Come to Modica and meet Chef David, who leads our southern Sicilian cooking in a unique opportunity to learn traditional recipes with modern touches from a local maestro. Discover traditional flavors made with the simple, fresh ingredients grown and produced locally that celebrate the custom of families circled around the table to enjoy moments together.
Your week includes incredible trips around the area to visit a local cheese maker with lunch included to sample the fresh delights, a local vineyard with tasting, visits that will reveal the artisan treasures of the area and of course, visits that will uncover the history and architecture of these ancient cities. So, join Chef David on this gastronomic journey through southern Sicily’s flavors, traditions and life.
Classes are held in the Palazzo’s professional kitchen under the guidance of Executive Chef David and his expert team. Learn how to make focacce and prepare regional vegetable toppings that locals use to flavor them. Or, spend the afternoon picking up the skills needed to turn out delicious handmade cavatelli, local homemade egg pasta, and discover some of David’s favorite Sicilian sauces such as Spaghetti Con Spremuta di Sicilia, a fresh orange sauce with almond & chili pepper. Chef David’s favorite recipes are those that bring back out the flavors of the land, such as sugo di maiale, pork with tomato sauce, pasta con i ceci, pasta with chickpeas, scacce, a traditional baked dish, and pastizza, traditional broccoli pie. You will also have the sweet pleasure of working with Chef David to prepare delicious endings to your cooking class meals, dedicated to traditional recipes and desserts that, though part of their Sicilian heritage, are disappearing from modern menus. Whatever it is you’re cooking, Chef David and his team bring a special touch to even the simplest of dishes and ensure it becomes a miniature ‘capolavoro’.
Sicily has a fiery passion about it, a vivacity and spirit that extends from the top of Mount Etna, to the waters that surround the island and to the hearts of all of its people. Sicily is the melting pot of the world, a great marriage of civilizations and cultures. The island is Asia, Africa, and Europe melded into one spectacular place; it was once home to a Greek colony, a Roman province, an Arab emirate, and a Norman kingdom. Each group left behind remnants and traces of itself, adding to the island’s rich tapestry of eclectic history. Sicily is at once complex and simple, a land like no other; a world and entity unto itself. Orange and lemon orchards color lush hillsides, vineyards and ancient olive groves line the rugged lands, and almond orchards and wheat fields embellish the rolling hills.
Sicilian cuisine is often described as del sole e del mare, of sun and sea, and it’s something of a magical symphony, combining elements of Arab, and Greek spices with Spanish and French influences, creating some of the world’s tastiest seafood and most delicious vegetable dishes. The people of Sicily are genuine, passionate, and friendly. They are always willing to help or stop to have a conversation, and it is not uncommon for visitors and tourists to receive invitations to a local’s house for dinner. All who encounter Sicily and all her charm, diversity, and beauty are reluctant to leave.
Set on a gorge just south of the Iblei Mountains, Modica is the city of 100 bells and 100 churches. It is split into two sections, Modica Alta and Modica Bassa, which are connected by an intriguing labyrinth of steps and narrow winding streets. Modica is the ideal way to experience authentic Sicily, far from the droves of tourists that often characterize other popular cities, yet able to offer the visitor all he needs for an unforgettable stay: elegant Baroque architecture, with its breathtaking Cathedral of San Giorgio, one of Sicily’s finest churches; history, as Modica was dominated in turn by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantium empire, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards, all of whom helped shape the city and make it what it is today; tradition, with the Days of San Giorgio and San Pietro celebrated enthusiastically by the whole town; and lastly its gastronomic culture which reflects the city’s history and offers an enticing fusion of scents and tastes.
Immersed in the history and antique traditions of Sicily, your beautiful 4-star palazzo is the ideal base for visiting Modica, a town that has charmed travelers and poets for centuries, and that today is still one of Sicily’s most precious ‘pearls’. Situated in Upper Modica, all the town’s important monuments can be visited on foot. The inside of the palazzo retains its original atmosphere of Sicilian nobleman’s residence: from the use of materials like beautiful ceramic floor tiles and wrought iron to hand painted ceramics and period furniture, everything is designed to envelope guests in a warm and elegant atmosphere. Every detail has been chosen with the intention of offering guests an unforgettable stay in an atmosphere where traditional grandeur melds with modern comfort. Each room is unique, with its own color scheme, and is decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles, period furniture, some with liberty lamps, and walls and ceilings with hand painted frescos.
