Sicily and South of Italy – Culinary journey with cooking workshops

12 days
Travel itinerary Terms of participation and cancellation
Price $2250

Price includes

  • Accommodation in a double room in four-star hotels.
  • Internal flight on the Naples – Catania route.
  • Transfer from and to the airport.
  • Private bus transfer for the entire trip.
  • Breakfasts in hotels.
  • Local guide during sightseeing.
  • Cable car to Mount Etna, 4×4 coach or snow groomer and an alpine guide

The price does not include

  • International flight from Chicago – Naples – Chicago.
  • Meals not mentioned above.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Tips.
  • Cooking class in Taormina – EUR220.00 / person.
  • Winery visit and wine tasting – EUR70.00 / person.
  • Baking bread in Matera – EUR50.00.
  • Pasticiotto cooking class – EUR40 / person with dessert and wine tasting or coffee.
  • Pizza making lesson – EUR34.00 / person.

NAPLES – SICILY – TAORMINA – ETNA – MATERA – ALBEROBELLO – LECCE – POLIGNANO A MARE – SORRENTO – AMALFI – SORRENTO – NAPLES

 

Cooking workshops:

Cooking class in Taormina

Vineyard visit and wine tasting

Baking bread in Matera

Pasticiotto cooking class

Pizza making lesson

Culture and history

Islands

Volcanoes

Wineries


Travel itinerary

1.day

DEPARTURE

Meeting at the airport and departure to Naples.

2.day

NAPLES – SICILY

Arrival at Naples airport. Transfer to Sicily to Catania airport. Transfer to the hotel in Taormina and check-in. Free time and in the afternoon a pleasant walk around the area.

3.day

TAORMINA

After breakfast, depart from your hotel for a guided walking tour of Taormina and the Greco-Roman Theatre. In the late morning you will experience a great hands-on cooking class at Villa Britannia, a beautiful house with breathtaking views of Taormina and the Ionian Sea. Time for lunch, free time to explore the city on your own or optionally take a 20-minute drive to the small village of Castelmola.

4.day

TAORMINA – ETNA – WINERIES

Morning departure from your hotel with a local guide and driver for an amazing and exciting trip to Mount Etna. In the Silvestri crater area, we will reach an altitude of about 6,000 feet, and then the cable car will take you to a different, gray, sulfur world. Under the care of a guide, we will face this lunar landscape and by 4×4 coach or snow groomer we will reach an altitude of about 10,000 feet where we will take a breathtaking walk. From the top of the highest active volcano in Europe you can admire fantastic and unique views! We will have lunch in one of the most prestigious vineyards in the area, Barone di Villagrande, during which we will have the opportunity to taste some local wines from Etna. In the afternoon, return to the hotel and some free time. We will enjoy walking around Taormina for the rest of the day.

5.day

TAORMINA – MATERA

We will leave Sicily early in the morning and travel to the Basilicata region on the mainland. The journey includes a ferry crossing from Sicily to Calabria and a stop for dinner. In the late afternoon we will reach the area of ​​Basilicata and Matera, whose old town, surrounded by troglodyte churches and dwellings (Sassi) carved in porous chalk rock, has been entered on the UNESCO list. Many Sassi residents were forcibly evicted from their cave homes in the mid-20th century in an effort to clean up Italy’s image, but the area has been repopulated in recent years by artists, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs. Matera’s long history (one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities) and the world-renowned Sassi helped it win the 2019 European Capital of Culture Competition, which shines a spotlight on Europe’s fascinating diversity of cultures. We check in at our hotel located near the historic district of the city. Time for dinner at one of the local restaurants.

6.day

MATERA – BAKING BREAD

After meeting your local guide, we set out on a walking tour of this city of art and folklore, with its unique ancient urban structure still intact. Home to more than 100 rock churches (some simply caves with a cross, others elaborate underground chambers), Matera is reminiscent of biblical-era Jerusalem and has been used by international film directors as a stand-in for the holy city. The Sassi are the oldest human settlements in Italy; evidence suggests that humans they lived here as early as 7000 BC. On our guided walking tour, we visit a reconstructed cave dwelling with furnishings to see what life was like in the past. As lunch time approaches, we will head to one of Perrone’s historic bakeries, “il Forno di Gennar”, where we will experience the ancient white art of bread baking in Matera. The sense of smell, hearing, sight and touch will be activated thanks to the colors, sounds and smells offered by “Forno di Gennaro”. This will be an opportunity to literally get your hands dirty in true traditional and modern style bread baking at the same time. We will discover how tradition and innovation mix in the art of bread making in Matera. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own.

