Mangia with Michele Sicily Culinary Vacation

Sicily Cooking Vacation

The highlight of any vacation in Sicily is, undoubtedly, its delicious regional FOOD, and we are looking forward to helping you experience just that on this small-group, all-inclusive 8-day, Sicily culinary vacation as Mangia With Michele and Food Lover’s Odyssey partner up in 2019!!

Join us on the ultimate foodie vacation in Sicily as we explore and enjoy all the distinct culinary and cultural footprints that the various conquerors have left on this Mediterranean Island, while staying at a 4-star hotel in Syracuse, just minutes from the beach and the city’s famous market on Ortigia Island.

Chefs Kathy and Michele have personally curated all experiences and culinary adventures for you, making sure all meals and activities are authentic, fun, delicious and memorable!

We’ll enjoy crafted food, wine and dining experiences with locals, including cooking classes, food and market tours, cheese, pastry and chocolate tastings and a winery visit at the foothills of breathtaking Mt. Etna! The food will surely be amazing as Sicily has some of the most diverse and interesting cuisine and pastries in all of Italy.

There will also be time to explore the sights while eating your way around the eastern side of the island — we’ll ascend to the top of Mt. Etna, explore the Baroque beauties of Modica and Noto, and visit picturesque Taormina and its Greek Theater, perched high above the sea.

This is a small-group vacation, with space limited to only 12 people, so you will get the attention you deserve and be able to enjoy this immersive adventure like a local!

And, if you would ALSO like to see the bustling capital city of Sicily, Palermo, with all its yummy street food, regional fare, one-of-a-kind markets and more, you should join us on the optional 3-day excursion to Palermo in the northwest part of the island, which will take place prior to each week-long vacation. Please ask about this add-on at the time of booking!

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CITIES, TOWNS AND SIGHTS YOU’LL VISIT

Syracuse  –  Taormina  –  Mt. Etna  –  Noto  –  Modica

 

THE COOKING CLASSES, FOOD TOURS AND WINERY VISITS

Immerse yourself in the cuisine and culture of Sicily through its food and wine! Highlights of our week-long culinary adventure include:

  • Three hands-on cooking classes with local Italian mammas
  • An introduction to the wines of Mt. Etna through both a guided winery tour and a wine-paired lunch.
  • A very fun food and market tour in beautiful Ortigia.
  • Two guided pastry tastings — one in Taormina and one in the Baroque city of Modica, including a cannoli demonstration!
  • A sampling of the cheeses of the area during a guided cheese tasting.
  • A lesson on how the famous and unique Modicana chocolate is made.

 

MANGIA WITH MICHELE

Italian food blogger and culinary pro Michele Di Pietro is the creator of ‘Mangia With Michele’, the expression of her personal passion and (self-admitted) obsession with all things Italian and Italian-American food-related. She serves up innovative, classic, casual and family-style inspiration and nostalgia in La Cucuina Italiana regularly on her Instagram page of the same name and, coming soon, on her website. As an Italian-American that started cooking at the age of 5 alongside her mom, grandmom and aunts, she not only has had a full professional culinary career developing creative menus and recipes for some of the country’s best known food establishments, but has also always been an avid home cook with strong ties to her Sicilian and Abruzzese roots. She is most happy and satisfied when she is cooking for and breaking bread with family and friends. These ties and sentiments, along with her passion for sharing both food and food experiences with others, led her to create ‘Mangia With Michele’ and  why we are partnering with her to bring you the best tastes and culinary adventures in Sicily together. She cannot wait to meet and explore La Cucina Siciliana with you in 2019!

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DATES AND PRICING 

EARLY-BOOKING SALE: Book one of these vacations below before November 20, 2018 and SAVE $150 per person.

2019 Vacation Dates:

  • May 11 – 18, 2019 (Must book by January 31, 2019) (Only 8 spaces left)
  • October 5 – 12, 2019 (Must book by March 31, 2019)

Vacation Price:

$4,395 per person (based upon double occupancy)
Single Supplement Charge = $600

Minimum/Maximum Group Size: 6/12 People

Minimum Age: 18 years old

BOOKING AND PAYMENT:

  • To secure your spot on the trip, a non-refundable deposit of $1,250 per person is required.
  • The remaining balance is due 90 days prior to vacation start date.
  • You can make payments by credit card, bank transfer, or check.

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INCLUDED IN YOUR SICILY CULINARY VACATION:

  • 7 nights accommodation at a 4-star luxury boutique hotel in Syracuse.
  • 2 private, round-trip transfers from/to the Catania Airport and the hotel.
  • All transportation for included activities during the vacation.
  • All meals, which include: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners. (Wine included with all lunches and dinners.)
  • Three fun, hands-on cooking classes with local Italian mammas.
  • Private historical walking tours with local guides of Taormina, Syracuse and the Baroque cities of Noto and Modica.
  • Food & Market Tour in Ortigia – complete with tastings and a market lunch.
  • Two Sicilian pastry shop visits with guided tastings.
  • Winery visit and a wine-paired lunch at the foot of breathtaking Mt. Etna.
  • Guided walking tour atop Mt. Etna.
  • Full-time access for the entire vacation of your group leaders, Chefs Kathy & Michele.
  • Food Lover’s Odyssey apron & recipe book.
  • Mangia With Michele recipes.
  • Special pricing on an optional 3-night excursion to Palermo in northwest Sicily, to take place prior to this culinary vacation. (Please inquire about this at the time of booking.)
  • Alumni Reward: Receive $200 credit towards your next Food Lover’s Odyssey Vacation.
  • Assistance with your travel arrangements from the U.S. to Catania, Italy, and with any other pre- and post-tour travel arrangements you would like to make.

