What could be better? Soul of Sicily's authentic cooking classes in baroque Noto. Welcome to your home away from home in Sicily.


Soul of Sicily programs with Renée Restivo cover Sicily's ancient history, culture, traditional cooking, organic agriculture and herbs. Our base is the lesser-known UNESCO world heritage town, baroque Noto -- just minutes away from some of the island's most pristine beaches, ancient Greek ruins and Vendicari nature reserve of the southern coast.

Come enjoy Sicily's authentic meals with wine, and meet farmers, chefs, local experts, guides and artisans who are actively involved in projects to preserve their cultural heritage and environment. Our cooking classes are authentic experiences which give visitors the chance to connect with locals, get to know Renée's insider's Sicily and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Renée Restivo has over 15 years of experience in culinary education in Italy. She got her start as a recipe tester for La Cucina Italiana magazine in New York City, before  working for top cooking schools in Northern and Southern Italy. Then she decided she had to be her own boss, and do things her way so she started her own business and grew it despite many challenges. Restivo has offered culinary tours and cooking classes in Southeastern Sicily for over a decade. Soul of Sicily has the longest running and the absolute best culinary program in Southeastern Sicily. If you've done your research then you know that Southeastern Sicily is one of Sicily's most fascinating regions from a culinary perspective, rich in agricultural products such as almonds, citrus, tomatoes and wine and filled with important food traditions.

Renée has been documenting these traditions for many years, and began planting her roots in Southeastern Sicily when the region was not on anyone's radar. As a result, she has built a network of partners, guides, teachers, artists and more that make Soul of Sicily programs the experience of a lifetime. Come see for yourself!

Read Renee Restivo's essay about the search for her roots in Sicily in: 


Culinary Tours

We have offered culinary tours to Italy since 2004, and culinary tours of Southeastern Sicily for a decade now. These week-long adventures give travelers a chance to explore Sicily's rich culinary tradition and meet talented Sicilians who are food artisans, home cooks, culinary professionals, artists, herbalists and more.

Cooking School

Renée Restivo, the Founder of Soul of Sicily has over 17 years of experience in culinary education. She began her career in New York City and spend the past 15 years in culinary education in Italy. We have the most experience in culinary education in the Noto area, offering you a balance of authenticity and professional, organized service.

Private Cooking Programs

We specialize in creating customized culinary program itineraries for small groups of 2-7 people. Gather your friends and family, send us your available dates and dream itinerary (including the recipes you'd like to learn). Let's make your dream happen!


"We had the best week of our lives! Just fabulous! Thanks" 

Featured In

National Geographic Traveler
Travel Channel Sicily episode
Tastes of Italia magazine
The book Seeking Sicily
Rick Steves Radio Show