7.day

MATERA – ALBEROBELLO – LECCE

Departure from Matera and a morning stop in Alberobello, whose approximately 400 trulli – historic, whitewashed and conical houses with gray stone roofs – have become UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city’s name literally translates to “beautiful tree” and the dense clusters of trulli resemble a tightly packed forest. We will set out on  a walking tour with our local guide to admire the houses, some of which are private; others are craft workshops. We will visit one of them to see up close how people lived and worked in this area. There will be free time to explore on your own and discover local restaurants where you can eat. In the afternoon we continue to Lecce, the capital of the province of Apulia, located in the southern part of the heel of the Italian boot. Late afternoon arrival in Lecce and hotel accommodation. Free time for supper.

8.day

LECCE – PASTICCIOTTO BAKING

After meeting your guide, we set out on a walking tour of Lecce to discover this 200-year-old city with a strong Greek heritage. Today the city  is known as the “Florence of the South” for its unique decorative style. It is called barocco leccese and features ornate and intricate carvings in various forms, from cherubs and monsters to fruits and flowers that adorn the local buildings from top to bottom. It is a locally quarried ‘Lecce stone’, a malleable pink limestone that lends itself well to carving and gives the city an artistic identity. It is thanks to the competitive spirit of the 17th century merchants, monasteries and nobles who tried to outdo each other by building ever grander palaces that we experience the delightful sensory overload. We admire this architectural enthusiasm on a walking tour that includes the Palazzo Vescovile (1632); the richly decorated Santa Croce Church, begun in 1353 and completed in 1695; and the Duomo di Lecce (Lecce Cathedral), one of the finest cathedrals in Italy with a charming piazza – one of the most beautiful public squares in Italy. At noon, we leave the hotel on foot for a sweet adventure – confectionery classes. Desserts typical of Puglia are many and tasty, but “Pasticciotto” in Lecce is a real institution! We will have the opportunity to learn how to make one of the most delicious cakes from this region. Then we will taste them in combination with excellent local wine, such as sweet wines from Moscato, Aleatico and Primitivo. The rest of the day is free to explore the city on your own.

9.day

LECCE – POLIGNANO A MARE – SORRENTO

Departure to Sorrento. We have a whole day of picturesque journey ahead of us from the Apulia region to Campania, a region boasting historical treasures (including Pompeii), the spectacular Amalfi Coast and the resort island of Capri. On the way, we will stop at Polignano a Mare, where you will enjoy lunch at one of the many local restaurants in this historic seaside town perched on limestone cliffs above the Adriatic Sea. We then continue to the bustling seaside of Sorrento, a popular resort and our base for exploring Campania. Arrival at the hotel in the early evening and time for dinner.

10.day

SORRENTO - AMALFI COAST - PIZZA MAKING

Departure by bus for a breathtaking drive along the rugged Amalfi Coast. This stretch of winding, terraced coastline from Sorrento to Amalfi has been the inspiration for many movies, music and books; in fact, it is one of the greatest routes in the world. On our leisurely excursion along this spectacular hair-raising coastline, with the dazzling Mediterranean Sea 500 feet below, we’ll make several photo stops. Return to the hotel at noon; lunch on your own and the rest of the afternoon is free time. In the early evening, we leave the city to a working farm, where we will take part in a demonstration of Neapolitan cuisine, and then we will enjoy the fruits of our labor.

11.day

SORRENTO – POMPEII

On this day, we travel by coach to see Pompeii, a wonderfully preserved Roman city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which tells a story both tragic and fascinating. Just before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE, many inhabitants heeded the warning signs and fled the city. But about 2,000 of the unlucky ones stayed behind and were surprised by the eruption while sleeping and were buried in the volcanic ashes. The ashes literally “froze” the city in time, leaving behind magnificent ruins that show us how these ancient Romans lived their daily lives thanks to the vibrant frescoes, the Forum and one of Rome’s largest surviving amphitheaters. After a guided walking tour and exploration of this amazing place, we return to Sorrento in the early afternoon. Free time for dinner and some time for yourself until late afternoon, when we will travel outside the city to a working farm, where we will take part in a hands-on demonstration of Neapolitan cooking, and then enjoy the fruits of our labor.

12.day

SORRENTO – USA

Early transfer to the airport in Naples and a flight back to the USA

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The company is not responsible for any loss of customer's property due to burglary, theft, loss, etc. We also do not assume responsibility for any losses incurred by the customer in motels. Rek Travel reserves the right to change the itinerary due to circumstances beyond its control. The customer is obliged to comply with the tour regulations. Tour participants are insured according to the requirements of the US Department of Transportation for a total amount of $500,000 (insurance policy available upon request). Participants may opt for additional insurance coverage for hospital and outpatient treatment of illnesses acquired during the tour, as well as accidents in visited facilities (further information available at the office) for an additional fee.

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