The Grand Food and Wine Tour of Sicily and Puglia

14 Days / 13 Nights

Trip Summary

Day 1 - Arrival at Palermo PMO Airport Private Transfer to Hotel in Palermo. Half day walking Tour
Dinner at Local Restaurant
Day 2 - Exploring the Sicilian Syrah + Mosaics of the Monreale Cathedral
Day 3 - Marsala, the Sea Salt Pan and Mothia
Dine with locals and show cooking at Favara
Day 4 - Temples Valley in Agrigento + Nero d'Avola and Cerasuolo
Day 5 - Barocco and Chocolate in Ragusa and Modica + Nero D'Avola
Day 6 - Private Half Day Visit of Siracusa with Licensed English Speaking Guide Siracusa Private Sailing Boat Tour at Sunset
Visit of the Fisherman Village Marzamemi
Day 7 - Truffle Hunting and Time Machine Experience, with Cooking Class and Cheese Making Demo in a Watermill
Day 8 - Transfer from Siracusa to Taormina + Waking Tour
Day 9 - Etna Jeep Ride with 2 Wineries
Day 10 - Departure from Catania CTA Airport to Bari and transfer to Matera
Day 11 - Full Day Tour Altamura and Matera
Day 12 - The Pearls of Puglia: Trani + Aglianico del Vulure
Day 13 - Full day Castel del Monte with Wine + Cheese + Olives
Day 14 - Departure from Bari Airpot
Day 1

Arrival at Palermo PMO Airport

Private Transfer to Hotel in Palermo
Welcome to the warm and beautiful island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo Airport you will meet your English speaking assistant and transfer to Hotel in Palermo.
Palermo half day walking tour
Hosts will decide, in advance, which one of the following walking tours they want to include.
  • Medieval Palermo: The legacy of Sicily's Norman kings comes alive. See Palermo Cathedral, the Norman Palace, Saint John of the Hermits Monastery.
  • Aristocratic Palermo: Visit the Norman Palace of Sicily's first kings, with its Phoenician foundations and palatine chapel. Then we'll see Palazzo Mirto, a Baroque residence of a noble family, and the Steri, a medieval castle.
  • Judaic Palermo: Highlights of Palermo's Jewish heritage, built by a community which flourished in the city until the end of the fifteenth century. Because our guide's itineraries are based partly on original research, they're especially insightful. This is far more than an 'ordinary' tour of Palermo.
  • Culinary Curiosities: A visit to one of Palermo's colorful street markets, established as Arab souks in the ninth century, followed by lunch and a wine tasting.
  • Discovering Palermo: Sites and monuments that give you a lasting impression of this colorful city: a medieval street market, the imposing Cathedral, the Martorana and its mosaics, Piazza Pretoria Fountain, Palazzo Mirto and more.
  • The Leopard's Palermo: Discover the places that inspired Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's classic novel, The Leopard (Il Gattopardo), in a personalised walking tour of the city as he saw it. This itinerary can easily be customized to include a lunch based on Sicilian baroque cuisine typical of the 19th century.
  • Theme Tours: As you can see from these descriptions, it's easy to plan a personal walking tour dedicated to a specific theme - for example, Baroque or Byzantine architecture, the Kalsa, the local gardens, Palermo’s Castles.
Dinner at Local Restaurant
Wine oriented typical Dinner to be introduced in the “Sicilian Heritage'
Sicilian Heritage Hotel
Day 2

Exploring the Sicilian Syrah and Mosaics of the Monreale Cathedral

After breakfast departure towards the territory of Camporeale.
On the way, stop for a short visit of the Monreale Cathedral, where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory with the Dome, launched in 1174 by William II and represent the scene from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics.
Then continue to Camporeale, considered the best area in Italy for the Syrah production, whose quality is very often compared to the one of Coté du Rhones of France.
In this area we are going visit a couple of wineries with 2 different concepts:
  • One will be a real sicilian “vigneron” specialized in high quality with very limited production with an excellent Catarratto (one of the local white wine of the area you have called “carparazzo”): Terre di Gratia
  • One more structured Company having place in an old traditional Manor House: Alessandro di Camporeale
Both offer a production of wines made with Sicilian and international grapes
Sicily Hotel Hotel
Day 3

