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A Week of Culture in Sicily

From £2013 pp

Italy, Sicily

7 Nights / 8 Days

Join a Small Group (2-12)

A Week of Culture in Sicily

From £2013 pp

What You'll Do

Enjoy a week in the beautiful region of Sicily where you will be able to experience authentic Sicilian culture with the warm hospitality of local people and great food!

Dates

9-16 October 2022
16-23 October 2022
7-14 May 2023
8-15 Oct 2023

Join us on a 8-day unique Italian responsible and cultural escorted tour to visit one of the most stunning Italian regions – Sicily.

For anyone eager to live an immersive adventure in the Italian and Sicilian culture and traditions, where you really get to know the food, region and people, your hosts and local guides together with their friends, have put together amazing experiences that combine passion, beautiful places, ethical visits and locals to show you the best of Western Sicily in a responsible way putting you in touch with local communities.

This is a fully escorted tour that will give you the insights into daily life, culture, food & wine, and production and will let you discover the authentic Italy in a balanced mix of experiences, relax, adventure and learning.

Respecting our philosophy, there will be only local guides that love and know everything (or nearly everything!) about their area of Sicily, like Fabrizio, your lead tour guide for the week. The tour has been designed by Fabrizio and the local suppliers all together, who worked hard to select partners, licensed tour guides and passionate people living and working in Sicily, that share our philosophy and style to create a new and unique trip to support small local businesses and sustainable tourism.

Experience
Highlights

Experience life in the heart of Palermo and a charming historic residence in Erice

Explore enchanted seaside villages and nature reserves

Visit a boutique winery and a social farmhouse

Your Local Host:

Fabrizio and friends

Fabrizio is your tour guide and host extraordinaire on his Italian gastronomy holidays. Native to the region of Abruzzo in central Italy, he is immensely proud of its history and heritage. Fabrizio’s passion for keeping everything local also means that guests on his holidays will be joining his family for cooking lessons, meeting local pro Read More

Experience Itinerary

Welcome to Sicily!

Welcome to Sicily!

You’ll be picked up at Palermo airport at 2:30 pm, where you’ll then be taken to Palermo downtown.

Once you’ve arrived, you can check in and relax at your centrally located hotel. You’ll be introduced to your local guide Chiara and learn more about this 8-day Italian cultural and responsible vacation.

Once you’ve settled in, you’ll be taken on a short visit to the historic centre of the city to learn how to go around in the chaotic yet fascinating Palermo!

In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Palermo.

Visit Palermo

After a delicious breakfast we’ll visit the historic centre of Palermo through a walking tour. Among the narrow alleys and airy squares you will see fountains, churches and historic buildings, but also the colourful market stalls, shops and laboratories where the artisan and gastronomic traditions are still active today.

During our visit to one of Palermo’s market, you’ll have the opportunity to taste the typical specialties of Palermo street food, such as panelle and arancini, for a lunch on your own (the tour guide will suggest you his favourite places and will explain these amazing foods).

In the afternoon we’ll drive to Monreale, a few kilometres away from Palermo, to visit the majestic Norman Cathedral characterised by golden mosaics, the cloister of the adjoining monastery, and the panoramic point from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire Gulf of Palermo.

During the second part of the afternoon you’ll have free time to discover more about Palermo and to have dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of the city. Your guide will suggest to you his favourite places!

Wine Tasting and Capaci Tour

After breakfast we’ll leave the city for the countryside.

Natalia will welcome us in the middle of the green, among the hills overlooking the Gulf of Castellammare, to tell us about the history and typical features of the farm where she lives and which she manages with passion together with her Finnish husband Rami.

The events of the estate, which has belonged to the family for almost a century, intersect with the human events that Natalia unravels among her private and professional memories. This small winery is devoted to organic farming and boasts products of various kinds, which safeguard local biodiversity. The farm also manages a wine cellar and a vinegar cellar: we will taste their wines and vinegars, under the guidance of Natalia. We’ll then move to another nearby farm, which dominates the splendid view of Lake Poma from an altitude of about 500 meters (1,640 feet). Another warm Sicilian family will welcome us, lovingly caring for the land and transforming its fruits into delicious preserves and jams. Laura and her parents will have lunch with us, telling us why they decided to transform the family business into a social farm that collaborates with local businesses that deal with young people with disabilities.

In the afternoon we will travel to Capaci, a town known for the massacre of Giovanni Falcone. You’ll be introduced to Antonio, a photographer, involuntarily witnessed the murder of the judge, his wife and the men of his escort: through his words we will have a heartfelt snapshot of that May 23, 1992 that changed Antonio’s life and the history of Italy.

However, you’ll also learn that Capaci goes beyond that date and it’s more than the place of the attack. The town offers a lot to its inhabitants and tourists, from the sea life to good food to the friendliness of its people.  After the short “secular pilgrimage” (we can do it walking or by car, as you prefer) to the symbolic Casina no Mafia, Antonio will host us in his ‘garden of coincidences’, explaining the reason for this name, and where you can enjoy a nice aperitif.

If you are still hungry, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants of Palermo.

 

Visit to Corleone

After breakfast you’ll explore the hinterland by visiting Corleone, a town nestled in the rock, immersed in the countryside as far as the eye can see, and characterised by a breathtaking landscape.

Among the alleys of the town we will experience the kindness of its inhabitants and the commitment of those who fight for the change of a community that wants to redeem itself from the stereotypes conveyed by cinema and literature.

