Italy Cooking Vacations: Elegant Taormina and The Eastern Coast
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Elegant Taormina and The Eastern Coast
Taormina (Sicily)

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About the location: Situated high above the Ionian Sea on Sicily’s eastern coast, the ancient city of Taormina is a picturesque place that has inspired artists, writers, and tourists for centuries. But the breathtaking view of the sea isn’t the only thing to love about this magical city. The town has been called the “greatest work of art and nature,” according to Goethe, and with its Greek colonial ruins, mild climate, and snow-capped Mount Etna, it’s not hard to see why. Discover this paradise in this Italian culinary vacation.

About the accommodations: The 4-star Hotel Villa Diodoro’s namesake, the Greek historian Diodoro Siculo, once told stories about travelers seeking beauty, sun, art and culture — and finding all of those things in Taormina.

The elegant hotel still retains its historical roots, and offers a beautiful pool with stunning views of both Mount Etna and the bay of Naxos. The 102 spacious and stylish hotel rooms offer modern amenities as well as wonderful views of the surrounding area. While the hotel is perched on a cliff, access to a private beach is available with a free shuttle.

About the classes: Explore Sicilian cooking in three unique Italian cooking classes. The first class will be in Catania, including a visit to the amazing fish market. Another will be on Mount Etna, and the third in Taormina at the Villa Britannia. In all your cooking classes, you’ll discover the wonderful flavors and traditions of Italian and Sicilian cooking.

Elegant Taormina and The Eastern Coast Itinerary

Day 1

  • Meet your driver at Catania airport and transfer to Taormina.
  • Check-in to the 4-star Hotel Villa Diodoro.
  • Time on your own to explore the historical center of Taormina.
  • Dinner at a local restaurant (drinks not included) and overnight.

Day 2

  • Following breakfast, head to Catania for a visit of the fish market and your first cooking lesson with Loredana.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a half-day Godfather tour, which includes a visit to the small village of Savoca, the main location for the Godfather movie. You will also see Bar Vitelli, where Michael (Al Pacino) lived in Sicily, as well as the amazing 17th-century Villa “deli Schivai,” otherwise known as the Corleone house.
  • Return to Taormina for dinner on your own and overnight.

Day 3

  • Breakfast
  • Experience a full day excursion to Siracusa, where you will see the historical city center Ortigia and the beautiful city’s most known sites.
  • Return to Taormina for dinner on your own and overnight.

Day 4

  • Breakfast.
  • Experience a full-day visit to the highest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna.
  • Transfer to a special wine estate “Barone di Villagrande” near Milo. This picture-perfect family-owned estate dates back to 1727 and produces first-rate wines. Explore the winery and cellar as well, and of course enjoy a tasting of wines accompanied by a light lunch.
  • Return to the hotel in the afternoon for some free time in Taormina.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day 5

  • For those on the 4-night program, breakfast and return transfer to Catania airport.
  • For those on the 6-night program, following breakfast, depart for Castiglione di Sicilia, a village under Mount Etna.
  • In the late morning, for your second cooking class, Chef Mariolina will help you prepare a traditional Sicilian lunch, which you’ll then enjoy in the amazing rooms of the estate il Tanaceto.
  • Return to Taormina for dinner on your own and overnight.

Day 6

  • After breakfast, your third hands-on cooking class, this time at the Villa Britannia with their chef.
  • Lunch to follow.
  • Private transfer service back to the hotel for some time on your own to use the hotel’s panoramic pool or the private beach.
  • Farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
  • Overnight.

Day 7

  • After breakfast, transfer to Catania airport.