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A Taste Of Sicily

Sicilian wine, renowned for its unique and distinct flavours, embodies the rich history and diverse terroir of the Mediterranean island. With a winemaking tradition spanning over 3,000 years, Sicily has cultivated a reputation for producing some of Italy's finest wines. The volcanic soils of Mount Etna contribute to the production of exceptional reds and whites, while the coastal areas are ideal for cultivating aromatic grapes like Moscato. Nero d'Avola, Sicilia's most iconic grape variety, imparts bold and full-bodied red wines that display hints of black cherry and spice.

Notable white varieties include Grillo and Catarratto, delivering crisp and refreshing flavours with delicate floral notes. From producers dedicated to upholding sustainable practices to those celebrating traditional winemaking methods, Sicilian wine offers a vast array of choices that showcase both elegance and innovation in every bottle. Savouring a glass of Sicilian wine is an adventure into centuries-old techniques melded with contemporary approaches—an experience that every oenophile should indulge in!

For today we will be focusing ona package we have created. This is our 5-day recommendation for your 5-day Sicilian getaway. This is just an example of one of our bespoke Sicilian escapades.

Day One - Arrival by private transfer and check into your Sicilian palazzo where you will be staying for a total of 5 nights. That evening dinner at the famous Mec, located in the renovated high-tech setting of Palazzo Castrone, an illustrious late sixteenth century building located in the historical centre of Palermo, a stone’s throw from the Arab Norman Cathedral, the 6 museum rooms of the MEC become the set of a unique restaurant. You will enjoy our selected tasting menu which will take you on a journey of sicilian gastronomic delight.

Day Two - A private transfer to the location. Baglio di Pianetto welcomes you directly into the heart of the winery, where you'll begin your adventure discovering their vineyards and unique, one-of-a-kind wine cellar, designed as 100% sustainable and for vertical-process winemaking. Along the way, step by step, the staff of Baglio di Pianetto will reveal all the secrets of fine winemaking.  This tasting gives you the opportunity to learn everything you need to know about 5 wines that have become iconic, expressing the quintessence of the values on which Count Paolo Marzotto founded the winery in 1997, as well as the exceptional terroirs that Baglio di Pianetto has selected to grow its wines: Palermo, Noto, and Etna. You will taste the following 5 wines, all 100% organic:  Viafrancia Bianco Riserva (Viognier) Sicilia DOC, Fermata 125 Etna Bianco DOC (Carricante), Fermata 125 Etna Rosso DOC (Nerello Mascalese), Cembali (Nero d’Avola) Sicilia DOC, and Viafrancia Rosso Riserva (Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon) Sicilia DOC. 

Then it is back to Palermo for lunch and a nap and then at 1830 put on your comfortable shoes as you head out on your food tour. Explore Palermo’s lively dining scene after dark when the temperature drops and the crowd thins. Led by a passionate foodie guide. Stroll through the city’s old town to take in the sights and discover the most beloved eateries and street vendors. Stop to feast on authentic Palermitano specialties and learn about their history and significance in the local culinary culture. Combine culture and Traditional Street Food in Palermo with a sightseeing plus food tour. Delve into the city’s “locals-only” dining scene with an insider guide and sample a number of street food specialities at shops and street stands, You will also be taking in the sights along the route, from the opera house to Hidden Gems.

Day Three - Late start as it is only right that you should have a relaxed morning. Then it is on the train to Cefalu where your driver will meet up with you and take you to the Abbazia Santa Anastasia located in the heart of the Madonie Natural Park, with this wine-tasting lunch experience. A wine tasting at Abbazia Santa Anastasia is a unique experience that starts from the land and continues in the cellars: the guided tour will take you from the vineyard where everything originated, to the winery, equipped with the latest production technologies, and ends with a tasting of their natural wines.

The guided tasting will include a selection of 4 organic labels chosen by Abbazia Santa Anastasia's sommelier, expertly paired with an appetizer, first course, main course, and dessert, all prepared with local and seasonal products from the Madonie territory when possible. Each label you will have the opportunity to taste is the result of meticulous work done with passion through the organic method and biodynamic philosophy in order to enhance the natural organoleptic qualities of the grapes and wines.

Walking between the rows, learning about winemaking techniques, and tasting the wine are activities that are interwoven like tiles in an exclusive and fascinating mosaic in this experience that takes place in one of the Sicilian territories with the most authentic terroir.

