Sicily Wine + Culture Tour Itinerary
Six Days | Five Nights
Start: Catania | Pasticceria Savia
Finish: Catania | City Center TBD
(Please note: This is a sample itinerary. Each tour is unique.)
What better way to start off a tour in Sicily than with a cannoli and espresso in hand. We'll meet at Catania's best cannoli bakery, board our spacious comfortable shuttle, and drive off toward towering Mount Etna. Our first stop will be at a family-run winery just south of the volcano, that has an old palmento, a building where Sicilians used to come together as a community to make their wine completely by hand. We'll tour the vineyards and have a tasting over lunch on their terrace. Following lunch, we'll head out to our second Mount Etna winery that has splendid views of the sloping volcanic vineyards. Next, we'll check in to our hotel followed by a visit to one of the most charming towns on the island: Taormina. There will be some time to explore and shop before dinner in the center.
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we'll be taken up Mount Etna for a scenic drive with some stops to get out and walk around the volcanic terrain. We'll then drive to the winery of a local wine guru, where we'll have lunch and a tasting. Our final Etna winery is a special place, where we will be treated like family and have a lovely walk around the vineyards and pear orchards. Dinner will be in the town of Randazzo, the epicenter of Etna culinary delights.
Today, we'll be heading south down the east coast with Mount Etna in our rear-view mirror. Syracuse, the famed Greek city, is our first stop. We'll wander through some Greek ruins, including one of their largest open theaters ever built before having lunch on the quaint island of Ortigia and a tasting of the sweet dessert wine, Moscato di Siracusa. We'll have a short guided tour of city followed by some free time before heading to Noto. Here, we will stop for one of the town's famous semi-forzen dessert granita (Noto is also renowned for its almonds, so we strongly recommend the almond granita!) and a tasting of the Moscato di Noto. Afterward, we'll check in to our hotel and have a dinner at a local osteria.
Sicily's extra virgin olive oil is one of the best in Italy, especially when it is made with Monti Iblei olives. We'll taste the flavorful olive oil and other products made by a tiny, award-winning azienda agricola in the heart of the Monti Iblei region, followed by a cooking class, where we will learn how to make some traditional recipes, Sicilian grandmother-style. Afterward, we'll take a tour of an ancient olive grove with the owners. Dinner will be at a farm-to-table restaurant in a nearby town.
Heading west, we will reach Vittoria, the region famous for the distinctive Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a deeply-colored and complex red wine—the first to be awarded the Italian DOCG quality title in Sicily. We'll have tours and tastings at two wineries, including one that ages its wine in terracotta vessels as in ancient times. After getting freshened up at our hotel, we'll head out for our last dinner in the town of Modica, known for its chocolate made from an ancient Aztec recipe that the Spanish brought over during their conquest of southern Italy. Pretty obvious what dessert will be, huh?
With our bellies and suitcases full of wonderful Sicilian gourmet treasures, we will begin our drive back to Catania, but not without first stopping in Piazza Armerina to see some of the most well-preserved and complex Roman mosiacs in the world at the Villa Romana del Casale. We'll have a light lunch in the area and then take everyone back to the heart of Catania for your continued island-traveling pleasure or for what is sure going to be an undesired departure. On a positive note, arrivederci in Italian means "until we see eachother again"! You'll be back.