Marsala, the Sea Salt Pan and Mothia

Today we start our tour with the visit of the old Salt Flat of Marsala and the Island of Mothia.
Saline Ettore Infersa: the salt pans at the Stagnone are particularly worth a visit and offer a truly unique landscape.
Windmills, first introduced during medieval times, dot the horizon, a testament to how things were once done, though one or two continue to function, pumping water through the sluice gates into or out of the various basins. Piles of harvested salt, neatly covered with terracotta tiles, lie between the road and the basins waiting to be despatched. Midway between Trapani and Marsala, on the banks of the lagoon is a fascinating salt museum giving visitors a complete explanation of exactly how the salt pans developed and functioned over the years. It is from here that you can also take a ferry over to the Phoenician archaeological site of Mothya on Isola San Pantaleo.
The sea salt, in the tradition of this part of Sicily, is obtained by the evaporation of the sea water, through a simple but functional method of “handmade fractional distillation”, that highlights the positive qualities and at the same time eliminates unwanted compounds, such as calcium sulphate or gypsum.
In the heart of the Island, you will walk through the vineyards of “grillo” grapes and have a tasting lunch.
We will continue the day in direction of Marsala where you will be treated to a private visit of Florio Winery (the Company which is the historical memory of Marsala Wine where the first was created).
The guided tour of the historic Florio Cellars begins with the gigantic vats, eight unique examples built in the late 1800’s and still used for aging marsala, that greet visitors at the entrance to the Cellars. Once past the huge vats, we enter the Garibaldi Room, a spacious area from where visitors catch a first glimpse of the fascinating barrel cellars. Here visitors can see the weapons given by Giuseppe Garibaldi to Vincenzo Florio to thank him for his loyalty in 1862, before continuing through the Florio and Ingham-Woodhouse Rooms to the barrel cellars. Each of these fascinating cellars is 165 metres long with no less than 104 arches, under which 1,400 kegs and around 600 barrels and vats of varying capacity are aligned. Passing through the historic rooms, we reach the actual Cellar, an evocative, magical place where about 5,500,000 litres of Marsala are preserved in the silent, tranquil stillness.
After a fascinating tour through the barrel cellars, where the ancient tufa stone floor has been restored, we come to the Donna Franca Tasting Room. This room is the result of a new way of conceiving the Cellar spaces, where tasting is transformed from a moment of pleasure into a fascinating experience involving all the senses and stimulating them with colors, sounds and scents. In this innovative space carved out of one of the tufa stone aisles, visitors are welcomed by background music and an evocative play of lights, and led through the tasting by a virtual guide which accompanies them in the discovery of unexpected impressions, flavors and scents.
The tour of the Cellars concludes in the Florio Enoteca, a state of the art wine shop, unique in Italy, that contains the entire range of Duca di Salaparuta, Corvo and Florio wines, as well as a selection of some of Sicily’s best handicrafts products and local delicacies.
After the visit of this historical cellar and tasting we will continue to Agrigento.
Dine with locals and experience a cooking demostration at Favara
The demostration takes place in an informal and relaxed atmosphere more like a large family gathering than a real lesson where you will be able to
  • TOUCH the roughness of the ancient grains flour
  • FEEL the smell of aromatic herbs just picked from my garden
  • SEE the vibrant colors of local organic products
  • TASTE the fruit of your work, made of authentic gestures and ingredients belonging to the past.
Marsala Cooking lessons
Day 4

