Sicily Food Adventure

Start: Palermo Finish: Catania

Visiting: Taormina, Marsala, Palermo


Duration: 7 Nights

Physical rating: Leisurely

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Exodus

Group size: 6 - 18

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


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Tour Overview

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 civilisations that have occupied the island over millennia have not only left an unparalleled cultural heritage, but also a culinary history that sets Sicily apart from mainland Italy [1]. Sample Palermo’s fragrant street food in its vibrant markets, practise hands-on cooking with local chefs in Trapani, sip the finest wines in Marsala and Etna and indulge in mouth-watering gelatos whilst relaxing in sun-kissed Baroque piazzas. Let food lead the way in this captivating journey through culinary and cultural highlights.   *Temporary changes due to COVID-security measures.* *Last updated: 16th October 2020* At Exodus, we acknowledge our responsibility to have the most up to date information on anything that will affect our customers on holiday and to communicate this to our customers as effectively as possible. Our general global COVID security measures are described in our  Travel">https://www.exodus.co.uk/travel-safety-charter">Travel Safety Charter, and changes will be made to these measures as required by the global pandemic situation. However, we also expect there to be requirements, measures and sometimes itinerary changes that apply to certain trips only, and may well be temporary measures. We have highlighted all known changes in the section below. *Entry requirements.* For all trips, having the correct documentation and visa, if required, remains the customer’s responsibility based on their own nationality. We, therefore, encourage all travellers to check entry requirements using the travel advice of their home nation for the relevant destination. For UK passport holders that is  https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice The">https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice">https://www.gov.uk/foreign-tra... Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advises against all non-essential travel to Italy. Information on local restrictions will be provided and updated in 2021, closer to the time when trips be operational again. [1] taxonomy/term/310

Highlights

  • iconVisit heritage sights and Baroque cities, including Agrigento and Noto
  • iconVisit heritage sights and Baroque cities, including Agrigento and Syracuse
  • iconEnjoy a hands-on cookery class with a local chef in Trapani
  • iconWander through colourful markets and try Palermo's unique street food
  • iconSample a variety of local specialities during the included produce and wine tastings

Places You'll See

Countries:
Cities & Attractions:

Itinerary

icon 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. **

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

Meals: breakfast, lunch

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. The rest of the day is free; you may decide to continue sightseeing in Palermo at your own pace or take an optional visit to Monreale, famous for the extraordinary Duomo, considered the greatest example of Norman architecture in the world. Overnight in Palermo.

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

Meals: breakfast, lunch

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. **

icon 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.

Meals: breakfast

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.

icon 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.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

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.

icon Day 6 : Transfer to rural farm for cheese tasting; stop in the UNESCO Baroque town of Noto before reaching Catania.

Meals: breakfast

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). In the afternoon we transfer to Catania, our base for the last two nights of the tour.

icon Day 7 : Visit the loud and lively fish market; travel to Etna for an excellent wine and produce tasting and short walk; return to Catania.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

After breakfast we visit the famous /Pescheria, /the colourful, loud and smelly fish market, which is one of the oldest and biggest in Italy. Held every morning except Sunday, this market is everything one expects an Italian market to be: following the local traditions, fishermen will try to attract buyers with their loud voices and lots of gesticulations. Nearby there are also fruit and vegetable stalls as well as other delicious local produce from the mountain villages around Etna. Later this morning we transfer to a famous wine cellar on Mount Etna and enjoy a delicious wine and produce tasting for lunch, followed by a short walk around the highest most active volcano in Europe (1 to 2 hours walking depending on time, 5 km maximum). We return to Catania in the afernoon and in the evening our leader will recommend an excellent local restaurant where to enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.

icon Day 8 : End Catania.

Meals: breakfast

This tour ends in Catania in the morning of day 8.

What's Included

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

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    London flights (if booking incl. flights)

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    Airport transfers (if booking group flights or alternative flights arriving before or at the same time as the group)

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    All accommodation

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    Transport by private air-conditioned minibus throughout the trip

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    Special guided tours in main UNESCO sights and cities

What's Not Included

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    Travel insurance 

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    Visa or vaccinations

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    Single accommodation 

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    City taxes (approx. €10-15)

Food

All breakfasts, 2 wine tastings, 1 cookery 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.

Your Peace of Mind Options

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Reviews

Read all 22 reviews
A brilliant mix of foodie and cultural delights
This trip is a wonderful mixture of food and culture, with Etna thrown in for good measure! From sampling spleen sandwiches (yes, really) on the Palermo street food tour to ....more This trip is a wonderful mixture of food and culture, with Etna thrown in for good measure! From sampling spleen sandwiches (yes, really) on the Palermo street food tour to a Marsala wine tasting and eating ricotta, still warm, that we had watched being made just minutes before, all the gastronomic experiences were enjoyable and delicious (even the spleen wasn't that horrendous).

The cultural highlights for me were the amazing mosaics at the Villa del Casale and the Duomo and cloisters at Monreale, whilst experiencing Etna in the snow was simply stunning.

Our guide, Rosario, was brilliant, and our group, made up of mostly couples and with around 30 years from oldest to youngest, bonded really well - as one of the three singles, and one of the youngest, I never felt isolated.

; ....less
Trip of a lifetime
This was the trip of a lifetime, words cant describe how amazing it was. Everything went perfectly and smoothly we had zero issues or problems other than very very minor ....more This was the trip of a lifetime, words cant describe how amazing it was.

