Adventure and History

Traveling to Sicily without a guide can be intimidating. The mythology of the island’s passions, along with the reality of its closed, insular culture, can make it hard to get below the surface of tourist travel. Going to Sicily alone can make you feel like you’re standing on top of a large mountain of culture and food that was buried beneath you. Let us reveal Sicily’s food culture! Come, join us, for a unique, educational, and entertaining experience that you won’t soon forget.

 

 
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Sicily 2020

LOCATION - Sicily

DATES - September 20-30, 2020

TRAVELERS - 12 people

PRICE - $6950 per person

 

 

Who?

The trip is designed for experienced travelers with a passion for traditionally-made foods. Due to Sicily’s general location, you can expect many fresh seafood dishes during this adventure. If you have any other food allergies, please let your guide know upon registration.

We keep our groups small, only 10 to 14 guests traveling with an experienced host from Zingerman’s, plus our English-speaking Italian guide, Gioacchino Passalacqua, from Attavola. Guests should anticipate walking 1-3 miles throughout a day and be prepared for steep steps, often without handrails, and uneven cobblestone streets. (It’s part of Sicily’s charm!) We will have guided walking tours of some of the cities we visit, and, we build in time for our guests to explore on their own. The more curious and open-minded you, are the more you’ll enjoy your experience.

 

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What’s Included?

All breakfasts (the hotels provide a wonderful selection for breakfast), some lunches, and most dinners. We will visit excellent, traditional Sicilian restaurants, and at our meals together you will enjoy a fixed menu of local specialties made from fresh, in-season ingredients, and a local wine pairing.

Behind the scenes visits to incredible, small-scale Sicilian food makers. We will visit a hundred-year-old chocolate maker in Modica, a traditional cheesemaker in Ragusa, a producer of fabulous dessert wines in the storied winemaking region of Marsala, and a fantastic traditional olive oil producer in Castelvetrano.

We will accompany a Sicilian chef on a trip to the market, followed by a hands-on cooking class as we prepare a multi-course classic Sicilian meal together.

A Zingerman’s tour host and our English-speaking guide, Gioacchino, will be at your disposal at all times. Our guide will translate during our visits to the food makers. A folder with information about the producers and the cities that we will visit during the tour will be provided.

Transfer to and from the Palermo airport. Transportation by air conditioned private bus for the entire tour.

 

What’s Not Included?

Airfare

Alcoholic beverages (other than beverages with dinner or when they are specifically included in the itinerary)

Personal spending money

A few meals

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What about accommodations?

We’ve chosen clean, comfortable, conveniently located, hotels. All have private washrooms.


 

Itinerary*

 

Arrive at the airport in Palermo.

You’ll be taken by private transfer from the airport to the hotel. Upon arrival, relax, unpack, and later we’ll take a casual walking tour of the area near the hotel. That evening we’ll enjoy a lovely dinner in Palermo as we get to know each other and what’s in store for the next nine days.

DAY 1
Palermo


 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today we’ll get up-close and personal with the foods of Sicily. We’ll visit an outdoor food market and learn about some of the local seasonal Sicilian foods. We’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of Palermo, focused on the Norman and Arabic periods in the city's long and fascinating history. In the afternoon we’ll grab a light lunch at some of Palermo’s famous street food locations. That evening we'll dine together at one of the area’s more intriguing restaurants on the outskirts of Palermo.

DAY 2
PALERMO


 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Our day begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of one of Palermo’s ceramic shops that follows the traditional method of hand-painting. After learning a bit more about the process we’ll explore Palermo for an hour or so of shopping independently.

A visit to a local boutique wine producer in the west of the city comes next, culminating in a tasting lunch and tour of the winery. On our way home we’ll stop at one of the pasticceria in a lovely little seaside town outside of the Palermo.

The city is yours for the evening as you find dinner on your own (we have recommendations, of course). Tonight we pack for Ragusa.

