Walking Tours & Day Trips (culinary excursions):
To create your own customized program combine any of the following Day Trips with our Cooking Lessons. To send the gift of cooking in Sicily to a friend or family member, visit our Gift Vouchers page. To see images of places we visit for Day Trips, take a look at our Noto Gallery.
A Pastry Tasting and Walk Through Baroque Noto - Dolci Siciliani - Noto is known throughout the world for the art of pastry making. We will taste some of Italy’s (and the world’s) best and most interesting dolci and visit a famous pastry shop and a few other more local shops and historical shops. Culinary guide, Renée Restivo will take you on a personal tour and explain what it was that pulled her to stay in Noto and choose it as her base in Sicily. We’ll see architectural highlights and visit a few churches and a historical Palazzo from a powerful aristocratic family of the tuna fishing industry of Sicily. We will spend the afternoon learning about the cultural traditions, history of pastry making and food of the area. This town is known for it’s almonds -- granita, almond milk, pasta reale and hundreds of variations of unforgettable dolci. Please note: This is not a cooking lesson, it is an afternoon culinary tour with many tastes of dolci. Visit our SWEET NOTO page to see a photo gallery of this Walking Tour.
Secrets of Noto Antica (Ancient Noto) - Noto Antica was the original site of the town before the great earthquake in the late 1600s. The archeological site of Noto Antica is rarely discovered by English speaking travelers, but is the heart and soul of the history of this area, and is always a favorite spot due to the powerful landscape and history. An expert will take you for a visit to the archeological area of Noto Antica, where you will see the ruins of an old powerful medieval city and the recent restoration work for a castle that goes back to the time of Arab occupation in this part of Sicily. We will recreate the experience of traveling back in time to visit Noto Antica when it was a flourishing medieval walled city with palazzos, churches, convents and markets -- on the scale of Siena in Northern Italy. We will show you the only structure that remained standing -- an ancient church and a convent -- a real miracle. We will also show you the remains of the church that once was the home of the beautiful wooden statue of the Madonna del Carmine. You can now visit La Madonna del Carmine and see her new home in the Baroque town of Noto.
Farmlands & Wine Making - In this guided tour with a private guide and driver, you will learn about olive oil production, visit citrus and almond groves, learn about carob, and visit some of Sicily's most up and coming vineyards. Taste nero d'avola and moscato di Noto wine. This will be a wild tour through the backroads leading you to the heart of some of Sicily's best farms and wine producers. Stops to visit cheesemakers or to a carob farm can also be included for the full day tour.
Foraging for Wild Greens OR Gathering Mediterranean Herbs - come gather herbs together at a farm and learn about the properties of Sicily’s wild herbs. Please inquire about details. This excursion works best when combined with a cooking class and can be arranged for a group of 4 people or more. You will learn how to forage for herbs and ingredients such as mushrooms. The ingredients vary depending on the month. It is offered from December through May. We’ll cook together at my favorite agriturismo and explore several dishes such as antipasti with wild fennel and more.
Visit to Traditional Cheesemaker in the Countryside for Fresh Ricotta Making & Tastings (please inquire about availability for the week you would like to travel).
Additional Excursions That Soul of Sicily can arrange upon request:
• Traditional fishing village
• Roman mosaics and a museum
• Baroque Noto by day or night
• Wine tastings at vineyards
• Vendicari nature reserve
• Sicily's most pristine beaches
• A town famous for honey making
• Archeological sites
• Noto's food markets & Noto's clothing market
• Local farms
• Olive oil producers
• Cultural museums in our area
• Cheese makers and other food producers
• Italy's best pastry shops and restaurants
• Sicily's grand canyon