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Grand Sicily Culinary and Cultural Expedition

(Unwrapping Sicily's Gastronomic & Archaeological Delights along Its Eastern Shore)

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Priced From
$4,598 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

Exploring Sicily’s Gastronomic and Archaeological
Delights on Its Eastern Shore and Medieval Villages

It is fitting that culinary enthusiasts come to Sicily, as it is said that the first school for professional chefs was founded in Syracuse, and the first recorded cookbook was written by Siracusan Mithaecus in the fifth century BC. Sicily's delights are as palpable as they are palatable: the amalgam of cultures and culinary traditions on the island have allowed for some of the best of the bests to emerge as inspiring hybrids. Manifested in architecture, art and aliment the Greeks, North Africans, Normans and Romans all contributed to what makes Sicily so unique. It is the nexus of Mediterranean flows and fusions; a happenstance anchored in ardor and rooted to a land whose simplicity is sprinkled with opulence and relished by a resourceful population ready to open its heart and its kitchens to share the creative curiosities held within.

Grand Sicily Culinary and Cultural Expedition

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Small Group Friendly
Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
4 Star Hotel Accommodations
Round-Trip Catania Airport Transfers
Breakfast Buffet Each Morning
6 Dinners, 2 Lunches, 5 Tastings
Vineyard Tour with Wine Tasting
Castle of Solacium Guided Tour
Visit to Noto, a UNESCO Site
Morning Excursion to Modica
Hands-On Chocolate Workshop
Afternoon Excursion to Ragusa
Catania Tour and Market Visit
Citrus Farm Cooking Class with Wine
Marzamemi & Avola Fishing Villages
Almond Museum Visit & Tastings
Pastry Chef Demonstration & Tastings
Nero d’Avola Wine Tasting at an Enoteca
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
April 16 - 22, 2023 and October 22 - 28, 2023.
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Arrival in Catania | Check-In Land at the Catania airport, where your tour leader and private shuttle await to take you to your hotel on the beach near Taormina. Enjoy some free time to unwind post-flight, relaxing at the hotel or strolling on the beach before your welcome dinner is served at the hotel. (D)
Day 2
European Breakfast Buffet Start your day off right with a delicious European breakfast buffet to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, juices, coffee, yogurts, breads and pastries, charcuterie, as well as cooked items.
Excursion to Syracuse | Ortygia Market | Neapolis Archaeological Park Begin the day sipping some great southern Italian espresso and cappuccinos at your hotel. After breakfast the private shuttle and tour leader will take you to the heart of ancient Syracuse and its bridge-linked island, Ortygia. A private guide will take you to learn about the Greek Temple of Apollo, as well as the Byzantine, Norman, Medieval, Baroque and Neoclassical influences that make up the museum-like center of the historic city that was once one of the greatest ports of trade in the world. The walking tour will take you to visit the lively market. Follow the insider tips your guide gives you on where to enjoy local favorites for lunch on your own. After lunch you will be taken to the church of San Giovanni. The church itself is lovely, but what makes the structure truly fascinating is that its humble entrance serves as a portal to the other-worldly underground city below it. With a network of streets, caverns and tombs the catacombs and crypts offer a captivating perspective on the early Christian population that lived here. Try some Sicilian treats at a traditional pastry shop near the church when you've finished the visit. The day will conclude with a tour of the Archaeological Park of the Neapolis before the private shuttle and tour leader take you back to the hotel in the evening for dinner. (B, T, D)
Day 3
European Breakfast Buffet Start your day off right with a delicious European breakfast buffet to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, juices, coffee, yogurts, breads and pastries, charcuterie, as well as cooked items.
Excursion to the Vineyard & Castle of Solacium | Cooking Class | Lunch | Excursion to Noto The excursion today will give you the opportunity to explore some of the traditions preserved by Sicilian's strong desire to evolve. The visit to the vineyard at the Castle of Solacium will show you how in returning to its "lost wines" a future for them is ensured. Guaranteeing the continuity of the particularities of ancient fruits enables a new market to be found in the old. Try three of the varieties paired with the courses you make for lunch at the fortress during your cooking class. In the afternoon the marvelous city of Noto awaits you; a UNESCO site where, according to legend, Hercules stayed after completing his seventh task. In the evening the private shuttle and tour leader will take you back to the hotel for dinner. (B, T, L, D)
Day 4
European Breakfast Buffet Start your day off right with a delicious European breakfast buffet to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, juices, coffee, yogurts, breads and pastries, charcuterie, as well as cooked items.
