Cannoli, arancini, sfincione and brioche stuffed with vanilla gelato – this is Palermo!!! Learn how to roll out cannoli, make fresh pasta with ancient grains, arancini – fried rice balls, and sfincione – Sicilian pizza, with Chef Lina. Hands-on cooking, food touring and landmark visits blend into the heart of Sicily’s colorful city, Palermo.
Palermo is a melting pot of history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, making it an interesting and enticing city for travellers. Located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, Palermo is a vibrant and theatrical town where life is lived on the streets and piazzas. Visit the busy markets of La Vucciria and Capp where stalls are brimming with farm-to-table produce, fruit and vegetables, fishermen display their daily catch and Sicilian housewives vie for the freshest cheese. Experience Palermo’s famous street food like panelle – bite-sized snacks made from chickpea flour, crocché – special fried potato croquettes, or the famous arancini – stuffed rice balls that are lightly fried until golden. And of course, visit Palermo’s majestic Cathedral, which encapsulates the town’s complex past, as well as its various Medieval, Renaissance and Neoclassical architects. There is also the Palazzo Normanni, a palace and museum, and the Martorana, the vibrant Byzantine church, and the Cappella Palatina, and Quattro Canti, Palermo’s grand square with symmetrical fountains.
Palermo Cooking Classes
Tie on your apron and learn to cook like a Sicilian with Chef Lina. Her Sicilian recipes are authentic, endless and include antipasto, such as involtini di melanzane, stuffed eggplant rolls, and fagioli alla menta, marinated white bean salad with fresh mint. Using ancient and traditional grains, you will roll out fresh pasta con le sarde, pasta with fresh sardines, tossed with golden raisins, pine nuts and wild fennel and pasta alla Norma, a very traditional recipe that includes chopped eggplant stewed in a simple tomato sauce with thyme, oregano, and grated pecorino – then, the pasta is tossed in the sauce and garnished with grated ricotta salata. Fish is plentiful with options such as: involtini di pesce spade, slices of swordfish stuffed with pine nuts, raisins, breadcrumbs, anchovy filets, orange juice, lemon juice and pecorino cheese. Chef Lina dedicates a full class to sweet Sicilian desserts such as cassata made with fresh ricotta, cannoli, and pignoccata, small puffs of dough prepared with honey. There is also biancomangiare, a milky almond custard topped with pistachios!
Palermo has many historical and interesting things to see, its various monuments reflecting the city’s rich and diverse history, and its many cultural and natural attractions make for a wonderful experience for those who want to explore it. Visit the Cathedral, a honey-colored and Catalan-influenced church, the Quattro Canti, an octagonal Baroque square, officially called the Piazza Vigliena, where four sides meet and the four Spanish kings of Sicily, and of the patronesses of Palermo – a must-see! Also a must-see is the nearby La Martorana church with Byzantine mosaics inside that will take your breath away. Also in the heart of Palermo are the famous Museo Archeologico and the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, with over 8,000 mummified remains from Palermo and its surrounding villages – for those who wish to visit.
Visit the Palazzo dei Normanni, Royal Palace of Palermo, standing at the highest point of the ancient city center. Once serving as the seat of the Kings of Sicily during the Norman conquest, it contains a beautiful and unique Norman chapel. Teatro Massimo, the largest opera theater in Italy, is also not to be missed, with its awe-inspiring size and Neo-romantic style overcoming the senses before the singing even begins. The theater was even featured in the movie Godfather: Part 3.
With all of its diverse history, landmarks, and rich culture and cuisine, Palermo is buzzing with life. On warm summer nights, you can feel the heartbeat of the city – there’s often live music in the piazza and people dancing. Join in and kick up your heels or simply sit at a nearby caffé and soak up the city’s magic.