Temples Valley in Agrigento and Nero d'Avola and Cerasuolo

After breakfast and drive through Valley of the Temples we will continue to discover the Sicilian countryside, including a couple of strategical stops in local special wineries:
  • Baglio del Cristo di Campobello (not far from Licata) which is a great producer of Nero d’Avola, Grillo and some other varietals.
  • Casa Grazia (in the area of Gela) has grapes of unique characteristics, whose dominant feature is its unmistakable flavor that always finds its rightful balance between character and elegance.
Agrigento & the Temples Valley: two hours walking tour on the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Covers the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Zeus. Agrigento, according to legend, was founded by Daedalus and his son Icarus after they had fled from Crete “by air”. Historically, however, its origins date back to 582 B.C. when it was founded by Rhodian-cretan colonist from the neighboring Gela who named their city Akragas after the nearby river of that name. It rapidly increased in size, importance and military strength under Phalarides, the first tyrant, and later under Theron, who extended his sway over northern Sicily as far as Himera. Agrigento was a city of artists and illustrious personages, including the philosopher Empedocles. Pindar defines it as “the most beautiful of mortal cities” whose beauty we still admire today.
Temples Valley Hotel
Day 5

Barocco and Chocolate in Ragusa and Modica and Nero D'Avola

Today departure for Ragusa. Upon arrival we walk in the core of Ragusa Ibla to visit one of the most fascinating towns in Sicily.
Continue to the nearest Modica, custodian of a 400 year tradition of Sicilian chocolate-making that we will let you taste. Being part of the Spanish kingdom for so many years meant that Sicily was often one of the first recipients of the new foodstuffs being brought back from South America. Cacao was one of these and today, Modica still specializes in making granulous chocolate, often flavored with chilli pepper, cinnamon or vanilla, that is based on Aztec methods and recipes. Chocolate shops abound and, for the real chocoholic, it is sometimes possible to watch the “chocolatiers” at work.
On the way to Siracusa we will stop in a local Winery called Curto Winery This is the area considered the birth place of the famous Sicilian grape, Nero D’Avola
In the late afternoon arrival in Siracusa

Chocolate Hotel
Day 6

Private Half Day Visit of Siracusa with Licensed English Speaking Guide

The morning will be dedicated for the walking tour of the city center of Siracusa. Afternoon at leisure with possible optional experiences like:
  • Sailing Experience at sunset (max 6 people)
  • A trip to the old tuna fishing village of Marzamemi with time for an independent dinner in the old “baglio”
Suggested Restaurant - Regina Lucia
In the evening, dinner in one of the best and fancy restaurant of Ortygia: Regina Lucia, a Micheline Guide Restaurant offering Sicilian cuisine with a contemporary twist, served in an environment of amid tufa arches and designer-style furniture in its superb location in Piazza Duomo.
Sailing Marzamemi Restaurant
Day 7

Truffle Hunting and Time Machine Experience, with Cooking Class and Cheese Making Demo in a Watermill

Today departure to enjoy the experience of walking in the forest with a local experienced truffle hunter and his trained dog.
Follow the dog hurriedly through the forest as he sniffs about and experience the surge of excitement as he starts digging for these edible treasures.
While hunting, you can enjoy the charming Sicilian countryside breathing pure air in a gorgeous wood. The walk is very easy and requires no particular effort.
Later a sightseeing drive will lead us along the countryside, the hills and the vineyards, toward Buscemi, named the “museum town”, for a travel back in time to learn how people used to live in Sicily about a century ago.
We will visit the ethno-anthropological itinerary “the farmer work places”, that includes a visit of the museum dedicated to the artisanal works, and a tour of the places of the past: the farmer home, the millstone, the blacksmith shop, the carpenter shop, the shoemaker shop and other typical works of the time.
Then, we drive to a wonderful location, an ancient watermill, surrounded by streams, waterfalls and small lakes with breathtaking colors, where an experienced chef will welcome us in the kitchen and teach us how to clean and use the truffle: a natural wonder, perfect for enriching many dishes and transforming taste into an experience.
Following, a truffle-based menu will be prepared for us, paired with local delicacies and excellent Sicilian wines.
During the class Sebastiano, a local farmer, will offer you a real demonstration of how to work diligently with milk to create the delicious Ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella and other typical Sicilian cheeses, into the rustic patio of the watermill. You will definitely enjoy the best cheese-making demonstrations in Sicily.
Later we drive back to Siracusa.
truffle hunter
Day 8

