Best of Sicily
Discover the very best of Sicily during one week of adventure. Think medieval wonder, succulent street food, spa relaxation and wine tasting on a volcano. Designed so you can take it slow and easy, this one-week experience reveals Sicily’s style and character.
You will be guided by local experts, from the food to the wine and history. And it’s the quality of the guides that make this Sicily experience such a unique window into local life and culture.
Day 1 - Arrival to Taormina
Tour of Taormina, Sicily
The Cathedral of Taormina may be small but it has a definite medieval style. Castellated walls and a tower make it unique: it is called the fortress cathedral. After a private visit, spend a few minutes enjoying the stunning view from the piazza. Then go down Corso Umberto. You will come to the Teatro Antico, on the edge of the cliffs. It’s a Greek theatre with wonderful acoustics, that has been there for a mere 2300 years — and is still in use. A local guide will help you explore its architectural perfection, so you can grasp how it has stood for so long.
Street Food Tour in the Taormina's Historical Centre
Today you will become intimate with Taormina’s typical delicacies. You will try the nzuddi and the piparelle almond cookies — tasting cinnamon in the first, honey in the second. Taormina also boasts exquisite cheese, wine, and the regional Messinese Pizza. And that’s to say nothing of ice-cream. It’s even said ice cream was actually born in this very place, when some genius had the idea of using ice from Mount Etna as the base ingredient for what became the world’s most renowned dessert.One thing is certain: today you are not on a diet.
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
From every window, you see majestic Etna. Hard by, you walk through lemon groves and inhale their fresh citric perfume. The music performed in the neighbouring Greek Theatre wafts gently to your ears. You will sleep soundly in rooms with classic décor, appreciate the traditional ceramics created for the hotel, and savour local dishes that in appearance and taste are works of culinary art.Taormina will be forever in your memory.
Day 2 - Sicily From Above & Cooking Sicilan Food
Helicopter Flight Over Taormina and Mount Etna
The thrill of facing the powerful and the unknown. How small you will feel as you hover over the slopes of vast Mount Etna. For some time, you see grass below. Then, no more green, only the severe dark of lava. And that cloud rising from the crater — seemingly innocent, but at closer look strangely menacing. How different is the view over Taormina! The city nestling above the cliffs, the imposing Greek theatre, the white sea-bathed coves. Then the blue waves, and Isola Bella just across. From above, you will experience two kinds of landscape and two kinds of beauty.
Cooking Class With a Michelin-Starred Chef in Taormina
Your Michelin-starred chef guide will lead you to a historical market. Here, you will select all the fresh ingredients.Once in his kitchen, he will introduce you to the best of Sicily’s traditional cuisine. It is distinct and highly unique. Its origins are rooted in the territory, and intertwined with many cultures, from the ancient Magna Graecia to the Arabs.Share moments of the passion, dedication and impeccable technique that go into the creation of an edible masterpiece. This is cooking with a Michelin star, so expect opulent flavours when you finish.
Day 3 - Exploring Mt. Etna with Wine Tasting
Mount Etna 4WD Drive With Wine Tasting
This is the perfect combination of exploring Mount Etna in a four-wheel drive with discovering Sicilian pleasures.After marveling at the mountain you will stop at a winery, for a lunch of traditional Sicilian dishes and local wines.As you eat and drink, think back on the strange black fields of molten and frozen stone. Consider the wonders of this ever-changing mountain, which the Greeks believed to house the furnace of Hephaestus.You will learn much about it from your geologist guide — but no one can ever know all its secrets. After all, a god always keeps his mystery. You can be grateful Hephaestus let you visit.
Day 4 - Transfer to Verdura Resort via Catania
Tour of Catania
Catania was born 28 centuries ago. It is no wonder there is so much history to see here.You will stand before Ursino Castle and feel the might of those tall stone walls. They have outlived seven centuries — and look as though another seven won’t bother them. Older still, much older, are the Roman amphitheatre, the Greek-Roman theatre, and the ruins of the Roman forum. Younger and charming are the dozens of Baroque churches dotted everywhere about the city.Whatever historical period you love best, you are sure to find it in Catania.
Catania Cooking Class in a Noble Palace
Discover Sicilian culture from a different perspective by taking a unique class. In the penthouse of a noble palace, in the heart of Catania, you will be intimately acquainted with local cuisine.Hearty and multi-colored, Sicilian cuisine reflects the true spirit of the island: open, multicultural and warm. It is based both on seafood and mountain recipes, mixing different ingredients and flavor. It’s the heritage of several cultures that came to the island over the centuries.By learning how to prepare the best-loved Sicilian dishes, you will also discover fascinating aspects of the island’s history and culture.
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort
Indulge your love of golf, of the sea, of wellness and comfort — all in one place. Verdura Resort provides a classical stay in Sicily, with a mix of these idyllic vacation pleasures.
Day 5 - Day trip to Selinunte & leisure at Verdura resort
Archaelogical Tour of Selinunte, Sicily
This was Selinunte. It is silent now. The wind blows from the sea over vast, imposing ruins of temples and streets and houses. These are some of the best-preserved Greek ruins to be found.But in the 4th century BC, this was a thriving metropolis. 30.000 people dwelled in and around its walls, and the city was prosperous and respected. What happened, then? Ask your private guide. You will hear of a long feud with the Carthaginese, of betrayals by Syracuse, of a premeditated destruction that left nothing but ruins.The glories of the world pass. But here the stones remain, and tell you their story.
Day 6 - Palermo
Palermo and Monreale Tour
If you see nothing in Sicily but the Capella Palatina and the Cathedral of Monreale, your trip will still be worth it.Here there is no nakedness of grey stone, no heaviness of baroque ornaments. Saracen arches and muqarnas are covered everywhere by Byzantine mosaics, of such vibrant colours and glowing gold that they look as if they had been made only last week. Forget ‘gorgeous’. Forget ‘stunning’. Leave aside ‘breathtaking’. These are places where adjectives fail.
Medieval Tower and Oratory Tour in Palermo
If you love the Baroque, the Praetorian Fountain and the Cathedral of Palermo are waiting for you. If it’s the Byzantine style you favour, you will find exquisite joy in the Capella Palatina and the Martorana Church.You will follow your guide through the picturesque local fresh markets, before going on to two exclusive discoveries.First, that of an oratory dating back to the 17th century and featuring impressive stuccowork. Then, that of a medieval tower. You will climb its four levels, and come out on a terrace. Look all around, and you will see the whole of Palermo at your feet.
Day 7 - Palermo & Departure
Jewish Heritage & Street Food Tour in Palermo
On this private tour you will discover so much about Palermo.By wandering its streets with your guide, you will realize this city has a unique personality, forged over the centuries as Western and Eastern civilizations were welded together.You will meet local people and jump straight into the spirit of Palermo’s culinary tradition by savoring the city’s best street food. And in the Jewish Ghetto, you will discover a little-known page in the history of Palermo, learning about the millenary story of the very rich and influential Jewish community of this great city.