Palermo & The Capo Market
This ancient market of Palermo, called Capo Market, is set in the heart of the Arab quarter of the Schiavoni, called Seralcadio, which started under the rule of the Normans. Narrow streets and alleys curve and cross leading visitors through not only a maze of venders selling traditional Sicilian street food, but a doorway into Palermo’s colorful past. The entry to the Capo Market begins at the Porta Carini; it’s original arch dates back to the 13th century. The market is a stage as venders shout out their daily specials, locals shop while enjoying Sicilian street food and everyone converse about their family recipes. Fish venders display their swordfish, singsong voices of vendors announce their vegetables, fruits, cheeses and spices, while artisan bread makers, pastry bakers and vinters dole out their delicious goods
Palermo Luxury Accommodations
Your elegant 4-Star boutique hotel is ideally situated in the heart of Palermo–over 50 historical sites are within close walking distance. Recently restored and keeping the ancient architecture – the rooms are furnished in a modern and refined style and are tastefully decorated with fine Sicilian linens, bedding and décor. Each room comes with an en-suite bathroom, mini bar and individual air conditioning, to ensure your stay is comfortable and relaxing. Breakfast is served each morning – including local pastries, seasonal fruits, cured meats, eggs, and freshly squeezed Sicilian orange juice to name a few – and daily maid service is included for your convenience. The professional and helpful staff is always ready to assist you with any needs you may have during your stay. Rooms are also available for guests with special disabilities, just ask when reserving.
Itinerary Palermo ~ 5 Days
Day 1: Benvenuto & Chef’s Tasting Dinner
- Pick-up and transfer from Palermo airport or train station to the property.
- Arrival & check-in.
- In the evening, enjoy a full-course Chef’s Tasting Dinner featuring Sicilian cuisine at our favorite local restaurant. (Wine, drinks, grappa and an assortment of after-dinner digestives are not included, and are available at a surcharge.)
Day 2: Market Tour & Tastings with Chef & Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, meet Chef Lina for a Market Tour in the streets of Palermo, tasting Sicilian delicacies along the way.
- From the market, head to Chef Lina’s kitchen for your first hands-on cooking class featuring a traditional Sicilian full-course menu and Palermo cuisine.
- After the cooking class, lunch follows on the foods prepared in the cooking class with wine included.
Day 3: Capo Market Sicilian Street Food Tour & Tasting
- Breakfast is served.
- Meet Chef Lina for a 5-hour tour of the famous Capo Market, including a guided tour with Sicilian street food tastings with coffee, and delicious pastries served in the convent. Experience the Capo Market and its ancient traditions with our local Chef while soaking up the culture of this ancient city.
- Afternoon free and dinner on your own.
Day 4: Cooking Class 2 – Cannoli
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, head to Chef Lina’s kitchen for a Palermo Street Food cooking class featuring the traditional Sicilian foods – arancini, sfincion and cannoli.
- Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys lunch together with a toast of local Sicilian wine include.
- In the afternoon, it’s back to the kitchen where you will learn the art of making Sicilian cannoli.
- After the cooking class, enjoy the cannoli together with sweet wine, juice and tea included.
- Evening free and dinner on your own.
Day 5: Checkout & Ciao
- Breakfast is served.
- Checkout & departure transfer to Palermo airport or train station.
Extend Your Stay & Add On Visits To San Vito Lo Capo, Trapani & Marsala
If you’d like to extend your stay, contact us to add on a night or two and soak up the Sicilian sun and Palermo culture with a visit to San Vito Lo Capo, Trapani, Marsala or view the rocky, glistening coast from the sea with a boat tour or fishing excursion.
- 4 Nights and 5 Days in 4-star Palermo hotel. Click to View!
- Daily breakfast and maid service.
- 2 Cooking classes preparing traditional foods of Palermo with lunch or dinner and wine included.
- 1 Cannoli cooking class. Tastings follow with coffee, juice and Sicilian sweet wine.
- 1 Market Tour with Chef Lina, including tastings.
- 1 Capo Street Market Tour – with food tastings along the way including Sicilian street food, coffee and pastries in the covent with our Chef.
- Round-trip transfers from Palermo airport or train station to the property.
- Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipes.
$1,395 per person, based on 2 guests.
For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.
2021 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You can check in and start your cooking program any day of the week, as this program is offered 12 months per year. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.