Sicilian Journey... seductive foods & ancient wonders

Maria Grammatico - Cannoli

Sicilian Journey... seductive foods & ancient wonders
Palermo and Trapani, Sicily

7 - 15 May 2022
9 days and 8 nights

Join me on a food and wine tour in Sicily, a gorgeous island in the Mediterranean sea that seduces travelers with its dazzling diversity of landscapes and culinary treasures. Italy's many regions have seduced me with their charms, the pride of the Sicilians for their culture and love of people makes it one of my favorite places. For almost three thousand years, Sicily was invaded by such powerful civilizations as the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, French, and Spanish, all of whom left their lasting mark on its art, architecture, and cuisine.

We begin our Sicilian adventure in Palermo, the capital of Sicily, a melting pot of cultures and a fascinating city. Here we’ll focus on authentic traditional cuisine. Spend a day with the Duchess of Palma in her fabulous 18th-century Palazzo by the sea. Savor the intense flavor of sun-ripened produce grown in volcanic soils and enjoy the freshest seafood in the Mediterranean.

The remainder of the trip is in the western most port town Trapani, bounded by two seas and snuggled at the foot of Mount Erice. You’ll enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets with an aperitivo on the portico of the historic villa. Trapani's unique position on the sea route to the Mediterranean busiest ports makes it the perfect place to taste the soul of Sicily’s distinctive cuisine. With our hands-on classes, you’ll learn to make traditional Sicilian dishes just like nonna.

You’ll meet charming artisans who produce Sicily’s unique salt, cheese, olive oil, and wine. A hands-on class at a famed pastry shop will show us the secrets of Sicilian pastries plus we’ll visit the local fish market with a chef.

I hope you can join me at the table as we relish this well-balanced and extremely flavorful cuisine!

"Learning about la cucina Siciliana will change the way you think about Italian food--Sicily's table is a notably diverse one, absorbing elements of the culinary cultures of numerous invaders—among them the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Spaniards—who fought to rule this much-prized island in the Mediterranean for thousands of years."
Catherine Sabino (Forbes, May 17, 2018)

Highlights
Week-long immersion in Sicily’s unique food traditions, including the island’s distinctive extra-virgin olive oils, wines, and local cheeses.
• Journey through the markets of Palermo and Trapani. Sicilian markets are as authentic as they come.
• Palermo Street Food & City Tour to experience Palermo's culture and get in touch with big-hearted local people.
• In Palermo spend the day cooking with a Duchess in her palazzo and learn more about the legacy of Sicilian cuisine and people through the food.
• In Trapani, we meet a local chef at the fish market and then return to his restaurant to learn how they make the iconic Couscous alla Trapanese.
• Indulge in Sicily’s fondness for sweets with a hands-on class at the famed La Pasticceria Maria Grammatico.
• Taste mineral-tinged sea salt from the source at Trapani’s salt pools.
• We visit one of the small islands just off the coast surrounded by the most beautiful blue and clear water you can imagine.
• Unlock the secrets of Sicilian cuisine through hands-on cooking classes with Julie at the villa.
• Savor the magic of Sicily’s fertile soil and long, cloudless spring with an exclusive winery tour and tasting.
• Includes 8 nights accommodations, with ensuite bathroom. Accommodations are an apartment located in a Palazzo in Palermo and a historic villa in Trapani.
• Include meals with wine as indicated in the itinerary, travel services with the tour itinerary, service charges, VAT, and transportation provided for you to and from Palermo Airport.

On our culinary trips, you can expect to be joined by a group of like-minded people, who share your passion for Italian food and traditions - including solo travelers, couples, and friends traveling together. This trip is recommended for travelers aged 18 and above.

Sicilian Journey... seductive foods & ancient wonders
US$4,800/pp based on double occupancy
US$5,800/for a single room

Single rooms are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
A deposit of US$1,500/pp is due at the time of booking to secure your places.

Itinerary

Day 1 Palermo, Sicily
Benvenuti! Arrive at Palermo airport where you’ll be met by our driver. Enjoy a scenic ride along the sea and around the mountains to Palermo. If you arrive before the 4:00 p.m. check-in time they will store your bags for you.
Afternoon: Free time before dinner to relax or explore Palermo; there's plenty of city life to explore.
Predinner: The merriment begins with aperitivos to toast the beginning of our Sicilian trip!
Dinner: Welcome dinner at a fine restaurant in Palermo.

Day 2 Palermo – A day in the cooking with the Duchess.
Breakfast: At a local café or in your apartment.
Morning and afternoon: The Duchess of Palma will take us to the Il Capo Market to select the seasonal ingredients for our cooking class. Along the way, we will point out some of the hidden treasures of Palermo. When we return to the Palazzo we will tour her organic gardens on the terrace for select fresh herbs, flowers, and lemons for our dishes. Together we will cook a Sicilian menu with the Duchess. Afterward, we will enjoy our meal in the Palazzo’s elegant dining room. After the meal, we will have a tour of the magnificent Palazzo by the Duchess.

Day 3 Palermo - Trapani – Street Food and City tour of Palermo
Breakfast: At a local café or in your apartment.
Morning: We meet our guide for a street food and city tour of Palermo. Discover the street specialties of Palermo focaccerie, friggitorie, arancini, and much more from Palermo’s oldest and most important family street food vendors.
Lunch: Included in the street food tour.
After lunch, we travel by van to Trapani. On the way, we will stop at the archeological site of Segesta. There we will walk to the two sites: the Doric temple one of the best preserved temples and the Greek theater built on the top of a hillside in the late 5th century BC. It’s a beautiful setting with stunning views and surrounded by ancient relics.
Dinner: This evening we will dine at a restaurant in Trapani.

