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Soul of Sicily Land & Sea to Table Tour with Culinary Guide Renée Restivo


Price is $2985 per person (double occupancy) with private bathroom. Single supplement is $600. Max # for our groups is 14 people. 

On this tour we'll taste the home cooked cucina genuina (genuine cuisine) of the island, become filled with the solare (sunny) spirit of Sicilians, chat with locals, learn a little Italiano, sip Sicily's wines and break bread with Sicilians. You will meet talented and passionate Italians, and taste their specialties. This week long tour will focus on wine and food, but will not neglect to show us "can't miss" highlights in architecture, art and history.

This trip is a series of cooking lessons, tastings, lectures and discussions. Our classroom this week is real world Italy. We will have one demo style lesson and one hands-on lesson during this trip.

Day 1 -  Arrival Day, Saturday, - Late afternoon arrivals at our home for the week, just minutes away from Noto. Our charming agriturismo hotel is located just a 10 minute walk from Noto's historical center and has a lovely garden and ancient olive tree in the center courtyard where breakfast is enjoyed. All rooms have private bathrooms.

Once you've arrived and settled in, you can enjoy a welcome refreshment and admire the view. This areas history dates back in time to the ancient Greeks. After a restful day, your welcome dinner will be a Sicilian feast with orientation. We will have a tasting of local specialties and a lively discussion about Sicilian foods. Our wonderful meal, accompanied by a Sicilian red wine will bring us into the arms of Morfeo, the god of sleep and dreams. Then we'll say buonanotte!

Arrivals will be at Catania airport in Sicily with transfer to our hotel-agriturismo.

On any day of this tour you have the option to take walks around the property, enjoy the nearby beaches, explore the area by bike (bikes can be rented in town), or just enjoy the garden views.

Day 2 - Il Pane e l’olio (Bread and Olive Oil) – NOTO
Buongiorno Amici!!! After a relaxing breakfast, we will head to the Sicilian countryside to visit a good friend who will tell us about his family and the history of the contadino (Italian farmer). We will learn how to make stuffed bread and pizza in a wood burning oven with a Sicilian famiglia in their home in a very relaxing way. In the late afternoon, we will visit Noto Antica to learn about this important archeological site, which was once a great medieval city. 


Day 3 - Il Pranzo della Festa-   Cooking Lesson with a Sicilian Home Cook                           We start with a hands-on cooking lesson in a typical Sicilian kitchen. We will select ingredients and then learn the secrets to preparing a Sicilian meal. Late afternoon includes a walking tour of Noto, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of my favorite places in Italy. We’ll admire the famous baroque architecture of la bella città, and taste dolci. We will discuss and taste some of Sicily's best pastries, gelato and granita. Evening activities may include a visit with a local artist, a behind the scenes look at a Sicilian ceramic workshop or live music.

Day 4 – The Life of the Sicilian Farmer - AN UNKNOWN HILLTOWN                           Morning: Visit to Buscemi and the Museum Village of Civiltà Contadina with an english guide. This folk museum which will take us on a trip back in time to the way of life of Italians in the 19th C and earlier. Then we will enjoy an long lunch which is an authentic Tasting Experience at a local agriturismo where they produce their own cheeses and foods. Late Afternoon & Early Eventing: Relax at Villa or Explore the Noto area

Day 5 - Il Formaggio (Cheese & Chocolate) – RAGUSA/MODICA
This morning, we depart for our visit to the town of Ragusa famous for both its architecture and the production of Sicily’s prized cheese, the caciocavallo ragusano. We will visit the a cheesemaker, learn about the traditional style of cheese making which is still used today, and learn about dishes prepared by women in the community. We will have lunch at a place that serves traditional specialties in Modica. We will also visit Modica for chocolate tastings and shopping. We will visit an outstanding chocolate shop and taste chocolate covered sweets and candied orange and nuts.

Day 6 - Il Pesce (Fish) –FISHING VILLAGE                                                                      Driving past citrus and almond groves, and towards some of Sicily’s beaches, we are off to the small fishing villages to learn about the life of i pescatori (fishermen), and hear about their history, tales and current struggles to make a living. After exploring the beautiful coast and a tasting of tuna, bottarga, etc., we will visit the vecchia tonnara, old tuna fishery, and learn about the ancient fishing rituals of the Mediterranean. Dinner together is at a favorite pizzeria.


Day 7  Il mercato - SIRACUSA
A visit to the vibrant market of Ortigia, and the beautiful ancient sites of Siracusa. We will have time to shop for anything you would like to bring back home today. Our expert guide will give us a tour of the best shops for food, fashion and Sicilian crafts. Lunch is on your own, and we can suggest a trattoria, where the owner will talk to us about the local specialties and secrets of of the cucina tradizionale (traditional food). In the afternoon, we’ll have a guided visit to the Archeological Park and Museum. As we explore the ancient capital town of Magna Grecia, we’ll discover how the Greeks left their everlasting classical imprint on the island’s culture, archaeology, food and wine. In the evening, we’ll have a farewell dinner party, with some of our Sicilian friends.

 

Day 8arrivaderci amici (Goodbye friends…)
You surely will not want to leave this bella isola of paradiso. You may decide to extend your stay, I have many suggestions for visiting Palermo and the unknown islands off the coast of Sicily. This is the last morning of our tour.

We’ve selected the first week of May for this tour. Many of these are activites that locals experience. The group is made up of fantastic people, all interested in the same things...cooking and Italian regional food. Although we will cover alot, you can relax as our private van takes us from one place to the next.

Superior rooms may be available upon request. Breakfast and one meal is included each day. Price is $2985 per person (double occupancy) with private bathroom. Single supplement is an additional $600.

Text and photos are copyright of Soul of Sicily, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this itinerary description may be published without permission of the Founder of Soul of Sicily, Renée Restivo.