Taormina Isola Bella Cooking™

Our Sicilian Family Cooking ~ 3 Day

Join our Sicilian family and tie on your apron with Chef Mimo for your Sicily Cooking Vacations.  Say the word Taormina and images of Sicilian pasta, turquoise waters and nearby Mount Etna come to mind!  In the kitchen at our Sicily cooking classes, you’ll learn to make arancini, rice balls, pasta alla Norma and Sicilian cannoli.  Check into the beautiful hotel accommodations, enjoy a Prosecco welcome, and soak up the sea view from your terrace. Excellent food and wine of Taormina, along with charming locals, history and art, will have you wanting to extend your stay!!!

Taormina – Sicily

Taormina on the east coast of the island, half way between Messina and Catania, is one of the most beautiful places imaginable. Its origins date back to 734 BC, even before the Greeks founded the nearby town of Naxos.

Its beauty of land and sea have attracted travellers forever.  Stroll through the ancient historic centre and discover age-old monuments and ochre-glazed palazzos built by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and French – all leaving their mark.

Taormina was a haven for writers, artists and intellectuals throughout time.  Let’s start with D.H. Lawrence, who wrote Lady Chatterly’s Lover, along with Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, to name a few.  The town is featured in Goethe’s Italian Journey, and was home to Nobel Prize winner Halldor Laxness.

Stroll the many pedestrian walkways winding through town and pass artisan shops – olive oil, ceramics and crafts, along with bakeries showcasing colourful marzipans, and trattorias serving delectable food and wine.

Taormina’s most famous beauty is the ancient Greek Theatre, dating back to the 3rd century BC and remarkably well-preserved.  When the Greek Theatre was first constructed, it was used by the Greeks and then by the Romans as a musical theatre and arena for gladiator fights.  Today, it’s a venue for operas, concerts, ballets and the Taormina Art festival in the summertime.   A short walk from the property and you can experience the famous cable car that brings you to the waterfront and Isola Bella, a tiny green island connected to the mainland by a narrow sand pathway.

Taormina Cooking Class

Tie on your apron and join Chef Mimo who will lead you through Sicilian cooking classes, pasta making classes and a historic market tour.  Shop with the chef and experience the Sicilian outdoor market.  Learn how to select the perfect eggplant, not too big nor heavy, a true indication of seeds.  From farm-to-table fruit and vegetables to local fishermen who display their daily catch, there are ingredients for everyone.  Meat sellers and artisan cheese makers line up and sell their goods, along with farmers who sell their herbs, spices, and wine from Mount Etna.  At the end of the tour, Chef Mimo’s basket is filled with products that will be used in the hands-on cooking class.  Following the Taormina market tour, we return to the kitchen.

In the kitchen, Chef Mimo leads you through making antipasti, fresh pasta making, a main course and dessert.  You’ll stuff creamy Sicilian ricotta into fresh zucchini flowers, then flash fry and sprinkle with sea salt.  Mix and roll out gnocchi, handmade ravioli stuffed with salty caciotta cheese, while sautéing eggplant and tomatoes.  Learn how to transform peppers, eggplant and zucchini into Caponata, or stuff artichokes with our secret Sicilian stuffing.  If you love fish, think sea bass enveloped in sea salt or calamari drowned in tomato sauce with capers and black olives.  If you love meat, Sicilians love to grill and stuff veal, beef and pork called involtini.  Sicilians are noted for their delicious desserts: handmade cannoli stuffed with whipped ricotta, Cassatta Siciliana, sweet ricotta and lemon zest cake made with organic cake flour and farm-fresh eggs.  This work of art tastes as good as it looks.

Following each cooking class, guests enjoy the foods that were prepared during the class including a wine pairing of 2 local Sicilian wines.

