A Taste of Two Cities™

Palermo & Taormina Cooking & Cannoli~4 Days

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Cannoli, arancini, sfincione and brioche stuffed with vanilla gelato – this is Palermo!!!  Learn how to make pasta with ancient grains, arancini – fried rice balls, and sfincione – Sicilian pizza, with Chef Lina. Hands-on cooking, food touring and market visits blend into the heart of Sicily’s two colorful cities, Palermo and Taormina. 

Our Palermo & Taormina Cooking & Cannoli ~ A Taste Of Two Cities cooking program gives you the option to cook and tour with the finest food purveyors and chefs in either both cities or one city – choose Palermo or Taormina – or extend your stay to include both. This combined cooking tour gives you a taste of city and sea – cooking with Chef Lina in Palermo and Chef Mimo in Taormina, while experiencing the contrasts of regional Sicilian cuisine on the island of Sicily.

Palermo Cooking Classes

Tie on your apron and learn to cook like a Sicilian with Chef Lina. Her Sicilian recipes are 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, make fresh pasta con le sarde, pasta with fresh sardines, tossed with golden raisins, pine nuts and wild fennel. You can opt for pasta alla Norma, a very traditional recipe that includes chopped eggplant stewed in a simple tomato sauce with thyme, oregano, and grated pecorino. The pasta is tossed in the sauce and garnished with grated ricotta salata. Fish is plentiful and options include: involtini di pesce spade, slices of swordfish stuffed with pine nuts, raisins, breadcrumbs, anchovy filets, orange juice and lemon juice and pecorino cheese.


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 city where life is lived on the streets and piazzas. Visit the busy markets of La Vucciria or 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.

Palermo has many attractions, 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 willing to explore it. Take a walk and admire the Cathedral, honey-colored and Catalan-influenced, the Quattro Canti, the symbolic crossroads at the old center of the city, and the nearby small but lovely La Martorana church with byzantine mosaics inside. There is also the famous Museo Archeologico, and the Catacombe dei Cappuccini that contain over 8,000 mummified remains from Palermo and its surrounding villages.

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 café and soak up the city’s magic.

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, the rooms are furnished in a modern and refined style and are tastefully decorated. Each room comes with an ensuite 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 ~4 Days

Day 1: Benvenuto & Chef’s Tasting Dinner

  • Pick-up and transfer from Palermo airport or train station to the property.
  • Arrival and check-in.
  • In the evening, enjoy your full-course Chef’s Tasting Dinner at our Chef’s restaurant.   (Wine, drinks, grappa and an assortment of after dinner digestives are not included, and are available at a surcharge.)

Day 2:  Shop with the Chef Market Tour with Sicilian Street Food Tastings & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, join our chef for a Shop with the Chef Market Tour learning about Sicilian ingredients and experiencing the sights, sounds and scents of the market with tastings of local Sicilian Street Food along the way.  Our chef selects the freshest seasonal ingredients for the cooking class.  During
  • Following the Shop with the Chef Market Tour, 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.
  • Take the rest of the day to visit, shop and explore on your own.
  • Dinner is on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 3: Cooking Class 2 – Traditional Sicilian

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Join our chef in the kitchen for a traditional Sicilian cooking class and learn how to prepare arancini, small rice balls filled with meat, peas and red sauce, sfincion, Sicilian pizza, caponata, eggplant, pine nuts, raisins and vinegar. Vermicelli alla Siciliana, vermicelli pasta, garlic, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet peppers, olives, capers, anchovies, and basil, Pasta ‘ncasciata served in a beef ragu with eggplant and mozzarella; sarde a beccafico, small fish stuffed with pine nuts and dessert to name a few.
  • Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys lunch together with a toast of local Sicilian wine include.
  • In the afternoon, take time to explore, shop or visit any one of the local museums or landmarks.
  • Evening free and dinner on your own.
  • Dinner on your own. Check your Cooking Vacations Restaurant Hot Pick List for options.

Day 4: Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and departure transfer to Palermo Airport or Train Station.

Or Continue your tour onto Taormina

Taormina 4-Day Tour

Program Includes

  • 3 Nights in 4-star Palermo hotel. Click to View!
  • Daily Breakfast and maid service.
  • Chef Tasting Menu featuring a full course menu of local fare. Wine not included.
  • Shop with the Chef Market tour learning about Sicilian ingredients.
  • 2 Traditional cooking class including a full course menu.  Following the cooking class, enjoy the food that was prepared in teh class with wine included.
  • Round-trip transfers from Palermo airport or train station to the property.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipes.
Program Price:

$1,695 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room

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

2023 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.