Taormina Isola Bella Cooking™

Our Sicilian Family Cooking ~ 7 Day

Join our Sicilian family and tie on your apron with Chef Mimmo for your Sicily Cooking Vacations. Dreamy Taormina conjures up images of Sicily’s turquoise waters, Mount Etna, and tiny streets lined with gardens and villas! In our Sicilian kitchen, you’ll learn to make arancini, rice balls, pasta alla Norma, and cannoli. Check into the beautiful hotel accommodations, enjoy a Prosecco welcome, and soak up the sea view from your terrace. The excellent food and wine of Taormina, along with charming locals, history, and art, will have you wanting to extend your stay!!!

Taormina – Sicily

Taormina is on the east coast of the island, halfway between Messina and Catania, and it 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 has attracted travelers forever. Stroll through the ancient historic center and discover age-old monuments and orche-glazed palazzos built by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs. Buildings remain hidden in secret gardens and behind swaying palm trees.
Taormina was and always will be a haven for writers, artists, and the intellectual set – starting with D.H. Lawrence, who wrote Lady Chatterly’s Lover to Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. The town is featured in Goethe’s Italian Journey and was home to Nobel Prize winner Halldor Laxness. Francis Ford Coppola filmed The Godfather, just a short drive away.
During your stay in Taormina, stroll the quaint pedestrian walkways winding past artisan ceramics and pastry shops. Pastry shops proudly showcase Sicilian cannoli, marzipans, and savory calzones.
Laced with history, you will also discover Taormina’s most famous beauty, the ancient Greek Theatre. This theatre dates back to the 3rd century BC and is well-preserved and fully intact. 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 through the town brings you to the famous cable car that travels up and down to the waterfront and Isola Bella, the tiny island connected to the mainland by a narrow sand pathway.


Discover Siracusa! On your Full-Day excursion to this historic city you will explore centuries of history, culture, and unparalleled beauty. This Sicilian jewel blends Greek and Roman heritage, crystal-clear waters, and sun-kissed landscapes. Explore the heart of Siracusa, the enchanting island of Ortigia, where narrow medieval streets lead to the spelendid Piazza del Duomo, showcasing a breathtaking baroque cathedral built over the ruins of a Greek temple. Wander through the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, home to the magnificent Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheater, and the Ear of Dionysius, a legendary limestone cave known for its unique acoustics.

Indulge in the flavors of Sicily with Siracusa’s famous dishes. Savor the freshness of seafood straight from the Mediterranean, including the delightful pasta con le sarde or the exquisite arancini, deep-fried Italian rice balls, all while enjoying the city’s vibrant marketplaces and charming eateries.

With a host of activities from sun-soaked beaches to historical explorations, Siracusa offers a luxurious escape into a world where every corner tells a story, promising an unforgettable Sicilian experience!

Taormina Shopping with the Chef Market Tour & Cooking Class

Tie on your apron and join Chef Mimmo who leads you through Sicilian cooking classes, pasta-making classes, and a shopping with-the-chef market tour. Experience the Sicilian outdoor market and learn how to select the perfect eggplant, not too big nor heavy, a true indication of seeds. From farm-to-table fruit fruits and vegetable vendors to local fishermen who display their daily catch, this experience touches the sights, sounds, and scents of a Sicilian market. Artisan cheese makers and butchers showcase their produce, along with farmers who sell their produce, herbs, and spices. Winemakers from Mount Etna and area vineyards showcase their wine with even a sampling. Chef Mimmo shops daily and uses these farm-fresh products in his hands-on cooking class. Following the Taormina shopping with the chef market tour, everyone returns to the kitchen for their first cooking class.
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 prepare 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 starting with handmade cannoli filled with whipped ricotta, Cassatta Siciliana, sweet ricotta, and lemon zest cake made with organic cake flour and farm-fresh eggs. Following each cooking class, guests enjoy the foods that were prepared during the class, including a wine pairing of 2 local Sicilian wines.

Taormina Food Lover’s Tasting Tour

Discover beautiful Taormina in our Food Lover’s Walking Tour with our English-speaking guide. Learn about Toarmina’s ancient history and landmarks while enjoying Sicilian tastings along the way. You will enjoy this authentic Food Lover’s Tasting tour while learning about Sicilian cannoli, arancini, granita, and gelato too!

