Palace With A View On Catania™

Sicilian Cooking With Chef Davide ~ 5 Days

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Tie on your apron with Chef Davide for a Sicilian hands-on cooking experience in the heart of historic Catania. Chef Davide will awaken your five senses, both in the kitchen and at the outdoor market – shopping for ingredients at the open air market and La Pescheria, Catania’s famous fish market.  

Following the market visit, tie on your apron and get ready to prepare a  four-course Sicilian dinner complete with antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert. Learn how to prepare pasta alla Norma, the famous Catanian dish, just the way Vincenzo Bellini would admire. Choose from the freshest tuna, squid or hand-picked oranges among the local markets as Chef Davide guides you through the rich flavors of Catania’s cuisine. From smoked salmon carpaccio, red tuna fillets, pistachio-crusted black Nebrodi pork, fresh pasta, to cannoli and desserts with almonds of Avola, you’ll be cooking like a professional. Tie on your apron and roll out cannolis in the shadow of Mt. Etna.

Catania Cooking Classes

Chef Davide fell in love with the kitchen growing up in Catania. He first followed his passion to Tuscany, where he studied under Carmelo Chiaromante, a prominent Sicilian chef.  Then, he returned to his roots incorporating Sicily’s farm-to-table ingredients and Mediterranean fish selection along with the famous almonds and pistachios.  Culinary experiences in Catania are always delicious!

You’ll learn how to prepare Sicilian fare in four courses including for example an antipasto of eggplant pie and baked ricotta cheese, followed by fresh pasta – think tagliolini with prawns and squid -and a main course of fresh tuna fillet with pistachio crust and grilled seasonal vegetables. Desserts are delicious in sunny Sicily with the bountiful almonds, citrus and exotic fruit.  You will mix and bake ingredients to make spinella pears picked on Mt. Etna with caramel sauce or authentic cannolis.  Pasta is endless in Sicily – ravioli alla Norma, a twist on the traditional pasta alla Norma originating in Catania, or gnocchi with lemon sauce.  Main courses may include pork fillet with Ragusano cheese and seasonal vegetables, or roasted lamb with a pistachio crust and summer Sicilian vegetables – grilled, stuffed and rolled!  Catania cooking classes will have you cooking like a local!  Cooking classes and foodie experiences in Sicily are always the best way to learn about the people, culture and history.


The city of Catania has forever fascinated Greek, Roman and Byzantine rulers, as explorers eager to cultivate the fertile soil settled on the seaside land centuries ago. Despite its tumultuous natural history, with earthquakes destroying the city in the 12th century and an equally damaging volcanic eruption 500 years later, Catania was rebuilt into a city of wonder, with cobblestone alleyways opening onto large floral piazzas and majestic buildings constructed of black volcanic rock. Of particular interest is the Duomo di Catania, the Baroque-style cathedral built along Via Vittorio Emanuele, just a short walking distance from your accommodations. For the more adventurous traveler, hike or drive to Etna Park for stunning sunset views of Mt. Etna. The still-active volcano supplies Catania with a plethora of seasonal produce throughout the year. Etna promises a rich soil ideal for growing lemons, oranges, pistachios and of course, grapes, allowing for a host of vineyards that offer wine tastings with local artisan foods and sweeping coastal views.

Catania Accommodations

Your charming boutique hotel is located in the historic district of Catania, nestled on a quiet street just west of the sea. Enjoy a daily Italian breakfast – cakes, biscotti, artisan breads with jams, ham and sausage and eggs are just a few of the items available.  Coffee, tea and and freshly squeezed orange juice are served each morning in the sunny courtyard.

Check in and relax to your spacious room complete with ensuite bath.  Each room is decorated in a traditional Sicilian style with free wi-fi and SKY satellite. Daily maid service included. There is also a solarium for relaxing.  Most interesting, is a Chef’s herb garden on site at the property!


Day 1 Arrival & Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival transfer from Catania airport to the property
  • Relax and check-in.
  • Chef’s welcome dinner with a full-course Sicilian fare with wine included.

Day 2 Market Tour & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet Chef Davide for your morning tour of La Pescheria, the largest and most famous fish market in Catania, with our English-speaking guide. Purchase ingredients for a four-course meal led by our Chef.
  • Following the market tour, continue to your Catania city tour to the Piazza Duomo located a short walk from the market.
  • Return to kitchen for Cooking Class 1. Roll up your sleeves and get cooking!
  • Lunch follows with the four courses prepared in class. Glass of local red or white wine included.
  • Afternoon free. Suggestion – take time out to explore the beautiful piazzas, churches, and cafés, ride on a typical horse-drawn carriage, or stop in to the Ciminiere museum.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions available on request.

Day 3 Visit to Mount Etna Vineyard with Wine Tour Tasting Lunch

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Meet your driver and guide for a half-day tour of Mount Etna. Admire sweeping views over Sicily’s plains from the slope of Europe’s most active volcano. Stop for photo-taking from an official landmark stop with time for you to walk around. As you walk the slope of Etna, keep your eyes open for loose pieces of black magma.
  • Meet your English-speaking sommelier for a wine tour and tasting lunch.
  • Dinner on your own – suggestions available upon request.

Day 4 Market Tour & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, join Chef Davide and your English-speaking guide for a market tour.  Shop with the chef and select farm-to-table ingredients for the cooking class.
  • Return to kitchen for Cooking Class 2. Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class. Toast of local red or white wine included.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions available on request.

Day 5 Check-out and Ciao

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check-out and transfer to Catania Airport.
  • Ciao Catania!

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.

Program Includes:

  • 5 days and 4 nights in a 4-star hotel, based on 2 guests. Click to View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Chef’s tasting dinner including full-course Sicilian fare with a toast of wine included.
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes preparing antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce, a main course and dessert.  Lunch follows and includes the food that was prepared in the cooking class.
  • 2 market visits, shopping with the Chef at the fish market and farm-to-table market, with English-speaking guide, before your cooking classes.
  • Excursion to Mount Etna with private driver with wine tour, tasting and lunch with driver included.
  • Round trip group transfers from Catania Airport/Train Station.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron and recipe booklet.
  • A copy of Lauren’s book, It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast.
Program Price:

$2,495 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.

Check Availability

2024 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.