Our Journeys

Sicily Food & Wine with Chef Cathy Whims- May 2020
May 1-12, 2020

$4950

Sicily Food & Wine with Chef Cathy Whims – Spring 2020

Siciliy is famous for its Greek and Roman ruins, fascinating history, exotic food and delicious wines. It is so diverse that it feels much like a small continent. Chef Cathy Whims, owner of Nostranais excited to host again a small group of travelers along with your Customized Journey’s tour leader, to share her knowledge, and discover with you some amazing, hidden spots of Sicily. You will be introduced to interesting local personalities, enjoy regional specialties and will be sure to leave Sicily with a very good idea about what it means to be Sicilian.


MAP



ITINERARY


*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.

DAY 0 - Thursday, April 30

Fly from the US to Catania, Sicily

DAY 1 - Friday, May 1 - Arrival

Upon arrival in Catania, a private driver will pick you up at the airport and drive your hotel near to Taormina. Rest up in your beautiful room before meeting your guide, Cathy and your other travelers for a welcome talk and dinner. Sleep near Taormina.

DAY 2 - Saturday, May 2 - Taormina

This morning you will explore beautiful Taormina, which is considered one the foremost pearls of the Mediterranean Sea. You will start your day with a stroll along its most famous promenade to one of Sicily’s finest “pasticcerias” before visiting its famous Greek theatre. In the afternoon you will visit a winery on the slopes of Mt. Etna for dinner. Sleep near Taormina.

DAY 3 - Sunday, May 3 - Wine Tasting & Siracusa

Today we will stop to visit one of Cathy’s favourite wineries on our way to Siracusa, the ancient Greek colony that outshined its master during the decline of the Greek empire. In Siracusa, we will wander through the unforgettable Piazza del Duomo to behold the Fountain of Arethusa. The legends shared by our classically educated guide will bring our walking tour to life Sleep in Ortigia (Siracusa).

DAY 4 - Monday, May 4 - Modica & Noto

Today you will tour the “Val di’ Noto,” a valley so beautiful and unique that it was declared a World Heritage site in 2002. We will first visit Modica, famous for its chocolate, where you will participate in a chocolate making experience. Later, we will stop in the countryside to taste fresh ricotta cheese (cooked over a hot stove in wooden barrels) and the most incredible hand-made Sicilian Cannoli you will ever have. Afterwards, you can wander the baroque jewel of Noto, an amazing city built at the end of the 17th century after an earthquake destroyed Old Noto entirely and enjoy a stop at one of Cathy’s favourite cafes. Sleep in Ortigia (Siracusa).

DAY 5 - Tuesday, May 5 - Piazza Armerina

You will start your day with a lovely drive across scenic agrarian landscapes to the Piazza Armerina and the Imperial Roman Villa of Casale. This ancient Roman hunting lodge and beauty spa was well known among the Who’s Who of the 4th century. You will have plenty of time to view the original mosaics that decorate the lodge’s former exercise rooms and baths. We will then make our way to Agrigento where we will enjoy dinner at a lovely seaside restaurant. Sleep outside Agrigento.

DAY 6 - Wednesday, May 6 - Agrigento

This morning we will visit the Ancient Valley of the Temples, one of the richest archaeological areas of the world. Here our guide will lead you among the remains of approximately 20 ancient temples including the Temple of Concord, Castor, Pollux and Hercule. In the afternoon, we will head to one of Cathys’ favourite countryside resorts near to Castelvetrano where we will stay for the next two nights. Sleep near Castelvetrano.

DAY 7 - Thursday, May 7 - Selinute & Castelvetrano Olive Oil Production

We will start the day with a visit to Selinunte, one of Europe's largest archaeological parks, where you will be blown away by the ancient Greek ruins over the blue Mediterranean Sea. Timing permitting, we will stop at charming Sciacca, very famous for its artistic and traditional ceramics. In the afternoon, we will visit the olive oil production of one of Cathy’s friends. Sleep near Castelvetrano

DAY 8 - Friday, May 8 - Marsala

Today we will head to Marsala and visit its charming centre, before heading to one of the best producers of the local sweet and smooth Marsala wine. After a tasting of this incredible dessert wine, you will take in the local museum, which displays the remains of an awesome Phoenician ship. In the afternoon, you will have time visit the famous salt pans outside of town before heading to our countryside resort outside of town. Sleep outside Marsala.

DAY 9 - Saturday, May 9 - Erice & Cooking Class

This morning you will drive to Erice, a delightful medieval village nestled on a 2,200-foot cliff. Walking through Erice’s narrow streets you can make your way to a traditional pastry shop where you can sample some of the world’s most amazing almond pastries. But don't forget to try the Cannoli and the shop's famed Cassata! These delicious treats will augment the breath taking views over the Egadi Islands below. After visiting the town, you will have the delightful experience of learning to make some of these wonderful desserts. Sleep outside Marsala

DAY 10 - Sunday, May 10 - Monreale

On our way to Palermo today, we will stop in the small hill town of Monreale. Here you will see the mosaics of the Norman Cathedral which are among the most extraordinary in Italy. This amazing monument is a dazzling mixture of Arab, Byzantine and Norman artistic styles all framed by traditional Romanesque architecture. Nowhere else on the planet can you find such a perfect blend of the Christian and Muslim artistic worlds of the 12th century. You will then drive to Palermo, where you will check into your hotel for a two-night stay. Sleep in Palermo.

DAY 11 - Monday, May 11 - Palermo and dinner at a private palace

You will spend the morning visiting beautiful Palermo, the many narrow streets and alleys, and the market stalls packed with all sorts of merchandise. You will have the afternoon on your own to discover more of this very special city or you have the option of adding on an extra cooking class if you prefer (please ask for quote and availability at time of booking). Tonight, you will enjoy a special dinner and an exclusive tour of an incredible palace of a local nobleperson. Sleep in Palermo.

Day 12 Tuesday, May 12 - Departure

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.



INFORMATION


Trip Details:
2 nights near Taormina
2 nights in Ortigia (Siracusa)
1 night outside Agrigento
2 nights near Castelvetrano
2 nights outside Marsala
2 nights in Palermo

Price: $4,950 USD per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: Please ask for quote

What is included in the trip

  • All double-occupancy accommodation in first category hotels and country inns with breakfast
  • All group transportation in a deluxe air-conditioned private bus, driver expenses (food, lodging), parking fees, city entry taxes for bus
  • All breakfasts and one main meal per day including house wine
  • The services of a professional tour leader throughout the trip and expert local guides
  • Entrance to museums and attractions as per itinerary
  • A great wine tasting on the slope of Mount Etna
  • Tastings as per the itinerary/li>
  • Transfer from Catania airport on DAY 1 and transfer to Palermo airport on DAY 12

What is not included

  • International airfare from and back to the US
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to guides, tour leader, and drivers

MORE INFO