Transfer from Siracusa to Taormina and Waking Tour

Breakfast at hotel, then departure onto Taormina.
We will start the day with an amazing walking tour of Taormina. First the visit of the famed Greek-Roman Theatre, then continue to the pedestrian Corso Umberto full of shops, restaurants and bars. Enjoy the day at leisure or take an optional excursion with us.
Suggested Restaurant - Osteria Rosso Divino
Settled in the heart city center, Osteria Rosso Divino Taormina Restaurant is a concept restaurant where to find every day a different menu, created from a selection of the freshest ingredients and products found in local markets.

Greek-Roman Theatre NH Collection Taormina Restaurant
Day 9

Etna Jeep Ride with 2 Wineries

Private Jeeps WD4X4 Land Rover and English Speaking Driver Disposal, full day
Full day Mount Etna Jeep tour with visit of 2 Winiers
  • Primaterra (owned by the President of Sicilian sommeliers): their wine is not for sale in wine shops or any other retail locations, since it is only offered to visitors
  • Barone di Villagrande a lovely place in a different area of the slopes of Mount Etna

Day 10

Departure from Catania CTA Airport to Bari and transfer to Matera

After breakfast departure to Matera.
Based on the schedule of flight between Catania and Bari we can also consider to get thar by groud transportation. Estimated arrival in Matera in the afternoon.
Created by erosion by the course of the Gravina stream. Known as the 'City of the Sassi', Matera is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and its renowned Sassi historical center has been included on the UNESCO Heritage List since 1993.
Possibility to have a walking guided visit followed by a tasting of local products and wines. As alternative there is a possibility to have a visit and tasting of local beer producer
Accommodation in Matera in one of the cave hotel's that are so iconic to this city.
Day 11

Full Day Tour Altamura and Matera

Today will be dedicated to have the “Bread Experience” in Altamura and a Wine visit and tasting of a producer of Primitivo Wine from Gioia del Colle area.
Meet your driver and depart to Altamura where you will assist a production of the local bread. The visit includes:
Visit of the ancient oven, explanation of the production process of the Bread of Altamura DOP, bread-making workshop and techniques of bread preparation processes. Also tasting of typical local products (bread and tomato, focaccia, taralli, biscuits, water and wine).
After the tasting, return to Matera where you will meet your guide for a private walking tour.
Known as the 'City of the Sassi', Matera is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and its renowned Sassi historical center has been included on the UNESCO Heritage List since 1993.

Day 12

The Pearls of Puglia: Trani and Aglianico del Vulure

After breakfast check out and departure in direction of Venosa.
Visit and will be included a couple of local producers of Aglianico Wine of “Vulture” area. This an old volcanic area.
After we have completed visits and tasting, we will drive to Trani. Known as the 'Pearl of Puglia', beautiful Trani has a sophisticated feel, particularly in summer when well-heeled visitors pack the array of marina-side bars. The marina is the place to promenade and watch the white yachts and fishing boats in the harbor, while the historic center, with its medieval churches, glossy limestone streets, historic Jewish quarter and faded yet charming palazzi is an enchanting area to explore. But it's the cathedral, pale against the deep-blue sea, that is the town's most arresting sight.
You will begin the tour with a visit to the Svevo Castle built on the Adriatic Sea by Frederick II of Swabia and then passed under Angevin and Aragonese rule.
From the castle, continue to the wonderful Cathedral of Trani, one of the most beautiful and suggestive Romanesque churches in Puglia that rises majestically over the sea.
Day 13

Full day Castel del Monte with Wine + Cheese and Olives

Today will be dedicated to the highlights of Puglia production in the area around Castel del Monte we will visit the Castle but will be included a visit of:
  • Burrata producer
  • Wine Nero di Troia producer
  • Producer of “smoked” olive oil (very well appreciated from the gourmet restaurants)
Day 14

Departure from Bari Airpot

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