Mount Etna Wine Tour & Gourmet Sicilian Tasting Lunch

Walk on the slopes of Mount Ethan with your English-speaking sommelier. Walk in the shadow of Mount Etna as you experience a wine tour and tasting lunch at Sicily’s most important winemaker owned by a noble family who has been making wine since 1880. Put on your walking shoes, pack your camera, and sip and swirl Sicilian wine on the vineyard by Mount Etna. Our Sicilian wine tour and tasting lunch includes a visit to the vineyard, winemaking cellars, and tasting room, and a Gourmet Sicilian lunch to follow with wine.
Discover Mount Etna’s diverse viticulture spanning 18 hectares of this estate! Learn about the complexities of how climate and soil contribute to the essence of indigenous Nerello Macales, Nerrello Cappuccio, Carricante, Minella, and Nero d’Avola grape varieties. Your day starts with an introduction to the winery hosted by our English-speaking sommelier. Next visit the ancient vineyard, then to the palmento, an ancient stone press dating back to the 1700s, then the antique cellar where you will enjoy a tasting including the award-winning wine and a full course lunch with pasta reale, a traditional Sicilian almond paste cookie.

Taormina Accommodations


4-Star Luxury Villa with Sea View and Swimming Pool

Check into true Sicilian splendor at this elegant boutique Villa property with sweeping Sea Views spanning the Ionian Sea. Each room has been carefully decorated with Mediterranean decor with designer touches from the bedding and drapes to the Sicilian tiles that line the floor and bath; modern, comfortable beds are dressed with Italian linens and include private ensuite baths.  The private villa property is conveniently located in the center of Taormina and just a short walk away from the piazza.  A large swimming pool is set in a garden of jasmine and cascading bougainvillea – with lounge chairs and umbrellas – overlooking Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea.  Lunch and cocktails from the lounge bar, such as Prosecco and Aperol Spritz, are served daily.  The rooftop terrace restaurant with picturesque views serves breakfast every morning, including Sicilian homemade cakes, jams, pastries, cheeses, ham and salumi, artisan bread, and homemade frittatas, along with cappuccinos, espresso, and a variety of fruit juices. By night, the rooftop restaurant serves candlelit dinners featuring Sicilian fare. The property also offers a full-service gym.  

4-Star Villa with Sea View and Swimming Pool

This Sicilian Villa with Sea View and Swimming Pool is a stunning property with a sweeping view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Once home to an aristocratic family from Taormina, this villa is perfect for you. Its dramatic location set atop a rock promontory overlooking the sea is steps away from the historic center close to shops and restaurants at Corso Umberto and a short walk to the Teatro Antico di Taormina ruins. The Villa has been tastefully decorated with Sicilian art decor in cool colors and Sicilian ceramics. Each room offers comfortable bedding and Italian linens to make your stay relaxing. Modern amenities include a private ensuite bathroom, free wifi, television, air conditioning, and a minibar. Breakfast is served each morning with Sicilian cakes, bread, homemade jam, fruit, and yogurt, along with cappuccino, coffee and tea. In warm weather, one can also enjoy breakfast on the terrace. Daily maid service is provided for your convenience. Sunbathe by the outdoor pool with panoramic sea views, sip an aperitif at the bar, or enjoy a light bite at the bistro bar

B & B with Swimming Pool and Sea View

Set in the heart of the historic center, the Luxury B&B with Sea View and Swimming Pool is the perfect choice during your Sicily stay.  Cool Mediterranean colors, tile floors, and Sicilian ceramics adorn the property.  Comfortable bedding dressed with Italian linens, and bright rooms with private ensuite bathrooms ensure total comfort during your stay.  Daily breakfast includes Sicilian bread, cakes, and pastry with cappuccino, coffee, and tea.  A swimming pool and sweeping sea views are the finishing touches for a quaint and charming property set in the heart of Taormina.

3-Star Deluxe with Sea and Garden View

This traditional Sicilian property is located in the heart of Taormina on the glamorous Corso Umberto. The property offers a rooftop terrace with breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea and majestic Mt. Etna. Spacious rooms with comfortable bedding and bedding and Italian linens are decorated in warm hues.  Amenities include a private ensuite bathroom, television, free wifi, and air conditioning, to name a few.  The property’s convenient location is steps away from artisan shops and restaurants.  Breakfast is served daily and includes Sicilian confections, fresh fruit, cappuccino, tea, and coffee.  The hotel offers a shuttle to and from the beach for your convenience.