DAY 3
PALERMO


 

Breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast, we’ll travel across Sicily to Caltagirone. We’ll stop to see the famed tile steps and some of their local ceramic shops. We’ll also enjoy a light lunch and free time before checking into our hotel just outside Ragusa. In the early evening we’ll visit nearby Modica for a tasting at an artisanal chocolate producer, followed by a traditional chocolate dinner (one of our favorite evenings on the tour).

DAY 4
Palermo
Caltagirone
Ragusa


 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today we cook! Go light on breakfast this morning because we’ll be visiting an artisan cheese producer to see cheese-making in progress and taste some fresh cheese. Afterwards we’ll gather fresh ingredients from the local markets with which to prepare our group dinner that evening. A lunch will be prepared for us with some of our ingredients and in the early afternoon we meet for the cooking class. We will divide into small groups and be given hands-on assistance by trained chefs in preparing a multi-course meal of traditional Sicilian dishes. In the evening we will dine at the restaurant in our hotel, where we will enjoy the fruits (and meats) of our labors.

DAY 5
Ragusa


 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today, we will venture to the hill town of Ispica and visit our second wine producer for a tasting lunch. Today is also a wonderful day to explore the local cuisine, which—like the rest of Sicilian cuisine—is varied, complex, and endlessly interesting.

We’ll make our way back to the hotel that afternoon for a little free time to shop in Ragusa Ibla—a world heritage site and Baroque portion of the city—before indulging in a beautiful meal that evening in Ragusa. Tonight you’ll pack for an early departure.

Day 6
Ragusa


 

Day 7
Ragusa
Sciacca
Trapani

Breakfast at the hotel.

We bid farewell to our hotel and travel along the coast till we stop at the port city of Sciacca for a delicious, scenic lunch. Founded in the latter part of the 15th century, Sciacca is famous for its beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea as well as wonderful seafood. We reach our hotel in Trapani by late afternoon where we’ll relax at the hotel, take swim, or enjoy a glass of wine on your own until the evening. Later you’ll have the  option to go into the town of Trapani for dinner on your own or with a group (we can help arrange this).


 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today we’ll take a visit to the Salt Flats in Marsala. Later in the morning we’ll head to a nearby bakery and learn about the local bread called Pane Nero, as well as enjoy a light lunch. After lunch we’ll return to the hotel for a small break before an olive oil and balsamic tasting that evening. Here you’ll learn what makes Sicilian olive oil so special, as well as the process of traditional balsamic vinegar, and enjoy a lovely meal together highlighting these ingredients.

Day 8
Trapani


 

Breakfast at the hotel.

We’ll get on the bus and head to Segesta to explore their famous Greek temples. After that we head to the beautiful seaside town of Castellammare del Golfo (the Sea Fortress on the Gulf). You’ll be free to walk this small town and explore their newly constructed marina. We will offer helpful suggestions of how to get around on your own for lunch. While here, we’ll snack and prepare to head to the nearby town of  San Vito Lo Capo, a stunning little town renowned for its beaches. You’ll have a bit of free time to explore on your own. That evening, we’ll meet up for a lively couscous tasting dinner.

DAy 9
Trapani
San Vito
Lo Capo
Trapani


 

DAY 10
Trapani
Erice
Trapani

Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning we will visit the fish market of Trapani and learn about the local seafood population. After that, we’ll head to the historic medieval town of Erice, situated 750 meters above sea level. We’ll explore the steep and winding village, take in amazing views, and enjoy a light lunch in this tiny town. We will again offer tips on where to go for lunch. That evening we’ll reunite for a final group meal before departing in the morning.


**One thing to note: this itinerary is the current plan, and things may change. We will make every effort to provide the tours and experiences that are described above. However, the nature of the places we’ll be visiting — not typical tourist destinations — means that plans may change at the last minute. Also, you always have the option of skipping a particular excursion, but please note that we will be unable to make refunds for any missed meals or other events.


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