Sicily Tour 2019


Sensational 11-Day Sicilian Cheese, Food & Wine Adventure
Tour I: April 4-14 / Tour II: April 7-17, 2019

$4,900 per person double occupancy / $5,900 single occupancy

Just 10 explorers per tour are invited on this culinary journey through the back door of Italy ​that only an Italian living in Sicily can open, Laura Massoni of See Italy Travel

Throughout the tour, we will be joined by guides who live in the villages and will give us behind-the-scenes ​access and insight to the best of each stop.

Take a peek at tour highlights in this video from our inaugural tour of Northern Italy to get an idea of what to expect.

Includes pre-adventure meet-&-greet at Venissimo’s Academy of Cheese, gift bag, expert guides, park and museum ​entry fees and more.

Excludes meals "at your leisure" and air fare to/from Italy (tour starts in Palermo, ends in Catania).


 DAY 1: Arrive in Sicily

Meet your guide at Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO) in Palermo, Italy, and transfer to hotel Plaza Opera in the heart of the city.
Partake in welcome dinner at a winery where a local expert will introduce you to Sicilian gastronomic heritage.


 DAY 2: Castelbuono & Cefalu

Breakfast at hotel.
​Visit a local dairy farm with a cheese tasting.
Visit the charming medieval village of Castelbuono for a bakery tour and biscuit tasting.
Lunch at your leisure.
Transfer to Cefalu for a stroll through its picturesque alleys and the Duomo with gold mosaics of Christ Pantokrator.
Return to Palermo.


 ​DAY 3: Palermo UNESCO Tour & Street Food

Breakfast at hotel.
Visit a chaotic and fascinating puppet studio where "puparo" Salvo shares the ancient art of puppetry.
Enter a Sicilian candy laboratory to see confectioners make candies based on a 120-year-old tradition.
Live like a local and tour the open-air market, with lunch from street food vendors, the place for best local cuisine.
Tour the highlights of the city, including UNESCO heritage site Arab-Normal Palermo and its nine cathedrals.​​​
Dinner at your leisure.


 ​DAY 4: Portella della Ginestra & Cannoli at Piana degli Albanesi

Breakfast at hotel and check out.
​Depart for mountainous plateau city of Piana degli Albansi with a stop at Portella della Ginestra.
Taste and make the perfect cannolo in a patisserie known to make the highest quality of Siciliy's national pastry.​
Visit a local winery for a tasting and lunch.​
Head to Agrigento on the southern coast and check in to organic farm resort Fontes Episcopi.
​The rest of the day and evening are yours to spend at your leisure.


 DAY 5: Agrigento Cooking Class & Valley of the Temples

Breakfast at hotel.
Take a guided tour through the UNESCO site of Valley of the Temples.
Visit the Cistercian Monastery with a tasting of delicious almond and pistachio cookies baked by cloistered nuns​.
Lunch in Agrigento at your leisure.
Roll up your sleeves for a class where you'll learn to prepare the Afro-Sicilian "cuscus," the pillar of Sicilian cuisine.  
Dinner includes your cous-cous creation plus local Sicilian wine.


 ​DAY 6: Cheese in Village of Sant'Agelo Muxaro

Breakfast at hotel.
​Join Peppe and Valeria, two guys who breed stunning  Girgentane goats to make exquisite goat cheese.  
​Visit their small dairy farm to indulge in their creations and learn the history of their work.
Mosey to Sant'Angelo Muxaro for another visit to a local dairy family that produces fresh ricotta every day.
Partake in a light lunch in a typical Sicilian courtyard.
Taste "pani cunzatu," bread with local olive oil and pepper, plus almond and honey cookies at a local bakery.
Stroll away the afternoon with local shepherds who have dedicated their lives to preserving this way of life.​​​​
​Relax all evening in Agrigento at your leisure.


 ​DAY 7: Piazza Armerina & Olive Oil

Breakfast at hotel & check out
​Depart toward Piazza Armerina for a visit to a olive oil mill with a tasting and lunch.​
Meander through the impressive structures of another UNESCO site, the Villa Romana del Casale
​which contains the greatest Roman mosaics in the world.​
Relax on the bus to Siracusa to check into Algila Ortigia Charme Hotel on the waterfront and enjoy dinner at your leisure.


 DAY 8: Ragusa, Monica & Food Experiences

Breakfast at the inn.
​Savor this day's journey through the flavors of the mountainous Hyblaean area with a visit
​to a dairy that laboriously makes provola, ricotta and ragusano cheeses.
Walk from Upper Ragusa to Ragusa Ibla to discover the medieval and baroque heritage of this ancient city.
Stop at a watermill for a light lunch before heading to Monica.​​
Tour Modica, one of eight UNESCO baroque towns that holds treasured secrets of an old Aztec recipe
​for chocolate imported by Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century.
Dip your hands into chocolate and learn how it's made.​​
​Enjoy an aperitivo or dinner on your own & explore Siracusa or Noto.


 DAY 9: Archeology & Cooking Class in Siracusa

Breakfast at the inn.
​Meet your chef in front of the Temple of Apollo in the small island city of Ortygia.
Uncover the secrets to shopping like a chef for the best ingredients for the day's cooking class and lunch.
Tour Ortygia, the city's historical center, showcasing Greek, medieval, baroque and Jewish myth, history and art.
Visit Neapolis Archaological Park and its ancient Greek theatre, quarries, ampitheatre and altar of Hieron II.​​​
​Partake in dinner at your leisure in Siracusa or Noto.


 ​DAY 10: Mount Etna & Catania with Pistachio & Wine Tasting

Breakfast & check out of inn.
Stop by a pistachio farm, complete with a tour and tasting of what's known as Sicily's emerald green gems.
Head to a wine tasting and lunch at a winery on the slope of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe.
Relax on bus to Catania before walking through Greek-Roman ruins, a famed cathedral and public garden.
Check in to boutique resort Donna Carmela and explore and have dinner at your leisure in ​​​​Catania or Mount Etna.


 DAY 11: Farewell Catania

Breakfast & check out of hotel.
Depart from Catania-Fontanarossa airport (CTA).


DEPOSITS

​$1,000 non-refundable initial deposit upon reservation
​​$1,950 non-refundable second deposit due January 7, 2019 
​$1,950 non-refundable final balance due February 7, 2019

ABOUT THE HOST


​Professor McCheese Rob Graff:
​​RobbyG is the inspiration behind Venissimo’s Academy of Cheese educational & event group. He has traveled the world to meet cheese makers & learn everything he can about what makes cheese so incredible & loved.

RESERVATIONS & QUESTIONS


​Laura Massoni Travel
​858.201.6424

“I was born and raised in Italy, and lived in San Diego from 1992-2017. I have now made Sicily my home!  This has allowed me to share my Italian culture and heritage in great detail with my American friends and family in a way that has made them excited to experience the environment I grew up in. After working in the travel industry for over two decades, I realized that I wanted to get back to my roots. So I made the decision to concentrate only on Italy. It was only after making this decision that I realized how much I loved sharing my homeland with clients.” — Laura Massoni​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​