Layers of Art Food & Culture
4 - 14 May 2023
Thu 4 May arrival
Arrive at your leisure to Palazzo Planeta in the center of Palermo. First group meeting 6 pm at Palazzo Planeta for an orientation cocktail. Walk to group welcome supper at our favorite fish restaurant.
Fri 5 May Palermo, cooking lesson
We’ll walk through the Vuccirìa and Ballarò markets to choose ingredients for a group cooking class / supper. Pit stop at the Martorana with the most spectacular and earliest byzantine mosaics on the island. Casual group lunch and afternoon free to explore on your own or go with Elaine for an optional visit to the regional paintings gallery at Palazzo Abatellis. Evening cooking lesson and group supper.
Sat 6 May Selinunte and Mazara
Day trip to the evocative archaeological site at ancient Selinunte: bastion on the western edge of Greek ruled Sicily with the remains of temples and civic areas on a bluff above the Mediterranean Sea. Casual lunch on the beach followed by a visit to Mazara del Vallo to explore the casbah and see the ancient Greek bronze Dancing Satyr. Evening free in Palermo.
Sun 7 May Segesta, cooking lesson
Morning excursion to Segesta, an ancient Elimian settlement on the Greek/Carthaginian border with a spectacular temple and theater with sea view. Visit and tasting with a natural wine maker and casual lunch in the lovely piazza at Alcamo. Evening cooking lesson and group supper at our palazzo in Palermo.
Mon 8 May to Noto via Piazza Armerina
Transfer to Noto with a stop in central Sicily for a visit with an archaeologist who is an expert on the area’s ancient remains: the most extensive ancient Roman mosaic cycle ever discovered at the Villa Romana at Casale and the artifacts now housed at the museum at Aidone including spectacular objects recently recovered from US museums. Evening free in Noto.
Tues 9 May Noto & Siracusa
Morning to explore Noto with a brunch created by the most influential pastry chef in Italy. Afternoon in Ortigia, the lovely peninsula that was ancient Siracusa with archaeological sites, optional visit with Elaine to see the Basilica of Santa Lucia and Caravaggio’s Burial of St. Lucy. Evening free in Noto.
Wed 10 May Modica & Scicli
Morning visit to a cheese dairy for a lesson with tasting of caciocavallo. In Modica, county seat during centuries of Spanish dominion, see medieval frescoes, baroque architecture and learn about and taste Aztec chocolate and traditional pastries. Lunch with a young chef in Modica and time to explore the baroque jewel that is Scicli. Evening free in Noto.
Thu 11 May Palazzolo Acreide
Day trip to Palazzolo Acreide with Greek ruins, Baroque churches, a whole sausage tradition, and the best arancini on the entire island, really. We'll have a cooking lesson tastes with Greek ruins in between. Evening free in Noto.
Fri 12 May Catania & Taormina
Transfer to Taormina via the amazing show of culture that is the fish market in Catania. Visit the Duomo, via Etnea and have lunch in the market. Afternoon and evening free in Taormina.
Sat 13 May Mt. Etna & Taormina
Go up onto the volcano with a naturalist, visit a winery on the northern flank and have a tasting of historic tavola calda / savory snacks and sweets. Free afternoon in Taormina and group farewell supper.
Sun 14 May departure Taormina
Transfers to Catania Fontanarossa CTA airport can be arranged.
Please note that this is an initial itinerary to provide a template of what to expect.
Specific visits are subject to change depending on producer availability and as new opportunities present themselves. The people and places that we will be visiting are not
typical tourist destinations so plans may be modified at the last minute.
We will craft the final itinerary to provide the experience as described above.
Planned in collaboration with Celia Cerasoli, this is an exclusive Sicily visit for just 10-12 travelers. In Palermo we’ll stay at a private palazzo with self-catering apartments with kitchens for group cooking lessons and suppers, you will find breakfast supplies in your apartment, there is a coffee bar on our block and one of the best pastry shops in the city is just a few minutes walk from the palazzo. In Noto and Taormina we have chosen centrally located boutique hotels. We will have a private van and driver for all ground transportation.
The total program cost for this 10 day itinerary per person in double hotel rooms is $6,990; supplement for single occupancy $1,425. To hold your spot a deposit is due by 1 December 2022 request the booking form using the form on the group trips page.