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Sicily: Destination of culture, food and wine

  • Mind

Cultural tour of Sicily

Private tour of Sicily

Sicily, Italy
10 Days
€ 2,500 combadi price

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Holiday Type
Open dates/private groups
Running Period
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The Combadi Insight:

Let you mind be seduced by Sicily's culture, your spirit by Sicily's nature and your soul by the gastronomy. "To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything", Goethe

Holiday Code: DG2

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Kicking off from Palermo Airport to the grandiose Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, this 10-day cultural tour of Sicily promises to let your dreams to touch base with reality.

Nature has obviously endowed Sicily with mind-blowing wonders. The breathtaking colors painted around the islands, mountains, hills, pristine water and seabeds. The affluence of Sicily’s culture and heritage spans across centuries and gazillions of incredible stories.

Delight the windows of your soul with stunning works of art that withstood the test of time. The spectacular worship sites at Valley of the Temples provide a glimpse of the Greek civilization that emerged in the island: Temple of Hercules, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, and the Temple of Concord. An archaeological walk at Sant’Angelo Muxaro will introduce you to the oldest tomb in Sicily, while a trip to Roman Villa del Casale will resuscitate your love for architecture with the exquisite floor mosaics.

Historical expedition of Sicily continues as you unveil ancient stories behind the UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the heart of Baroque area in Sicily. Many little stairs and streets will lead you to the exhilarating beauty of the towns of Ragusa Ibla and Modica, both perched on the hill.

In Modica, chocolate tasting at the oldest confectionary shop in Sicily, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, will fulfill your sweet cravings. You will also get the chance to sink your teeth in the intriguing but luscious layered ice cake of Granita Siciliana in Noto.

This cultural and gastronomy tour of Sicily will start and end with sumptuous meals. This is what Sicilian experience is all about – recipes and wine culture that have been passed on from one generation to another. From shepard's house soft pecorino cheese and warm ricotta cheese to a lovely lunch at Gambino Winery, there will never be a rest from panoramas and authentic Italian cuisine.

Day 1

Arriving in Palermo

An English-speaking driver will pick you up at the Palermo airport and privately drive you to your hotel. Overnight stay.

Day 2

Cooking class in Palermo and Monreale (B, L)

After breakfast at the hotel, you are now ready for some Sicilian culture and cuisine adventure. Follow the Duchess of Palma in a fascinating itinerary that will take you to the heart of Italian cooking. The journey begins with a morning visit to the Capo market, the oldest in Palermo. This is where we will buy fresh seasonal ingredients, chosen amidst the colorful stalls glowing with fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, resounding with the "abbanniate", the sellers’ cries to attract customers. You are guaranteed to see foods you have never seen before! A short stroll to one of the most intriguing and mysterious cities of the Mediterranean will let you appreciate the incredible beauty of the place.

The spacious kitchen of the palazzo by the sea will welcome us. The space boasts the warmth of the shining old copper pots together with the coolness of the blue and white Sicilian tiles. Our Sicilian fare will be enjoyed in the stunning dining room of the palazzo, together with the Duchess and her entire family. Lunch included.

The afternoon is your free time to explore Monreale, and visit on your own the Duomo and the wonderful Cloister.

Return in Palermo and overnight stay.

Day 3

Segesta, Erice & Maria Grammatico’s Pastry Shop! (B, tastings)

After your breakfast at the hotel, an English-speaking driver will take you to Erice. This magnificent and mysterious medieval town is perched on a hilltop at 2000 feet with breathtaking vistas of the western Mediterranean Sea. Walking through the cobblestone streets, we will be invited by variety of aromas emanating from the numerous pastry shops for which Erice is famous. We will also get the chance to see up close and personal the Norman Castle and the Duomo. Thereafter, we will stop at the world-renowned Pastry Shop by Maria Grammatico (book: Bitter Almonds, by Mary Simeti) to sink our teeth in her almond sweets, genovesi and nougat while toasting with a glass of Marsala wine. Lunch on our own and free time.

In the afternoon, we will head to visit our first Greek temple tucked in the middle of the countryside at Segesta. Hailed as a great city in the western Sicily, ancient Segesta was besieged and conquered by Dionysius and Agathocles, then eventually fell to the Romans. Here, we’ll see this lovely Doric temple that was built in the fifth century B.C., It rests on a hill of wild fennel. Although construction was never completed, it is in a superb state of preservation and commands a grandiose setting from its position.

Before our return Palermo, we will visit the Salt Road, and its Salt Pans located along the coastline between the cities of Trapani and Marsala. Salt extraction from seawater is a marvel. Locals still use techniques from the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians who once colonized this part of the Sicily. After the extraction from the water and dried, salt is heaped into mounds and covered in tiles—just like the ones used on our roofs, a method to ensure that salt will be packed before rain melts it. At Donnafugata Winery, we will enjoy a round of wine tasting. After a fun-packed day, we are now ready to return to Palermo.

