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The Sicilian Cookbook™

Touring & Tasting With Rising Star Chef ~ 8 Day

Tie on your aprons for a food and wine adventure in Modica for a week of food, wine and touring beautiful Sicily. Discover Sicily’s cuisine prepared with farm-to-table produce and including arancini, pasta alla Norma and cassata di ricotta – rice balls, pasta and eggplant and orange-scented ricotta cake.

Your week includes cultural and scenic excursions through the region with a visit an artisan pastry maker with tastings included.  You’ll also learn about the award-winning wines of Modica on a vineyard tour with wine tastings. Discover historic landmarks, uncover the history and architecture, all while enjoying Sicilian food and wine. Tie on your apron with Chef Davide in Sicilian cooking classes and pasta making classes in southern Sicily.

Sicily Cooking Classes

Classes are held in the palazzo’s professional kitchen under the guidance of Executive Chef Davide and his team of sous chefs. Learn how to make focaccia topped with Sicilian eggplant, zucchini and herbs.  You will roll out fresh pasta such as cavatelli, ravioli with ricotta and pistachio sauce, and spaghetti with an orange, almond and chili pepper oil.  Main course recipes such as: sugo di maiale, pork with tomato sauce, Sicilian swordfish with black olives and capers, and pastizza, a savory crust stuffed with ricotta, capers and herbs.  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.  Chef David and his team bring a special touch to even the simplest of recipes to ensure it is an artful creation.

Sicily

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 melting pot of people 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.

Modica

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 with elegant Baroque architecture and the breathtaking Cathedral of San Giorgio, one of Sicily’s finest churches.  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.

Sicily Accommodations

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 travellers 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 a 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 food and wine along with 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: 8 days, 7 nights

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: Visit to Modica & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, set out for your Modica Baroque Tour with English-speaking guide: Tour the wonderful land of Modica and see the sites & landmarks, experience the culture of colorful Sicily.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afternoon: 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. Dinner follows and includes the foods that were prepared in class. (Drinks not included.)

Sunday: Visit to Scicli & its Coast

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, set our for your Scicli Tour with English-speaking guide. Scicli is a Baroque city of Val di Noto. Visit wonderful churches and buildings built between the 1700’s and 1800’s, such as the Churches of Santa Teresa, San Giovanni and San Bartolomeo, as well as the Palazzo Beneventano, all of which are on UNESCO ‘s World Heritage List.
  • Lunch at a typical trattoria (drinks not included).
  • Return to property.
  • Dinner on your own.

Monday: Tour of Ragusa Ibla & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Guided Tour of Ragusa Ibla, famous for beautiful palaces and churches that still constitute the main architectural profile of the city. These are the treasures that make the Ragusa 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.
  • 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: Tour of Chiaramonte Gulfi & Wine Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Guided Tour of Chiaramonte Gulfi, a small Medieval town renowned for its prestigious museums and the production of oil and wine. Visit the embroidery museum where you will see beautifully crafted pieces that date back through the centuries, and also the olive oil museum which illustrates the history of olives in this area, where the Saracens first planted olive trees back in the year 1000.
  • Next follows a visit to a local winery, tastings and samples of local products included. Olive oil tasting also included.
  • Dinner on your own.

Wednesday: Tour of Noto & Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Set out on your  Guided 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. Enjoy a tasting of typical products in a pastry shop.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afternoon: 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.)

Thursday: Farm Visit & Lunch

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning tour to local farm. Discover more about delicious local specialties produced on the farm, such as scacce – a local pizza dough stuffed with cheese and tomato or eggplant, tomato and basil, as well as their homemade cheese and sausages. Lunch is included.
  • Return to the Hotel.
  • Dinner on your own.

Friday: 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.

Program Includes:

  • 8 days, 7 nights, based on 2 guests in a deluxe room with private ensuite bathroom. Click To View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Welcome Prosecco and introduction.
  • Chef’s welcome dinner featuring  full-course Sicilian fare.  (Drinks not included.)
  • 3 cooking classes, followed by lunch or dinner including the foods that were prepared in class. (Drinks not included.)
  • Excursion to Modica featuring the Baroque Tour and a visit to Ottavia Failla’s atelier with driver.
  • Excursion to Scicli, with lunch at a local trattoria included, with driver. (Drinks not included.)
  • Excursion to Chiaramonte Gulfi with driver.
  • Excursion to Noto, tasting of local pastry included with driver.
  • Excursion to Ragusa with driver.
  • Excursion to winery, tastings of wine and olive oil included with driver.
  • Visit to a local farm, lunch and tastings of local produce included with driver.
  • Private transfer to and from Catania airport or train station.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipe booklet.
Program Prices

$3,495 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

2021 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. This program offers a Friday check in, please enquire if you would like to check in another day. 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.