Authentic Sicilian Experience for the Food Lover

As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, the land of Sicily is a treasure, and not just when it comes to history, architectural beauty, complex culture, and diverse landscape, but also for its extremely high quality food. From the towering Mount Etna to the gorgeous blue coastline, explore everything that this Italian island has to offer in this special 7-night Italian cooking vacation.

Your culinary adventure will take you from big bustling towns like the city of Palermo, full of ancient grandeur, to charming, medieval towns and attractions. Discover the archeological beauty of extraordinary ruins from Greek civilization. Experience rich traditional Sicilian dishes, as well as wines in local vineyards.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Scott & Jennifer
Virginia
Trip taken June 2018
We had an excellent experience. Our guide, Paulo, did an A+ job. We enjoyed each of the locations for their merits and each of the teachers we encountered. We also learned much about Sicily beyond its cuisine.

Trip Details

In addition to tastings of local olive oil, chocolates, and wines, experience traditional Sicilian food first hand by making it in 3 hands-on cooking classes!

  • Your first cooking lesson takes place in Palermo, where you’ll visit the local bustling food market and then return to Chef Vincenzo’s kitchen to learn how to create traditional Sicilian dishes.
  • The second class is in a local Modica restaurant, where you’ll learn to prepare popular recipes in the region.
  • The third hands-on class is in Taormina.

In all classes, learn true Sicilian cooking from true Sicilians!


We Can Help Plan It All

Flights, additional nights and tours, Transportation, and Much More

We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

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Itinerary

Day One

Sample itinerary: order of activities subject to change depending on season, weather, and specific dates booked.

  • Arrival at Palermo airport.
  • Transfer at pre-arranged time to Palermo city and check in to a charming four-star hotel.
  • For those arriving early in the day, an optional tour. (Cost not included in program; please inquire).
  • Dinner on your own and overnight.

Day Two

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Begin your first hands-on cooking class with a trip to one of Palermo’s historic and bustling markets. Once back in the restaurant with your fresh ingredients, Chef Vincenzo will teach you about creating typical Sicilian dishes, such as zucca all’agro or veal scaloppine with Marsala wine. Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon depart for Cefalù, a charming town that became prosperous when the Normans captured it in 1063. It was Roger II, King of Sicily, that began the construction of the present Cathedral with its remarkably fine mosaics of Byzantine art. The image of Christ Pantocrator in the apse and the rest of the mosaics in the first spaces between the arches of the choir are among the most beautiful in the world.
  • Return to the hotel, dinner on your own, and overnight.

Day Three

  • Transfer to Erice, a nearby medieval town, located at the top of a mountain, which is set 751 meters above sea level and overlooks the whole Western region, the Mediterranean Sea and the Egadi Islands. Walking tour of its characteristic historical centre.
  • Lunch on your own in Erice.
  • In the afternoon, depart for Marsala for a wine tasting at a top-rated winery.
  • Continue on to Agrigento, check in at the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Four

  • After breakfast in the hotel, time to visit Agrigento.
  • Experience a guided tour of the beautiful Valley of the Temples, one of the most representative sites of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean area. Visit the Temple of Hercules, Juno, Castor and Pollux as well as the wonderful Temple of Concord.
  • Transfer to Piazza Armerina to visit a Roman villa.
  • Lunch on your own in Piazza Armerina.
  • Check in at a hotel in Modica. Dinner on your own and overnight.

Day Five

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • In the morning, start your second half-day cooking lesson in a local restaurant, where you will learn how to prepare some of the most popular and essential local recipes. Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon, visit a 16th century Baglio for some wine, olive oil, and cheese tasting.
  • End the day with a chocolate tasting on the way back to the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own and overnight in Modica.

Day Six

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Depart for Siracusa, which during the Greek Age was one of the most powerful cities on the island. Visit the archaeological zone of the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Ear of Dionysus and the Latomie. Walk through the historical center on the Ortigia Island to admire the Cathedral, the Arethusa fountain and the ancient streets.
  • Lunch at a local trattoria.
  • In the afternoon, transfer to Taormina. Check in at the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own and overnight in Taormina.

Day Seven

  • Following breakfast, start your last hands-on cooking lesson with a chef in Taormina at the Villa Britannia. All participants will help prepare the dishes for the meal. At the end of the cooking lesson, enjoy lunch.
  • In the afternoon, time to explore Taormina on your own.
  • Dinner on own and overnight in Taormina.

Day Eight

  • Breakfast, and departure transfer to Catania airport.

Trip Details

Included in the 7-Night Trip

Accommodations

7 nights accommodations in 4* superior hotels (2 in Palermo, 1 in Agrigento, 2 in Modica, and 2 in Taormina)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast.
  • 5 lunches (drinks not included)
  • Food visits and tastings as per itinerary

Classes & Instructors

In addition to tastings of local olive oil, chocolates, and wines, experience traditional Sicilian food first hand by making it in 3 hands-on cooking classes!