Overnight stay.

Day 4

Regaleali Winery and Valley of the Temples (B,L)

Breakfast and check-out.

Today, we will be visiting the popular Regaleali Estate and a quick stop at winery for an awesome wine tasting experience. In the afternoon, we will admire the beautiful Valley of the Temples, one of the most representative sites of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean area. Our local tour guide will entertain us with stories of the Temple of Hercules, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the wonderful Temple of Concord and finally the beautiful Garden of Kolymbetra. After a fun-packed day, a luxurious B&B accommodation awaits us. Dinner at leisure and overnight stay.

Day 5

Country Sicily (B,L)

After breakfast, we will tour the nearby village Sant’Angelo Muxaro. Marvel at the wonders of the structures and enjoy an archaeological walk with our local tour guide through the countryside and its magnificent nature. We will also visit the largest and oldest Tholos Tomb in Sicily (300 B.C.). The entire area is mystically connected with the myth of Dedalus and Icarus and the Minotaur labyrinth. Our guide will then take us to a bakery to taste delicious biscuits and homemade cookies. Thereafter, we will stopover by a shepherd’s house to sink our teeth in the soft pecorino cheese and ricotta cheese, still warm. Our itinerary for today is something unforgettable. This departs from the usual touring program.

Return to the hotel and free time. Dinner on our own and overnight stay.

Day 6

Piazza Armerina and Siracusa (B)

Breakfast and check-out.

Today we will leave the coast to venture in the interior of Piazza Armerina and admire the astonishing floor mosaics in the Roman Villa del Casale. A local guide will take us there. The famed Roman mosaics housed in this third century villa are among the best preserved in the world. These works of art depict scenes from everyday life. Lunch on our own and departure for Siracusa.

Siracusa was the capital of Sicily until the Arab conquest of 878. It was regarded as the most important city in the island. We will explore more and walk through the historical centre on the Ortigia Island where we will be enchanted by ancient ruins of Cathedral, constructed over the ancient Temple of Athena (still visible), the Aretusa fountain surrounded by giant Papyrus plants and the ancient streets. Relax in Ortigia. Accommodation at Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare.

Overnight stay.

Day 7

Enjoy Chocolate! (B, tastings)

Tons of exciting adventures await after breakfast. Our first stop is at a world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Baroque area of Sicily. We will also visit the picturesque centre of Ragusa Ibla and then Modica. This town is built on the hill slopes with many stairs and steep little streets. Within a striking distance is the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, the oldest confectionery shop of Sicily, where we’ll taste the unique chocolates of Modica. The owner will demonstrate (and the best part of all - we will sample) a few of his impressive chocolates.

Lunch on our own. After a little rest, we are now bound to visit the town of Noto, a countryside dotted with carob trees and mile long low stonewalls. We will then proceed to a walking tour of the historical centre and taste special Granita Siciliana (layered ice cake).

Return to the B&B and overnight stay.

Day 8

Taormina (B)

After breakfast, we will head straight to the most famous Sicilian city, Taormina. You will be given free time to go around the beautiful city and mingle with the locals. Built between the 3rd and 4th century B.C., Taormina is perched dramatically high on a rocky peninsula overlooking the spectacular Ionian Sea. It’s a quaint medieval town with classic cobblestoned streets leading into expansive squares. Marvels such as the classical Greco-Roman theatre and the historical centre will take you back in time. Free time and overnight stay at Grand Hotel Miramare or similar.

Day 9

Etna Volcano and Wine tasting (B,L)

Following breakfast is departure to Mount Etna accompanied by a naturalistic driver guide that will assist while we explore the mystical volcano. Lunch at the exquisite Gambino Winery, an estate located on the slopes of the volcano. We will also have free wine tasting. Vineyards and the majestic views of the Ionian Sea border the farm. Return to Taormina and overnight.

Day 10

Arrivederci!! (B)

Breakfast is served to you for the last time before leaving for Catania Airport

Price is per person based on group of 4 people. Please take note that tour can be customized according to your group and budget.

  • 3 nights at Hotel 4* (Palermo)
  • 2 night at B&B 3* (Agrigento)
  • 2 nights at Hotel 5* (Ortigia)
  • 2 nights at Hotel 4* (Taormina)
  • English-speaking driver from Day 2 until Day 7
  • Driver Guide on Day 3
  • Transfer from Siracusa to Taormina on Day 8
  • Naturalistic Driver Guide on Mount Etna on Day 9
  • Private transfer from and to accommodations
  • Cooking class, lunches and tastings (wine, food, chocolates) as per program of the local guide
  • Entrance fees in Segesta and Erice, Valley of The Temples, Sant’Angelo Muxaro, Piazza Armerina, Siracusa and Ortigia

NOT Included:

  • Roundtrip international airfare going and departing from Italy
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Meals and beverages not specified in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, phone calls, etc.
  • Cancellation and excess medical insurance
  • Additional arrangements due to any emergency situation

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