The tour will take approximately 2 hours or so and then drop off in Cefalu where you will spend the rest of the day with Valentina. Together you will explore this beuaitul hamlet. Walk through its streets studded with refined palaces and boutiques, colourful food and wine shops with the most tasteful local products. Visit the Cathedral and the medieaval Cloister: first built during the 12th Century, an extraordinary example of Norman architecture surrounded by a lovely square with palm trees: the perfect place for enjoying some delicious local gelato.

The town of Cefalu

Then say Arrivederci to Cefalu and take the train back to Palermo. That night, a meal at a local trattoria.

Day Four - Our driver will pick you up and whisk you off to Monreale. Just a few kilometres from Palermo. A very old little town dating back to the 12th century, when the Norman kings preferred to rest after their military efforts in a more peaceful place than the crowded Palermo. On this private guided tour of Monreale you will visit the Duomo, that is one of the most sumptuous examples of the so-called Arab-Norman style, whose itinerary has been nominated for recognition as an Unesco World Heritage Site.

Built by the Norman king William II, the Church became an important Bishop’s site to balance the religious power of the nearby Palermo Cathedral. The magnificence of the golden mosaics, decorating the inside, will leave you absolutely spellbound. You will conclude your visit with a pleasant stroll of the elegant Benedictine monastery cloister of the 12th century, enriched by inlaid columns and sculptured capitals. Once the tour has ,finished, our driver will take you to the Giacco winery located in the village of Salaparuta, you will take a scenic guided walk to learn about the production area and its history and then you will enjoy a tasting of 7 wines and a selection of Sicilian delicacies.

It is now back to Palermo and after a quick change, you will be heading out for an evening of wine and chatter. Accompanied by a Sicilian food and wine expert, you will experience a typical Palermo evening, strolling in the most modern part of the historical centre among elegant stores and art nouveau buildings. It will be a relaxing moment to taste excellent wines and food, and chat together about Sicilian DOC wines, local traditions, politics, history, and daily life in Sicily. Later, you will have a bite of the typical rotisserie from Palermo in a traditional bakery before heading to the oldest wine bar in the city. Surrounded by a selection of bottles of Italian and international wines, you will taste two of the best Sicilian DOC wines, paired with local delicacies. The evening will end sweetly, with a dessert and a typical sweet wine as a perfect finishing touch to a delicious meal. And then it is back to the hotel (don't worry as we will ensure that the guide makes sure you get to the right one!!!!).

Day Five - What a way to finish off. A private walking tour, with its coloured markets, allows you to discover the real soul of Palermo and immerse your senses in local culinary traditions and Sicilian street food delights. The tradition of Sicilian open-air markets constitutes a legacy that dates back to the Arabic period (9th-11th centuries), when the ancient “Balarm” was a crucial point for the trade established between the East and West of the Mediterranean area. Living the noisy and crowded markets of Palermo, which is surrounded by an amazing artistic heritage. An unmissable experience.

By visiting the ancient “Caput Seralcadi”, now called Capo market, which is famous for selling fish, you will discover to what extent all kind of products and some architectonic jewels, such as the Baroque church of the Immaculate Conception, are exhibited proudly. This is the perfect spot to try a delicious arancina (the typical fried rice ball) or pani ca' meusa (bread with spleen – only for true culinary adventurers!).

It is easy to get to Ballarò market, (the ancient “suq-al-Balari”), which is the melting-pot area of the city, by crossing the ancient Cassaro. Here you will find all the colours and fragrances of the world. The dome of the Baroque Church of Carmine Maggiore stands out from the multicoloured tents of the several surrounding shops. Lured by the irresistible sizzle of the frying pans, a stop to taste panelle and crocchè will be a must.

Finally, a visit to Vucciria, whose name derives from the more recent French term “boucherie”. This is the market celebrated by the famous painting of the Sicilian artist Renato Guttuso. Here, the remains of a glorious past are still evident: the market is a crucial point of the city, where ancient shops and historical activities resist to the global effects, as it is demonstrated by its crowded streets and squares during night and day.

On this cultural and food tour, every step and bite will become a celebration of the city's cultural and culinary heritage!

In the evening, we will end the night at the famous Osteria Dei Vespini. Located in the heart of the historical centre of Palermo, more precisely in the Kalsa district, The cuisine, led by Alberto Rizzo, takes its cue from the tradition of the area, all elaborated with innovative techniques. The strength of the Osteria dei Vespri is also the cellar, which today has more than 600 Italian and foreign labels. You will now enjoy the 8-course tasting menu so ensure you lerave room during the day!

Day Six - It is time to leave. Our driver will come to pick you up and will take you to Palermo airport for your flight back to the UK.


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