Personnel are friendly, attentive and focused on taking care of your every wish, from breakfast time with its homemade treats and award-winning coffees and cappuccinos to organizing excursions to Noto, Siracusa, or Agrigento with its Valley of the Temples. They can give you advice and tips on where to shop and what local specialties to look out for, or even book you a ticket for the theater. Quite simply, they will make it very difficult to leave!
Itinerary: 6 days, 5 nights
Friday to Wednesday, or check in and start your program on any day of the week.
Friday: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
- Arrival transfer from Catania Airport or Train Station to Hotel.
- Check in and Welcome cocktail.
- Welcome Dinner featuring a wonderful menu showcasing local Sicilian products. (Drinks not included).
Saturday: Cooking Class 1 & Modica Tour
- Breakfast is served.
- Morning: Cooking Class 1 featuring Sicily’s treasured recipes and local farm-fresh produce. Get ready to prepare excellent Sicilian recipes with prized produce with Chef David. Lunch follows with the foods that were prepared in class. (Drinks not included).
- In the afternoon, set our for your Modica Baroque Tour: Tour the wonderful land of Modica and see the sites & landmarks, experience the culture of colorful Sicily.
- Visit to Ottavia Failla’s Atelier where you will be able to see the making of artisan hand-made fashion accessories.
- Dinner on your own, suggestions provided upon request.
Sunday: Visit to Winery & Tour of Noto
- Breakfast is served.
- In the morning, visit one of the region’s most important wineries, tastings and samples of local products included.
- In the afternoon, Tour of Noto in the province of Siracusa, the architectural capital of the Baroque cities of the Val di Noto, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is mostly famous for its grandiose Sicilian Baroque monuments and particular town planning.
- Dinner at the Palazzo’s Restaurant. (Drinks not included).
Monday: Tour of Ragusa Ibla & Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Tour of Ragusa Ibla and the castle of Donnafugata Ragusa, famous for beautiful palaces and churches that still constitute the main architectural profile of the city. These are the treasures that make the Ragusa of today worthy of UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site. Ragusa Ibla is indeed an open museum of Baroque architecture. The magnificent Duomo di San Giorgio with its slightly asymmetric staircase, the rich Baroque facade, and a Neoclassic dome amazes each visitor.
- Lunch on your own.
- Return to the Hotel.
- Afternoon: Cooking Class 2 featuring Sicily’s treasured recipes and local farm-fresh produce. Get ready to prepare excellent Sicilian recipes with prized produce with Chef David. Dinner follows with the foods that were prepared in class. (Drinks not included).
Tuesday: Scicli & Cooking Class 3
- Breakfast is served.
- Tour of Scicli. Scicli, another Baroque city of the Val di Noto, is noted for its wonderful churches and palaces, which were built between 1700 and 1800. In this area are the Church of Santa Teresa, the Church of San Giovanni, the Church of San Bartolomeo and Palazzo Beneventano, all of which are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- Return to the kitchen in the afternoon for your Cooking Class 3 featuring Sicily’s treasured recipes and local farm-fresh produce. Get ready to prepare excellent Sicilian recipes with prized produce with Chef David. Dinner follows with the foods that were prepared in class. (Drinks not included).
Wednesday: Departure & Arrivederci
- Breakfast is served.
- Check out & departure transfer from Hotel to Catania Airport or Train Station.
*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the program.
- 6 days, 5 nights, based on double occupancy in deluxe double room with private bathroom. Click To View!
- Daily breakfast.
- Welcome cocktail & introduction.
- Chef’s Welcome dinner (Drinks not included).
- 3 cooking classes, followed by lunch or dinner with the foods prepared in class. (Drinks not included).
- Excursion to Modica featuring the Baroque Tour.
- Visit to Ottavia Failla’s Atelier.
- Excursion to Noto.
- 1 Sicilian dinner prepared by our Chef, at the Palazzo’s Restaurant. (Drinks not included.)
- Excursion to Ragusa.
- Excursion to vineyard and cantina, tastings included.
- Excursion to Scicli.
- Private transfer to and from Catania airport or train station.
$2995 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
Please call for Single Supplement.