The history of the city is in fact linked to the history of the peasant movement, and to the fight against the mafia between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

In the afternoon you’ll have lunch in a local farmhouse, for a delicious gastronomic experience.

Then, you’ll have a free afternoon in Palermo for your own activities, which could be a visit Palermo’s museums and art galleries, or just some shopping visiting artisans.

In the evening you’ll be able to enjoy experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Palermo.

Sicilian Cooking Class

After breakfast you’ll say goodbye to Palermo to travel to the province of Trapani, stopping in a Baglio (traditional Sicilian farmhouse).

Daniela, even before being an excellent cook, is the perfect hostess – she will welcome us with an aperitif on the terrace (which was also chosen as a film set) and then will introduce us to the discovery of the secrets of authentic Sicilian cuisine.

Together we will prepare lunch based on typical recipes (i.e. homemade pasta, caponata and arancini) enhancing local and seasonal products, appreciating the flavours and aromas of the Sicilian island.

In the afternoon you will visit the archaeological area of Segesta, where the remains of the ancient Elymian-Greek city (a temple and a theater) stand out in the gentle hilly landscape.

In the late afternoon, you will be able to check into the enchanting Erice, where we will spend the next 3 nights, and relax in a historic palace that used to be a convent.

There will be a short welcome and orientation tour, and then in the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the typical restaurants of Erice.

Your guide will suggest you his favourite places, or alternatively you can have dinner or aperitivo in the restaurant of your accommodation

Walk inside the amazing Nature Reserve of Zingaro, Scopello and exploring Erice

After a pleasant and fresh morning wake up in the village of Erice, we will move for an exciting naturalistic trekking experience within the Zingaro Reserve.

You’ll walk along the coastal path, about 7 km (4.3 miles), which can be easily travelled in no more than two hours, dotted with broom, thyme, almond trees, ash trees, dwarf palms and carob trees, to fully enjoy the typical Mediterranean landscape overlooking the marine cove.

We will be able to make stops for a swim or for a bit of relaxation in some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.

If you prefer to skip this walk, you can join us for the general explanation about the reserve, and then relax by the beach or in the nearby village of San Vito Lo Capo.

After the walk, we will enjoy a light lunch with the famous Trapanese “pane cunzato” (a sort of stuffed bread) in Scopello.

In the afternoon we will return to Erice via the panoramic road full of curves and hairpin bends. On the way we’ll visit the beautiful medieval village nestled on top of Monte San Giuliano. Among the winding and cobbled streets there are stunning views of the landscape that the town dominates from above, including views of the castle, and many churches and palaces.

We’ll stop at the local pastry shop to taste the typical Erice sweets, whose recipes were created by the nuns in the town’s many cloistered convents.

In the evening you may have dinner on your own in one of the typical restaurants of Erice.

Explore Mazara del Vallo

After breakfast we’ll drive to the fascinating Mazara del Vallo, which contains the most typical features of Mediterranean culture: located less than 200 km (124 miles) from the Tunisian coast, only the sea separates it from Africa, but in every corner you can sense the multi-ethnic atmosphere of the city.

The labyrinthine Arab-North African layout of the historic centre will immerse you into the culture of this town, with its maze of alleys and inner courtyards of the buildings. The so-called Kasbah recalls the Islamic medinas, so much so that it people say it should be situated on the other side of the Mediterranean!

Our Sicilian-Tunisian guide will introduce you to the historical-artistic past but also the multicultural current affairs of Mazara: a middle ground between the African and European coasts, a starting point and landing place for the citizens of the Mediterranean.

After a traditional lunch of couscous, you’ll be able to enjoy some free time to wander around the beautiful streets of Mazara. Then, we’ll visit the salt pools  and windmills, before enjoying farewell aperitif at sunset in Marzala.

Departure

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Palermo airport for your flight at around 9am. The distance is around 70 minutes driving from your hotel, so make sure to get a late morning or afternoon flight, or your next destination in Sicily if you want to explore more fascinating places of this island or other Italian regions (don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll be happy to support you to continue your Sicilian and Italian trip!)

Location Information

Sicily is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich regions of Italy, famous for its art, music, literature, cuisine and architecture. We’re sure you’ll fall in love with its beauty and its people.

  • 4 nights in Palermo at Bio Hotel Palermo
  • 3 nights in Erice at Il Carmine in an historical residence
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 full meals (starters, a first or second dish, dessert, water, coffee, house wine and liqueurs) and a light lunch (a special “panino” plus water and house wine on day 6) in selected restaurants, farmhouses, and a bakery based on traditional regional dishes. The other meals are free for you to explore the towns by yourself
  • 2 aperitifs (a glass of wine or a cocktail or a beer or a soft drink plus some traditional appetizers)
  • 3 guided tastings of wine and vinegar, “pane cunzato” (a sort of stuffed bread), traditional Erice desserts and visits to the producers
  • 1 hands-on authentic Sicily cooking class and associated food costs
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron
  • Daily trips, excursions and guided tours of Palermo, Monreale, Corleone, Erice, Segesta, Mazara del Vallo
  • Entrance tickets to the Cathedral and cloister of Monreale, Corleone Legality Laboratory, Segesta Archaeological Park (including internal shuttle), Nature Reserve of Zingaro
  • All transports for daily trips and excursions in an air conditioned minibus or car (just for the day in Corleone, in case there were only 2 or 3 travellers, we will go by public bus together with our tour leader)
  • Pick up and drop off in Palermo airport in an air conditioned minibus or car
  • English-speaking professional tour director and licensed local guides as per itinerary