  • Your first cooking lesson takes place in Palermo, where you’ll visit the local bustling food market and then return to Chef Vincenzo’s kitchen to learn how to create traditional Sicilian dishes.
  • The second class is in a local Modica restaurant, where you’ll learn to prepare popular recipes in the region.
  • The third hands-on class is in Taormina.

In all classes, learn true Sicilian cooking from true Sicilians!

Excursions

  • Market visit in Palermo
  • Excursion to Cefalù
  • Visit of Erice
  • Marsala winery visit and tasting
  • Guided visit of the Valley of the Temples and Piazza Amerina
  • Visit of Siracusa
  • Excursion to Mt. Etna winery

Transfer Details

  • Arrival transfer from Palermo airport
  • Return transfer to Catania airport

Miscellaneous

  • Transportation by private car or minibus for the whole tour

Not Included

  • Drinks during meals
  • Entrance fees to archeological sites and museums

Accommodation Information

In the heart of Palermo, Hotel Garibaldi is a stylish hotel situated near some wonderful shopping. The 71 rooms feature independent a/c, as well as satellite TV, telephone, internet, safe, minibar, and hairdryer. _(Depending on the week an alternate 4* hotel might be proposed.)_

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Centrally located close to historical sites and the Mediterranean Sea, the Kaos Hotel was once an ancient aristocratic house. Today, it’s surrounded by a beautiful garden and tennis courts. The hotel’s 105 rooms include air conditioning, telephone, minibar, flat screen LCD TV, mini bar, and safety box. _(Depending on the week an alternate 4* hotel might be proposed.)_

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The elegant Palazzo Failla, once a noble Sicilian mansion, is located in Upper Modica not far from the city’s center. The 10 rooms offer modern conveniences, including satellite TV, minibar, hair dryer, radio, safe, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and telephone. _(Depending on the week an alternate 4* hotel might be proposed.)_

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The Hotel Villa Diodoro is just steps from the beautiful town of Taormina, and it’s pool overlooks the stunning Mount Etna. Renovated in 2008, all 102 spacious rooms are inspired by the natural habitat surrounding the hotel, and many offer incredible views of the area. _(Depending on the week an alternate 4* hotel might be proposed.)_

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


High Season Pricing:
April through October

7-night Program
US$3750 per person based on double occupancy
  • Subtract US$450 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Single occupancy rates: please inquire.

Low Season Pricing:
November through March

7-night Program
US$3390 per person based on double occupancy
  • Subtract US$290 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people. Other start dates also possible, please inquire.

†Join a week others have confirmed.

2019
February 2-9
February 9-16
February 16-23
February 23-March 2
March 2-9
March 9-16
March 16-23
March 23-30
March 30-April 6
April 6-13
April 13-20
April 20-27
April 27-May 4
May 4-11
May 11-18
May 18-25
May 25-June 1
June 1-8
June 8-15
June 15-22
June 22-29
June 29-July 6
July 6-13
July 13-20
July 20-27
July 27-August 3
August 3-10
August 10-17
August 17-24
August 26-31
August 31-September 7
September 7-14
September 14-21
September 21-28
September 28-October 5
October 6-13†
October 12-19
October 19-26
October 26-November 2
November 2-9
November 9-16
November 16-23
November 23-30
November 30-December 7
December 7-14
December 14-21
December 21-28

