Italian Cooking Vacations: Baroque Sicily
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Baroque Sicily
Modica, Sicily

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The term “baroque” is derived from a Portuguese word meaning “a pearl of irregular shape” and is exemplified by exuberance and grandeur in the arts. In the fourteenth century the town of Modica was the heart of Sicilian Baroque, and today retains the splendor of its vibrant past through the quintessential architecture of the era. The four star Hotel Palazzo Failla is nestled between the two primary examples of this distinct architecture in the center of Modica, St. George Cathedral and the Castle of Counts.


Awarded the coveted “Best Hotel in Sicily” award in 2007, the 10-room family owned palazzo has been arduously restored to include modern comforts such as satellite TV, internet, and air conditioning, yet maintains its original elegance. Each room is distinct; many boasting frescoed ceilings and private terraces. The Failla family will welcome you with the unparalleled hospitality for which Sicily is so well known.


About the cooking lessons: Sicilian cuisine is perhaps the most celebrated in all of Italy; exceptionally fresh ingredients are readily available thanks to a gloriously mild Mediterranean climate. It is also an incredible confluence of cultural influences of the peoples that have inhabited the island over time: Greek, Roman, Norman, Arab and Spanish. Your guide on this culinary adventure is Chef Francesco Mineo, who uses both local ingredients and products to craft his menu at a restaurant owned by the hotel. Through his hands-on classes, he'll teach you various aspects of Sicilian cuisine.

Baroque Sicily Itinerary

Day 1

  • Transfer from the Catania airport and check-in to your deluxe room at the beautiful Palazzo Failla in Modica.
  • Welcome drink served in the hotel’s atelier.
  • 3-course welcome dinner in the hotel’s restaurant and overnight. (Drinks not included).

Day 2

  • Breakfast.
  • Morning cooking class, followed by lunch based on your culinary efforts. (Drinks not included).
  • In the afternoon, a Baroque tour of Modica and a visit of the most famous pastry shop for a tasting of the famed Modican chocolate.
  • Tonight’s dinner on our own (if you are still hungry after the tasting).
  • Overnight.

Day 3

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, experience a guided tour of Marzamemi, Portopalo, and Isola delle Correnti; all are small towns with harbors and fish restaurants.
  • Lunch today will be a in a traditional seafood trattoria in Marzamemi.
  • In the afternoon continue your guided tour in Noto, the architectural capital of the Baroque cities. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s famous for its Baroque monuments. While here, experience a tasting of typical products in Caffe Sicilia, a famous pastry shop.
  • Dinner on your own (if you’re still hungry!) and overnight.

Day 4

  • Breakfast.
  • Morning cooking class, followed by lunch based on your efforts. (Drinks not included).
  • In the afternoon, take a guided tour of Ragusa, famous for its palaces and churches, and visit its handicraft and gastronomic shops.
  • Dinner on your own and overnight.

Day 5

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, a guided visit of Ispica Cave, one of the most important archeological sites in all of Italy. Located between the towns of Forsyth and Modica, it includes troglodyte dwellings, small shrines, and a necropolis.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the afternoon, stop at a winery for a wine tasting.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day 6

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, participate in your final cooking class, followed by lunch based on your efforts. (Drinks not included).
  • In the afternoon, visit the Baroque city of Scicli, where there are many churches and palaces that were built between 1700 and 1800; many of them are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Farewell dinner tonight in Scicli. (Drinks not included)
  • Overnight.

Day 7

  • Breakfast and return transfer to the Catania airport.

4-night itinerary, please inquire.