Taormina Accommodations


Luxury Villa With Sea View

Your Taormina accommodation is a stunningly appointed luxury villa hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Once a home to Taormina aristocrats, this villa is the perfect home base for your Sicilian stay. Its dramatic perch atop rocks and sea will take your breath away, and it is only steps away from the historic center – bustling shops and restaurants at Corso Umberto – or a short walk from the Teatro Antico di Taormina ruins. This old-world hotel is tastefully decorated with Sicilian art decor and cool colors. Each room offers comfortable bedding and cool linens to make your stay relaxing. There are modern amenities: private ensuite bathroom, free wifi, television, air conditioning, and a minibar and sea view. Breakfast is served each morning – enjoy it on the terrace – and daily maid service is provided for your convenience. Sunbathe by the outdoor pool with panoramic sea views, or sip an aperitif at the bar, or elegant guest lounge in your down time. Light Sicilian fare is served at the bistro bar. Soak up the view, sip, swirl and relax in beautiful Taormina!

4 Star Boutique Villa With Sea View

The quintessential Sicilian property, this 4-star boutique villa-turned-hotel exudes luxury. Surrounded by lush gardens and looking out over the Ionian Sea and the looming Mount Etna, you will feel like you are in a world of your own at this property, but the bustling main streets of Taormina are just a 10-minute stroll away. Sit by the serene pool overlooking the cerulean sea or enjoy the comforts of your spacious room, meticulously designed and decorated to fit the atmosphere of the property and Taormina: refined, yet comfortable. Each room has a standing balcony with a view and includes all the amenities: a large ensuite private bathroom with walk-in shower, wifi, air conditioning, slippers and bathrobes to name a few. With its close proximity to caffés and shops, this property is the perfect place to relax after a day of cooking, touring, and exploring.

3 Star Deluxe Property

This traditional and stunning Sicilian property is located in the heart of Taormina, right on the glamorous and bustling Corso Umberto. The property boats a rooftop terrace with breathtaking views of the twinkling Ionian Sea and the majestic Mt. Etna. Spacious rooms with comfortable beds and bedding are decorated in warm hues, like the surrounding homes and shops seen outside the hotel windows. Amenities include a private ensuite bathroom, television, free wifi and air conditioning, to name a few. An enchanting position – steps away from the best shopping and dining Taormina has to offer and just five minutes away from the historical center – makes this the perfect location during your stay. Start your day in the charming breakfast room each morning, breakfast is included, and in your down time, take the hotel shuttle to enjoy its private beach and relax.

Itinerary ~ 3 Days, 2 Nights

Day 1: Check In, Food Lover’s Tour Of Taormina & Chef’s Welcome Dinner

• Arrival and check in.  Rest and refresh.

• Later in the afternoon, meet your English-speaking guide for a Taormina Food Lover’s  Tour with food tastings along the way.  Learn about the rich history of the city as well as its cuisine, while seeing all its major landmarks and sampling local bites along the way.

• Welcome dinner including a Chef’s tasting menu featuring Sicilian fare.  Wine is not included.

Day 2: Market Visit & Cooking Class

• Breakfast is served.
• Meet Chef Mimo in the morning for your outdoor market tour.  Shop with the chef and learn how to select fruit and vegetables and produce for an authentic farm-to-table experience.
• Return to the kitchen for your hands-on cooking class preparing a full-course meal.
• Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in the cooking class with local wine included.
• The rest of the day is free and on your own.

Day 3: Departure & Arrivederci!

• Breakfast is served.
• Following breakfast, check out and departure.

Program Includes:

  • 3 days, 2 nights, based on 2 guests, in a 3, 4 star or villa property.  Click To View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Chef’s welcome dinner featuring Sicilian fare.  Wine not included.
  • Shop with the chef market tour with discussions along the way.
  • One hands-on cooking class.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with local wine included.
  • Food Lover’s Tour with tastings along the way in Taormina with English-speaking guide.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron and recipe booklet.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, “It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast.”
Program Prices

$1,595 per person, in a 3-Star Deluxe property with sea view, based on 2 guests.

$1,795 per person, in a Luxury B&B with Sea View, based on 2 guests with Swimming Pool, based on 2 guests.

$1,995 per person, in a 4-Star Luxury Villa with Sea View and Swimming Pool, based on 2 guests.

*Pricing starting at.  Transfers to and from Catania Airport or Train Station the property are available.  Please call us for pricing based on the number or guests in your group.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check in and start your program any day of the week. 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.