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Scott & Jennifer
Virginia
Trip taken June 2018
We had an excellent experience. Our guide, Paulo, did an A+ job. We enjoyed each of the locations for their merits and each of the teachers we encountered. We also learned much about Sicily beyond its cuisine.
No rating given with this review
We liked it all. Paolo our guide shared his knowledge of Sicily. He shared the history of important landmarks as we toured. He felt like family to us. Our cooking experiences were fun and we learned how to cook very interesting meals. We even went to the market in Palermo and bought the food for our cooking class. We were treated to local restaurants, wineries, and olive oil producers. They all spent time with us and we felt like we experienced a family meal with them. The hotels were beautiful and the people who worked within them were accommodating. We did not want to come home. Robert & Diane B., NV
No rating given with this review
Our trip to Sicily was fantastic! And not the least because of Paolo, our great guide. He is knowledgeable, charming and fun and takes care of everything. He is the best! Judy and Mel Z., IL
No rating given with this review
Sicily was more that we could have expected. It is an intriguing, beautiful island, great food and wine, wonderful sights and we were lucky enough to have Paolo as our guide during our time. I cannot imagine doing such a trip without him! Margie and Sandy M., FL
No rating given with this review
I thought Sicily was a fabulously unique country with much to offer - culturally, gastronomically. The people were warm and inviting and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I felt the small size of our group helped make the experience more personal. The three cooking classes were wonderful - each unique in its own way. Our guide Paolo was great, and although he fell ill half way through the trip, he managed to find replacements to finish the trip. I understand we had to travel from town to town, although sometimes the long car rides were tiresome. I especially liked Modica and Siracusa. The one glitch in my trip was the fact that Alitalia lost my suitcase both on the trip over as well as on the trip home. Marguerite & Erika D., NJ
No rating given with this review
Paolo was the highlight of our experience...we absolutely loved the chefs he took us to, Vincenzo, Katia, Colette and Pietro...Paolo was the finest young man in personality, historical knowledge of Sicily, and of culinary customs. He made the trip the absolutely wonderful one it was. Except for Vincenzo however, we have received none of the recipes we either worked on (Katia) or shared (Colette and Pietro)...I am waiting after writing to them, but would appreciate your helping me obtain the specific dishes we shared with each. My husband and friends are waiting for me to share what I learned...I need the recipes.. Thank you. Also, the shared room I had with my friend was less than acceptable in two hotels, with a single queen bed for the two of us. Diane B., FL _Response from The International Kitchen:_ Thank you for your feedback, etc., about the recipes. We booked and confirmed rooms with two beds at all the hotels. We wish you had advised us or Paolo, and we would have made sure to have your room changed to twin beds!
No rating given with this review
Planning. Having no idea what I was looking for, it was great to speak to Karen who came up with a great idea for us. I think she prepared me for what to expect and it was a great choice for us. My daughter and I will always remember this trip. The itinerary: I thought the itinerary was very well planned, it was diverse and mixed culture with culinary experiences. Paolo- was fantastic, he was a pleasure to be around, informative, accommodating. We couldn't have been happier with him Cooking: We were only able to have two cooking experiences- both were fantastic. I wouldn't have changed anything. Both said we could email them for recipes. I haven't had a chance to do that. I think it would be great for that to be already part of the experience (even with other Sicilian recipes might be a nice idea) Was disappointed that our last chef was ill so we missed that option (perhaps there should be back ups to each chef available?) All the other visits were great. Accommodations: I felt this was the weakest part of the experience. As I told Paolo, I thought that he and the chefs/tours were first class but I thought the accommodations were very moderate. I really think the guests should be given an option to upgrade to 5 stars for a set amount of $$. I think I would have done that in retrospect. I know these are all 4 star properties but most don't feel that way. I went property by property with Paolo and each had an explanation. Palermo property, Ok rooms, I guess ok location, horrible front desk/ breakfast lobby area, felt very moderate tour operator hotel. Argiento- I know we weren't in his typical hotel- the one we stayed in felt stuck in 1969, again felt very British tour operator locale. Modica- clearly dated hotel but we had a lovely room so I liked that one, probably the best Taormina- better than expected but still not stylish. I loved the lunch at the olive press, I didn't love the fancy lunch we had near Agrigento (but I am not a super foodie). I would have loved to see the Roman Villa but there was a torrential downpour. liked the valley of the temples. Glad Paolo took us to see the cathedral in Palermo. Siracusa prettiest city. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] as mentioned above Karen was very helpful planning. All others we spoke to were helpful as well. I was surprised that this email didn't have the week I got back (think it should be closer to the trip) Lisa O., NY
_Response from The International Kitchen:_ Thank you for your feedback! We will definitely look into adding an option for a 5-star hotel upgrade!
No rating given with this review
Our guide, Paolo Gallo, made this trip very special for us. He has a great knowledge of all things Sicilian and a great love of the island that he was keen to share with us. We were sorry to part at the end of the trip. The choice of places to visit was very good. We particularly enjoyed the visit to the Valley of the Temples and the Roman Villa at Casale. All three cooking classes were excellent and a lot of fun. Each showcased a different aspect of Sicilian cooking. The chefs were generous with their responses to our questions. We were a little anxious about the class with Pietro until we met him a found him to be the most humble and genuine of people who was keen to share his insights with a couple of amateurs. We will go home inspired to recreate some of the recipes. Our one minor gripe was the hotel Kaos. We don't enjoy isolated hotels where the only food options are in the hotel. It was also the only place that charged for WiFii. On the other hand the hotel in Modica was a great place to stay. [Regarding the information packet:] Info was fine. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] We dealt through a travel agent so don't have direct experience, but everything worked smoothly. Denis & Helen C., Australia
_Response from The International Kitchen:_ We're glad you had such a fabulous time in Sicily with Paolo! Thank you for your feedback about the hotel. We will let Paolo know.
No rating given with this review
The trip was great. I especially enjoyed meeting with the chefs and having the real experience of being in their kitchen. The first chef took us to the local market and selected the items that would be our lunch and we also were able to try samples. Then we went back to his restaurant where he gave each of us superb instruction and guidance. After our efforts we enjoyed a lovely lunch and also got to share the meal with his mother. The next 2 chefs prepared the meals in their cooking schools. It was also a wonderful experience to try new dishes and enjoy the meal with the chefs. I will never forget this experience. It was truly wonderful. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Yes, I was very satisfied with the service. Millita R., VA
No rating given with this review
My daughter found this trip....we were so excited! We were led by the hand through the entire process and everyone seemed to help us. We felt taken care of for sure! Every place we went there was someone there to meet us and happy to take us where we needed to be. The guides were all so very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about telling us everything they could. The TIK staff was perfect! In fact, they seemed like friends. They almost seemed as excited as we were to take our trip. They were always available and VERY willing to answer our questions and provide any information or materials we needed. My only guilt at this point is never having taken a picture with our darling aprons!! That will yet happen Karolyn, CA