please contact Shop Wine and Dine for further details.
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