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WHAT PREVIOUS GUESTS HAVE SAID ABOUT OUR VACATIONS:

“We all had such a wonderful time… Grazie di cuore to YOU! We all agreed that the Amalfi Coast was fabulous… But you are the key that made this trip and our Puglia trip so memorable! Your perfect research and planning and your sweet, easy going “leadership” made the trip! Everyone wants to do it again… With you!” – Teri  (McLean,VA)

“It was truly an amazing experience and I can’t thank you enough for your expert planning down to every detail including the adorable Italian drivers/tour guides who were gentlemen in every respect. I’m sure we were quite the high maintenance bunch. All of my videos of our car rides on the Amalfi coast have a voice track of me screaming Yikes! They were amazingly patient and unflappable– as were you.” – Elizabeth (New Orleans, LA)

“BEST. TRIP. EVER.”  – Aimee (Flower Mound, TX)

“I had the best time. It was wonderful. We did so many different things, and I loved how you mixed all the fabulous food with visits to the area. The food was unbelievable. Going to the market with you was probably the most fun thing out of so many of the fabulous things that we did.” – Teri (Sparta, NJ)

 

SEE SOME PHOTOS FROM OUR VACATIONS: FLO Vacations Photo Gallery

DAY 1 – AFTERNOON ARRIVAL INTO CATANIA –  TRANSFER TO HOTEL – INTRODUCTION APERITIVO IN SYRACUSE  – WELCOME DINNER

Kathy & Michele will meet you in the afternoon at the Catania Airport. Our driver will take us to our 4-star hotel in Syracuse and you’ll have time to check-in and unpack before we meet up for an introduction to one another, review of the week’s agenda, and a refreshing before-dinner aperitivo.

Our welcome dinner together will be on Syracuse’s Ortigia Island.

 

DAY 2 – MARKET TOUR & COOKING CLASS WITH ITALIAN MAMMA – FREE TIME ON ORTIGIA ISLAND – EVENING WALK TOGETHER IN ORTIGIA AND DINNER

On the morning of Day 2, we’ll take a tour of the market in Ortigia and enjoy typical street foods with our favorite Ortigian Italian mamma, Alessia.

After our market tour, Alessia will show us how to use our purchases at the market to create a typical Sicilian meal. Lunch will be the delicious creations that we cooked up together!

After lunch, you’ll have some free time to enjoy Ortigia at your leisure. We’ll regroup in the evening for a light aperitivo and dinner together.

 

DAY 3 – MOUNT ETNA AND ITS WINES

After breakfast on Day 3, we’ll take a morning visit to Mt. Etna with a knowledgeable local guide who will take us on an exciting funicular ride to its very top, where we will walk along the craters and learn more about this active volcano.

Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a wine-paired lunch at a winery on the slopes of Mt. Etna and learn how this particular mineral-rich terroir affects the wine of the region.

We’ll return to Syracuse in the late afternoon and you’ll have free time to shop, explore, or relax before our Sicilian seafood feast tonight.

 

DAY 4  – BREAD & IMPANATA COOKING CLASS IN AN HISTORIC WATER MILL – EVENING IN ORTIGIA

On Day 4, we will spend a magical day just outside of Syracuse at an historic water mill which was used centuries ago for milling wheat. In the mill’s kitchen, you’ll learn how to make Ragusan impanatas with one of the loveliest Italian mammas ever. Lunch will be the delicious creations that we make in class. After our relaxing lunch al fresco, we’ll take a tour of the mill and the surrounding river and learn how the wheat was milled centuries ago.

 

DAY 5 – BAROQUE CITIES OF NOTO AND MODICA – SICILIAN CHOCOLATE & PASTRIES

Day 5 is all about the Baroque beauties of Sicily, UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We’ll visit the towns of Noto and Modica and marvel at their Baroque architecture. In the morning, we’ll explore Modica, also known for its unique type of chocolate. We’ll see how Modican chocolate is made and then taste it and Sicilian pastries at a local pastry shop.

Afterwards, we will make our way to Noto, another beautiful Baroque. After a guided walk through this village, we’ll enjoy a light lunch of salami and cheeses paired with local wines at an enoteca.

Tonight we’ll have a fun Sicilian dinner together.

 

DAY 6 – TAORMINA & GREEK THEATER GUIDED WALK – CANNOLI DEMONSTRATION – AFTERNOON FREE IN TAORMINA

On Day 6, we’ll spend the entire day in and around picturesque Taormina, starting with a guided walking tour of the city and a visit to its ancient Greek Theater. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy lunch at one of the best trattorias in the city. Then, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy Taormina on your own, strolling through the main street, taking the funicular to the beach and/or visiting Isola Bella.

We’ll regroup in the late afternoon for a cannoli-making demonstration and tasting.

Tonight, it’s Sicilian pizza night for our dinner together near our hotel!

 

DAY 7 –  TASTES OF SICILY COOKING CLASS – BEACH TIME – FAREWELL DINNER IN ORTIGIA

Our final day together will be all about Sicilian food. We’ll have our final cooking class with another local Italian that starts with a market tour to purchase our ingredients. Lunch will be what we create in class.

The afternoon in Syracuse will be yours to spend as you like, whether that be at the beach, on a boat ride, with a final shopping spree in Ortigia, or by relaxing at a cafe.

We’ll gather together in the evening for a farewell dinner that will be as delicious as the entire week.

 

DAY 8 – ARRIVEDERCI SICILIA – TRANSFER TO CATANIA AIRPORT

After breakfast, we will say ‘arrivederci’ to each other. Your private transfer will leave the hotel at 8:30am for the Catania Airport.

 

Please note that the sequence of classes, activities, excursions and menus may vary. The final itinerary will be given to each guest on the first day of the vacation.

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