2017 Tours
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Sicily Cooking Tour

  • Five cooking lessons with a passionate local chef
  • Accommodation in a restored farmhouse on private estate
  • Excursions to the beautiful towns of the region
  • Tastings of locally produced ice cream and chocolate
  • Private tour and wine tasting at a local vineyard

Overview

On this 8-day tour we discover Sicily through food! The largest of the Italian islands, it boasts beautiful landscapes and a fascinating past. Sicilian cookery is very much embedded in the history of the island. Various civilizations – Greek, Roman, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, and British – have left their mark. From a gastronomic point of view, the influence of these invaders is still very much in evidence today.

On this tour you will learn to cook like an Italian from a passionate local chef and completely immerse yourself in the flavours of Sicily. You will be based in the south east of the island, in a region famous for its gastronomic specialities: Pachino grows juicy tomatoes, Avola produces almonds and wine, Ragusa is famous for Caciocavallo cheese and Modica for chocolate made from an ancient Aztec recipe.

Join South African radio presenter and “foodie”, Martelize Brink, from 24 September to 01 October 2017 on this fascinating culinary exploration.

Itinerary

Day 0: Johannesburg - Rome - Catania, Sicily

Your tour leader will meet you at the check-in counter at O.R. Tambo International Airport for check-in procedures. Evening departure from O.R. Tambo in Johannesburg to Rome and onward to Catania, Sicily.

Day 1: Modica Region, Sicily

Benvenuti! Welcome to Sicily! Upon arrival at Catania Airport you will be welcomed and transferred to the villa where you can settle in, meet your chef and host, and enjoy welcome drinks. Dinner this evening is at the villa, prepared by your chef.

Overnight at Villa Aragonese including dinner

Day 2: Modica Region, Sicily

After breakfast you will have your first cookery lesson with your local chef, followed by lunch.

Sicily is Italy’s largest island and it's a land of contrasting scenery, cultures and cuisine – an infusion of Mediterranean and North African influences, including spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and saffron, which arrived with the Moorish invaders. Learn to cook the food that the Sicilians are so passionate about, with recipes using fine local ingredients.

All of your cookery lessons take place in the informal kitchen of Villa Aragonese and, together with your fellow travellers and local chef, you will create mouth-watering dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients such as fresh pasta with ricotta and marjoram filling or arancini – a tasty rice-ball that can be stuffed with mozzarella, ragu sauce or peas and coated with breadcrumbs. An old-style Sicilian recipe, you can taste arancini whenever you like, even while strolling along the beautiful streets, since these are often sold as traditional street food.

You are free this afternoon to enjoy some leisure time and relax at your beautiful villa. Dinner is served at the villa tonight.

Overnight at Villa Aragonese on a full board basis

Day 3: Siracusa & Noto, Sicily

Today you visit the historic coastal town of Siracusa and have lunch in a local restaurant in the old part of the city, Ortigia. With ancient Greek ruins, lush citrus orchards, baroque piazzas, and medieval lanes leading down to the sea, Siracusa encapsulates Sicily’s timeless beauty and is a window into the ancient history of the Mediterranean and Europe. It's difficult to imagine now but in its prime this was the largest city in the ancient world, bigger even than Athens and Corinth. It was conquered by the Romans in 212 BC.

You will have some more time to explore this fascinating area after lunch. Later, travel to Noto rumoured to be home to the world’s best ice cream. You will taste the local ice cream at a classic Gelateria.

Dinner tonight is prepared by your chef.

Overnight at Villa Aragonese on a full board basis

Day 4: Marzamemi, Sicily

After breakfast you will be in the kitchen for your second cooking lesson with the chef. Today fresh seafood or Peperonata Con Capperi (a delicious Sicilian vegetable recipe made from peppers and capers) may be on the menu. Enjoy the results for lunch before spending the afternoon at leisure.

Early evening, we will enjoy a private wine tasting at a local vineyard, in the very south of Sicily followed by a visit to Marzamemi, a pretty fishing village famous for tuna fishing and for its classic Italian al fresco atmosphere that really comes into its own at night.

Overnight at Villa Aragonese on a full board basis

Day 5: Modica Region, Sicily

After breakfast, we enjoy another hands-on cookery lesson and lunch at the villa. Learn how to make authentic Sicilian dishes such as pasta con le sarde, or cassata, and of course cannoli, a sweet pastry stuffed with ricotta.

This afternoon is free to relax by the pool. Dinner tonight is prepared by your chef.

Overnight at Villa Aragonese on a full board basis

Day 6: Modica & Ragusa, Sicily

This morning you will enjoy another cooking lesson before heading to Modica, a UNESCO World Heritage town with tightly packed homes, baroque churches, piazzas lined with palm trees and winding alleyways. Here you will taste its famous chocolate made from an ancient and original Aztec recipe from a local producer.

You can then explore the stunning town of Ragusa, where you will have an evening meal at a favourite local restaurant.

Overnight at Villa Aragonese on a full board basis

Day 7: Modica Region, Sicily

Following breakfast, you will have your final cookery lesson followed by lunch. Enjoy your last afternoon relaxing at the villa and in the evening a special farewell dinner prepared by your chef.

Overnight at Villa Aragonese on a full board basis

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast our transfer will collect you and take you back to Catania Airport for your flight home.
Arrivederci!

Including breakfast

END OF SERVICE

Dates

24 September 2017 - 01 October 2017

Rates

Land Package
Per person sharing: GBP 2,290.00
No single room supplement

Included

  • Meet and greet upon arrival 
  • Services of an English speaking local host
  • All transfers in a private vehicle
  • Private, en-suite accommodation in a Sicilian Villa
  • All meals during your stay (including two meals at a local restaurant)
  • All wines, prosecco and limoncello 
  • Five inter-active cooking lessons with an Italian chef
  • All sightseeing and excursions as specified

Excluded

  • All domestic and international flights and airport taxes (quoted separately)
  • Visa Fees
  • Driver, guide and local escort gratuities 
  • Personal travel and baggage insurance 
  • Telephone bill, laundry and any items of a personal nature 
  • Medical, evacuation and travel insurance