Itinerary ~ 7 Day – 6 Nights


Day 1: Check-In & Chef’s Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival and check-in.
  • Enjoy your Cooking Vacations’ Welcome Bag with Prosecco toast and chef’s apron.
  • Chef’s Welcome Dinner includes a full-course menu of Sicilian fare with antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce, main course, and dessert.  Wine is not included.

Day 2: Food Lover’s Tour & Cooking Class 1 Making Cannoli

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet your English-speaking guide for a Food Lover’s Walking Tour.  Stroll through the city streets, learning about the ancient landmarks and local cuisine with tastings along the way.
  • Following the Food Lover’s tour, tie on your aprons for your hands-on cooking class 1 preparing a full-course menu.
  • Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with local white or red wine included.
  • Later in the afternoon, take time on your own to relax or shop.
  • In the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 3: Shopping with the Chef Market Tour & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet Chef Mimmo and enjoy our Shopping with the Chef Market Tour.  Learn about Sicioilain fruit, vegetables, and produce and the importance of seasonal farm-to-table cooking during your visit.
  • Following the market tour, tie on your aprons for your hands-on cooking class 2.  Prepare a full course
  • Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with local white or red wine included.
  • In the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 4: Mount Etna Vineyard Tour with Gourmet Sicilian Wine Tasting & Lunch

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, meet your driver for a full day at an award-winning vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna.  Walk through vines that surround an extinct volcanic crater, soaking in beautiful panoramic views, and learn how the volcanic soil influences the wine.   Following the vineyard tour, you will visit the vinification hall and the property with wine tasting.
  • Following the wine tour, enjoy a full course Gourmet Sicilian Lunch with wine paired from the property.
  • Following the wine tour, meet your driver and return you to the property.
  • In the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 5: : Excursion to God Father’s Villa & Sicilian Lunch

  • Breakfast is served.
  •  Following breakfast, meet your driver and English-speaking guide and discover the God Father’s Villa and the towns surrounding the site where Francis Ford Coppola filmed in Savoca and Forza D’Agro.
  • Enljy a granita at Caffe Vitelli. The original family still manage and operate this famous caffe where they say Coppola enjoyed over ten granita a day in order to stay cool.
  • Following the God Father’s Tour, enjoy a Sicilian full course lunch at our favorite trattoria, included.
  • After lunch, return to the property.
  • In the evening, dinner is on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 6: : Excursion to Siracusa

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet your driver and embark on a trip to the historic city of Siracusa! Discover the Sicilian town rich in history, culture and beauty. Stroll its small streets, visit the splendid Piazza del Duomo, the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheater, and the Ear of Dionysius, a legendary limestone cave known for its unique acoustics.
  • Following the tour, return to the property.
  • In the evening, dinner is on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 7: Departure & Arrivederci!

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

Program Includes:

  • 7 days, 6 nights – choose from a  Luxury B&B with Sea View and Swimming Pool, 3-Star or 4-Star Luxury Villa with Sea View and Swimming pool property.  Click To View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Chef’s Welcome Dinner with a full-course Sicilian fare.  Wine and drinks are not included.
  • Food Lover’s Walking Tour of Taormina with tastings along the way with an English-speaking guide.
  • Shopping with the Chef Market tour with discussions along the way.
  • Two hands-on cooking classes preparing a traditional Sicilian menu.  Following the cooking classes, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking classes with local white or red wine included.
  • Full-day excursion to an award-winning vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna.  Wine Tour and Tasting  – tour the vineyard, cantine, wine tasting, and full-course Sicilian Gourmet lunch.
  • Round trip airport or train transfers from Catania Train Statio or Airport.
  • Cooking Vacations Welcome Bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco, 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

$4,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a 3-Star Deluxe property with Sea View.

$4,595 per person, based on 2 guests in a Luxury B&B with Sea View and Swimming Pool.

$5,295 per person, based on 2 guests in 4-Star Luxury Villa with Sea View and Swimming Pool,

For Single Guests: If you are traveling as a single guest, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

*Transfers to and from Catania Airport or Train Station the property are available.  Please call us for pricing based on the number of guests in your group.  Prices may vary during holidays and feast days.

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 is 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.