Day 4 Trapani – On the water
Breakfast: An epicurean delight in the villa dining room.
Morning: Depart from the port of Trapani on our private boat for a relaxing day on the topaz blue water of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the island of Favignana. We will stop in Favignana for lunch and then return to Trapani. Weather permitting
Lunch: Lunch will be enjoyed in Favignana.
Afternoon: We will travel to the Salt Road (la Via del Sale) where salt has been produced for centuries to see the salt pools where they harvest sea salt.
Dinner: A hands-on cooking class with Julie at our villa to prepare our dinner menu.

Day 5 Trapani-Erice
Breakfast: An epicurean delight in the villa dining room.
Morning: We will take a cable car to the charming medieval hill town of Erice, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy; and will meet up with chef Maria Grammatico. We will have a cooking class and make several traditional Sicilian pastries.
Lunch: We will have lunch at the cooking school in Erice.
Afternoon: Free time. You can find a gelato or granita shop or explore the Norman Castle, also referred to as the Venus Castle because it is built on top of the ancient temple of Venus in Erice.
Dinner: This evening we will dine at a restaurant in Trapani.

Day 6 Trapani’s famous Cuscusu (Couscous)
Breakfast: A Sicilian epicurean delight in the villa dining room.
Morning: We head off to Trapani’s old town to tour the fish market with a local Chef. At his Slow Food restaurant Cantina Siciliana, Chef will teach us how to make the classic Trapanese Cuscusu (couscous).
Lunch: Trapanese Cuscusu at the cantina.
After lunch, you'll be free to explore more of this seaside town city and discover a tucked-away trattoria for dinner on your own.

Day 7 Trapani – A day in the countryside
Breakfast: An epicurean delight in the villa dining room.
Morning: 8:30 This morning we will visit a family-run artisan cheesemaker who continues the cheesemaking traditions of Sicily. We will taste their most famous cheese is 'Cotonese' and fresh ricotta (the fresh ricotta is a life-changing experience). Our next stop will be Orto di Mimi an organic farm specializing in the production of vegetables and fruits, legumes, sauces, preserves, and other gastronomic delights. The delightful Mimi teaches you how to make traditional Pesto alla Trapanese.
Lunch: Enjoy our Pesto all Trapanese with Bruschetta.
Afternoon: Free time.
Dinner: A hands-on cooking class with Julie at our villa to prepare our dinner menu.

Day 8 Trapani
Breakfast: An epicurean delight in the villa dining room.
Morning: Free time
Lunch: Free time
Afternoon: We drive to Baglio Ingardia a small family-run farm which began in the 18th century for a tour and tasting, of their award-winning extra virgin organic olive oil made from native olives (Cerasuola, Nocellara and Biancolilla) and wine at the base of Mount Erice.
Dinner: A hands-on cooking class with Julie at our villa to prepare our dinner menu.

Day 9 Arrivederci
Breakfast: On our final day, enjoy breakfast at the villa before check-out.
Activity: Check-out by 12:00 p.m.
Morning: Transportation to Palermo Airport is provided.

Pricing
US$4,800/per person based on double occupancy
US$5,800/for a single room

Single rooms are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Prices include accommodations, meals as noted in the itinerary, all cooking classes, tours, tastings, and ground transportation during the program. Airfare is not included.

Deposits and Payment Information
When you are ready to book you can pay by credit card.

Your deposit will be refunded if a minimum of 6 guests is not reached.

We suggest arriving in Italy at least one day in advance of this tour. Not only does this give you some time to adjust to the time difference, but it also provides you with more time to explore.
To fully enjoy this tour, you need to be comfortable on your feet with brisk two-hour walking tours, climbing stairs, plus standing and walking for up to four hours inside and outdoors in all weather conditions.
Guests requiring help must be accompanied by an able companion who can be entirely responsible for providing assistance.
Due to the nature of this trip, we are not ADA-compliant, and we cannot accept guests requiring accessibility.

Reservations
To reserve your spot contact, Julie, for the reservation form--fill it out, and return it to Julie along with your deposit to 1039 La Quinta Ct., Napa, California 94559.

9 days of la dolce vita is limited to 10 guests.

Email julie@cookingwithjulie.com or call Julie at 707-227-5036.

Please note: accommodations for special food needs may not be possible. Due to the nature of this trip, we are not ADA-compliant, and we cannot accept guests requiring accessibility.

Accommodations

Please contact Julie@cookingwithJulie.com for accommodation information.

Transportation & Transfers: A group transfer to and from A group transfer to and from Palermo Airport is included in the cost of the tour. The tour begins with a welcome reception on the evening of the first day and concludes with breakfast on the final day.
Private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. Airfare is not included.

This is an experience you don’t want to miss. Share it with someone special to create a memory of a lifetime.

Passports & Visas
There may be other conditions due to Covid-19.
A valid passport is required of all participants. It must be valid at least 3 months after the date of return to the U.S. The name on your reservation must match the name on your passport. Non-U.S. citizens must consult with the appropriate consulates to determine if any visas are needed.
It is suggested that all passengers, regardless of the passport they hold, check with the appropriate consulates of the countries being visited to determine if any visas are needed.