Everything went perfectly and smoothly we had zero issues or problems other than very very minor ones.

Vincenzo our guide was absolutely amazing and our driver Salvadore as well.

They both did everything to make our trip wonderful.

I could not recommend this more highly.

The food, the hotels, the scenery, everything was perfect.

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Fabulous trip
Really interesting, active trip with plenty of interesting food & wine experience, history, culture and lovely group of people. Led by an excellent tour leader. Really interesting, active trip with plenty of interesting food & wine experience, history, culture and lovely group of people.

Led by an excellent tour leader.

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Great Trip
Really enjoyed the trip. A fascinating island, great food, wonderful history. My only criticism is that we tried to cover too much, which at times led to us only reaching ....more Really enjoyed the trip.

A fascinating island, great food, wonderful history.

My only criticism is that we tried to cover too much, which at times led to us only reaching our hotel at 19.

00.

; ....less
Well done Rosario & Guiseppe!
If you idea of a Mediterranean holiday involves languorous lie-ins & bobbing about on a Lilo with a spritzer, forget it!We were an international group of 16. We were very ....more If you idea of a Mediterranean holiday involves languorous lie-ins & bobbing about on a Lilo with a spritzer, forget it!We were an international group of 16.

We were very busy.

We visited places we could not have found independently, and discovered the secrets of wine, olive & cheese production.

We sampled lots of lovely Sicilian foods, visited food markets, feasted on caponata & pesto made by ourselves, tried street food ("what IS that?" - "Cow spleen-its very popular.

.

.

.

").

The trip was quite hectic, Rosario our excellent guide had us whipped into shape from the start- NO lie-ins, no matter how much we consumed the night before.

We were on the coach by 8 or 9 am, ready to face what the day presented.

It was also full of contrasts, from busy markets to gentle countryside, from chi-chi resorts to the blackened slopes of Mount Etna, we got a real flavour of Sicily, including even a bit of Inspector Montalbarno.

Rosario joined in with us and was both helpful and caring of our various needs, and Guiseppe our driver was just brilliant.

A kind, friendly, helpful, careful driver who lugged our suitcases as well as driving and looking after us.

The relatively small coach easily negotiated roads that would have been tricky for a bigger bus.

Most of the hotels were perfect for our needs, and mostly very well located.

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Frizzante Sicilia
A gastronomic delight!. From the hands on cookery class and wine tasting tasting to sampling Sicilian delicacies in the historical Capo market. Plus a big thank you to the ....more A gastronomic delight!.

From the hands on cookery class and wine tasting tasting to sampling Sicilian delicacies in the historical Capo market.

Plus a big thank you to the team for arranging gluten free alternatives throughout the tour, from fusilli pasta to wheat free desserts, it truly exceeded all my expectations.

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An enjoyable week with lots to see, do and taste!
We chose the trip after seeing an advert in the Guardian and decided that it sounded fun - mixing food and drink experiences with archaeology, history and geography. We weren't ....more We chose the trip after seeing an advert in the Guardian and decided that it sounded fun - mixing food and drink experiences with archaeology, history and geography.

We weren't disappointed.

Though we don't normally go for group holidays, this trip worked well.

The opportunity to share food and drink tastings with the group added a dimension that would have been missing if we had been on our own.

Rosario, our guide, and Maurizio, our driver, both worked dilgently to ensure we really enjoyed the trip - getting us to everywhere we needed to be without fuss or bother, and handling queries and minor problems with unfailing patience and good humour.

In a relatively short time, we saw a good cross-section of the island, and came back with happy memories and a much stronger 'mental image' of Sicily.

Thanks to all concerned who made this work.

; ....less
Sicily Food Tour
A wonderful introduction to this enormous island, combining the must-see sites (Etna etc.) with wine, cheese, chocolate, gelato and other tastings. A lot of movement with 6 different hotels. A wonderful introduction to this enormous island, combining the must-see sites (Etna etc.

) with wine, cheese, chocolate, gelato and other tastings.

A lot of movement with 6 different hotels.

;
Sicily Food Adveenture
Our week in Sicily was the highlight of 2 months in Europe. The places we visited, and stayed, and the food experiences we enjoyed were well planned to make ....more Our week in Sicily was the highlight of 2 months in Europe.

The places we visited, and stayed, and the food experiences we enjoyed were well planned to make for a varied tour: a mixture of popular tourist sites and low-key personal off the beaten track ventures all designed to keep a group of 6 well-travelled 70s year olds stimulated but not over taxed.

Guide Rosario was a wonderfullyorganised yet relaxed companion who who treated us as friends not customers (and driver Giuseppe was great to be with as well.

Thoroughly recommended.

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Excellent trip!
The tour was well organised and interesting. The group dynamics worked well and we were given the opportunity to experience many aspects of Sicily including the delicious food, ....more The tour was well organised and interesting.

The group dynamics worked well and we were given the opportunity to experience many aspects of Sicily including the delicious food, fascinating history, fantastic archaeology and beautiful scenery.

; ....less

Dates & Availability

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Sunday Jun 20, 2021

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Sunday Sep 05, 2021

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Sunday, Sep 11, 2022

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Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

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Sunday, Oct 16, 2022

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Sunday, Nov 06, 2022

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