A Taste of Two Cities™

Taormina & Palermo Cooking & Cannoli~4 Days

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Cannoli, cassata, arancini and linguine limone – this is Taormina!!!  Learn how to roll out cannoli, make fresh pasta, arancini – fried rice balls, and linguine limone with Chef Mimo. Hands-on cooking, food touring and landmark visits blend into the heart of Sicily’s two colorful cities, Taormina and Palermo. 

Join in hands-on cooking classes, food touring, landmark visits to the heart of Palermo and Taormina in Sicily. Our Taormina & Palermo Cooking & Cannoli ~ A Taste Of Two Cities program gives you the option to cook and tour with the finest food purveyors and chefs in either both cities or just one city (choose Palermo or Taormina or extend your stay to include both). This combined tour gives you a taste of city and sea, cooking with Chef Paolo in Palermo and Chef Mimo in Taormina, experiencing the contrasts of regional Sicilian food on the wonderful island of Sicily.

The picture pretty seaside town of Taormina sits on Sicily’s east coast and provides the perfect respite from the island’s bustling cities. When you arrive in Taormina, you’ll immediately feel the magical atmosphere which has enchanted visitors from all over the world since the 1800s. Here, Chef Mimo leads our Taormina & Palermo Cooking & Cannoli ~ A Taste Of Two Cities program.

Start off your day with a Sicilian market tour followed by an authentic hands-on Sicilian cooking class where you’ll prepare delicious local specialties like sweet and sour eggplant, marinated anchovies, handmade pasta with sardines, pine nuts and raisins, swordfish involtini and one of the island’s much loved desserts, all with the help of Chef Mimo. Meet Angelo for a fascinating tour of Taormina, which offers the perfect combination of history, culture and his local knowledge while visiting Mount Etna, Italy’s highest active volcano. And if you fancy, add on a visit tour to the vineyard and cantina of our award wining producer a for a sip, swirl and high point view from Etna top.

Taormina Cooking Classes

Chef Mimo leads you through Taormina’s historic market so you can see and learn about the foods of the season. Visit the fruit and vegetable vendors, see spinach, onions, celery, wild fennel, lettuces of all sorts, and more grown in the volcanic soil of Sicily. See the fishmonger and choose the best fresh catch of the day, the butcher and artisan cheese maker ~ Sicily’s prized artisans of local products. Along with Chef Mimo, you will shop for local seasonal ingredients that will be used for your hands-on cooking class.

After your market tour, head to the kitchen to tie on your apron and get cooking! Your cooking classes includes the preparation of a full-course Sicilian meal, starting with an appetizer such as ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers; a rainbow of fresh sautéed vegetables: peppers, eggplant and zucchini. You will prepare caponata, stuffed artichokes with our secret Sicilian stuffing recipe; fresh hand-made pasta and either a fish, meat or vegetarian main course such as involtini, rolled stuffed beef; calamari ai sapori di Sicilia, Sicilian-style Calamari; or polpette, meatballs.  Join our big Sicilian family creating delicious family recipes that you will be able to recreate in your own kitchen.

Lunch follows featuring the foods prepared in class and accompanied by a wine pairing of 2 local Sicilian wines suggested by our professional sommelier.


Originally a Greek colony, Taormina is perched on a hilly ridge on the coast and offers breathtaking views of the sweeping bay below and, on the southern side, of the top of Mount Etna. On a clear day it really does seem as if you can see forever. Since antiquity, Taormina has proved a popular destination, with the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards choosing it as their residence thanks to its favorable position, mild climate and magical atmosphere. Today, visitors can enjoy the mix of history and culture, as well as the elegant new town. Enjoy a walk through the splendid Greek Theater, the public gardens, admire the many painting exhibitions held in local palazzi and churches, and treat yourself to some fine shopping along the Corso Umberto with its classical music cafés and pastry shops.

Mount Etna

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. Walk through vines that surround an extinct volcanic crater, soaking in beautiful panoramic views, and learn how the volcanic soil influences the wine. Admire sweeping views over Sicily’s plains from Europe’s most active volcano. As you walk the slope of Etna, keep your eyes open for loose pieces of black magma!

Taormina Accommodations

Your Taormina accommodation is a stunningly appointed luxury villa hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Once a home to Taormina aristocrats, this villa-turned-boutique hotel 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!

Itinerary ~ 4 Days, 3 Nights

Check in and start your program on any day of the week

Day One: Benvenuto & Chef’s Tasting Dinner

  • Pick up and transfer from Catania airport/train station to Property.
  • Arrival & Check in. Take time to relax and freshen up.
  • In the evening, enjoy your Chef’s Tasting Dinner featuring a full course menu of local fare with wine included. (Additional wine, drinks, grappa and an assortment of after dinner digestives are available at a surcharge).

Day Two: Market Tour & Cooking Class 1, Guided Tour of Taormina

  • Breakfast is served
  • Meet Chef Mimo in the morning for your tour through the local market. Meet vendors, discuss local products and recipes and enjoy the colorful morning-life in Taormina. Return to the kitchen for your hands-on cooking class in Taormina and learn local recipes and family traditions from our charismatic and charming chef. Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with local wine included.
  • Later in the afternoon, meet our English-speaking guide for a guided landmark tour of Taormina. Visit the town’s splendid Greek theater –  one of Sicily’s most important ruins – thanks to its remarkable preservation and beautiful location and discover the food, art and history of Taormina.  We will visit the Palazzo Corvaja, a Medieval palace dating from the 10th century that was originally built by the Arabs, and the 13th century cathedral.  Artisan shops filled with pastry, gelato, coffee and wine along the way with tastings included.
  • Later in the evening, relax.  Dinner is on your own and suggestions are provided.

Day Three: Excursion to Mount Etna

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, your private driver will pick you up for your trip to an award-winning vineyard right on the slopes of Mount Etna.  Take the cable car to the slope with your English-speaking host and walk through on the extinct volcanic crater, soaking in beautiful panoramic views while learning about Etna’s long history.  Admire sweeping views overlooking Sicily’s plains – endless vineyards and olive orchards.
  • Lunch on your own with suggestions.
  • Following the excursion, return to the property.
  • Evening is free and dinner is on your own with suggestions provided.

Day Four: Cooking Class 2 & Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning: Cooking Class 2: Tie on your apron and get cooking in your second hands-on traditional Sicilian cooking class with chef Mimo. Start with an antipasto, then get busy creating pasta, a main course and dessert.
  • Lunch follows the cooking class and includes the foods made in the cooking class. Everyone enjoys the foods together at the table. Toast with a glass of red or white local wine, included. (Additional wines, beverages are available at a surcharge).
  • Check out and transfer to Catania Airport or train station.
  • Arrivederci Taormina!

OR – Add on Palermo 4-Day Program

Note: This sample itinerary schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saints days; festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the week.

Program Includes:

  • 4 days and 3 nights, based on two guests. Click to View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Welcome Dinner featuring a Chef’s Tasting  menu of local fare.  Wine not included.
  • 2 Hands-on cooking classes including an antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce, main course and dessert.  Following the cooking class everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with wine included
  • Shop with the Chef at the outdoor market with the Chef.
  • Landmark tour of Taormina with English-speaking guide.
  • Full-day excursion to Etna with private driver and English-speaking guide at the volcano
  • Round trip group transfers from Taormina to Catania Airport/Train Station.
  • Cooking Vacations Welcome Bag with Prosecco toast, 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 Price:

$3,095 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.