Excursion to Modica | Hand-on Chocolate Workshop at a Chocolate | Excursion to Ragusa The Aztec recipe for chocolate has been preserved and celebrated for centuries in the UNESCO world heritage city, Modica. When the Spanish ruled Sicily in the 1500s the conquistadors returned from South America with xocoàtl (cacao) and techniques to combine the bitter substance with sugar. The ancient method of "cold working" the chocolate paste using a metate crafted from lava stone creates a unique, crunchy consistency of the gold bar-shaped chocolate, while enabling it to maintain its beneficial properties. For generations this chocolate has been one of the world's best kept secrets…so well kept that it's extremely hard to get anywhere off the island. But you can learn about the tradition and try it for yourself at a chocolate producer in a lovely little Baroque city with palm tree-lined piazzas. Enjoy a visit, tasting and hands-on workshop, where you will make your own souvenir bar of chocolate to take home with you! Have some time for lunch in the center of Modica, perhaps walking along the promenade that was once a river until it was covered in 1902. Visit the Baroque cathedrals of its upper and lower towns, both UNESCO sites that competed to rebuild following the earthquake of 1693, before continuing on to another UNESCO city, Ragusa. The private shuttle and tour leader will take you to see the breath-taking city on a hill. In the late afternoon you will return to the hotel. Dinner will be served at the hotel. (B, T, D)
Day 5
European Breakfast Buffet Start your day off right with a delicious European breakfast buffet to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, juices, coffee, yogurts, breads and pastries, charcuterie, as well as cooked items.
Excursion to Catania for a Market Tour & Cooking Class at a Citrus Farm Enjoy a vibrant visit of the Catania market and fish market before going to the Sicilian countryside. Smell the sweet citrus that surrounds you as you pull up to the local farm. Taste three of the wines made there as you begin the cooking class. The group will be divided into "teams" for the class, with each team creating a different, local dish that will then be shared for lunch. As you eat you will be instructed to think about and evaluate the flavor combinations, logic and traditions that have gone into putting them together. Go home with a shopping list and recipes for the meal you made. In the evening enjoy dinner at the hotel. (B, L, T, D)
Day 6
European Breakfast Buffet Start your day off right with a delicious European breakfast buffet to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, juices, coffee, yogurts, breads and pastries, charcuterie, as well as cooked items.
Fishing Village of Marzamemi & Avola Excursion | Pastry Demonstration | Almond Museum Visit | Tasting of Nero d'Avola Wine at an Enoteca Let the sensorial journey lead you along Sicily's southwestern coast. Following breakfast the tour leader and private shuttle will take you to visit the lovely fishing village of Marzamemi, used as a location for many Italian films and just 2 miles away from Pachino, were the delicious little red gems of tomatoes are grown. You will see the tonnara (tuna fishery), which is the lifeblood of the town and the fulcrum from which the town and its sandstone houses extend. The coastal area is full of charm and great little lunch places, which you can use your free time to enjoy and check out on your own. Don't forget to try the local delights like the almond or mulberry granita and red tuna bottarga (dried tuna roe, made using ancient Arab-Phoenician techniques)! In the afternoon you will go to Avola to taste two specialties: Avola almonds and Nero d'Avola red wine. At the Almond Museum learn more about the nut, its properties, its uses and its role in some of the best Sicilian pastries. A pastry chef will then do a demonstration so you can see and taste the local treat. The second tasting of the day will really help you unwind and immerse yourself in the culture: relish 4 wines at an Enoteca (wine bar and shop of a wine producer) accompanied with some delicious, traditional snacks. The shuttle will take you back to Syracuse for your farewell dinner at the hotel. (B, T, T, D)
Day 7
European Breakfast Buffet Start your day off right with a delicious European breakfast buffet to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, juices, coffee, yogurts, breads and pastries, charcuterie, as well as cooked items.
Departure and Check-Out After a lovely week in Sicily it's time to take the private shuttle back to the Catania airport for your departure. Buon viaggio!
Castello San Marco
This princely 17th century Baroque residence offers 28 comfortable garden suites in 10 acres of landscaped parklands. Traditional Sicilian hospitality, beautiful historical buildings and modern elegance in the guest rooms make for a unique stay. The castle is situated by the sea although it is hidden away by a wealth of trees and greenery. The grounds are perfectly situated between the romantic town of Taormina and the fiery volcano Etna and is surrounded by a flourishing and calm Mediterranean garden. Castello San Marco is conveniently placed to visit some of the most interesting sites in Sicily, with no less than three natural parks: Mount Etna, the Alcantara river and the Nebrodi natural park. Each offers their own unique and outstanding beauty not easily forgotten by those who visit.
Syracuse, ItalyCatania, ItalyModica, ItalyRagusa, ItalyMarzamemi, ItalyAvola, ItalyNoto, Italy
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
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