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Main Program: May 24, 2024 – June 01, 2024

Flavors of Sicily

Join us on a captivating, nine-day journey through the heart of Sicily to discover the vibrant island’s historical and cultural treasures. Explore renowned archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage sites, indulge in delicious cuisine and wine, and partake in hands-on cooking classes with celebrated chefs who share recipes and culinary techniques passed down through generations. This immersive experience promises to engage all of your senses and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


NOTE: Tour information is current as of 4/21/2024.

Program Highlights

– With your small group (maximum 22 guests), enjoy seven nights in the luxury and elegance of your private villa, Don Arcangelo all'Olmo.

– Work side-by-side in the kitchens of distinguished chefs, learning time-tested techniques and modern twists with ingredients grown in the mineral-rich, volcanic soil of Mount Etna’s fertile lowlands.

– Spend time exploring the coastal towns of Taormina and Siracusa—including a stop at a local outdoor market.

– Visit Benanti, a family-owned boutique winery with a strong international focus, and winner of over 80 awards since 1994.

– Stop by the Donnafugata winery for a tasting and lunch.

– Visit Sicily’s archaeological masterpieces—the ancient theatres of Taormina and Siracusa, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Villa Romana del Casale mosaics in Piazza Armerina.

– Explore Mount Etna, a natural marvel and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

– Day after day, experience the fusion of tradition and modernity, and see for yourself how Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, German, French, and Spanish influences have formed this magnificent island of fertility.

What's Included

  • 7 nights accommodations at Don Arcangelo all'Olmo villa (or similar)
  • A special welcome reception, 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 7 dinners served with wine
  • Full services of an Orbridge Travel Director in addition to expert local guides
  • All private tours and unique small-group excursions noted on the 9-day itinerary
  • Intimate cooking classes with celebrated chefs
  • In-depth, guided exploration of Sicily’s main attractions—Taormina, Mount Etna, Villa Romana del Casale, Siracusa, and Ortigia
  • Private motor coach transportation
  • Luggage porterage
  • Gratuities to Orbridge Travel Director, local guides, drivers, porters, and wait staff for included meals
  • Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times

Itinerary

Day 1: En Route from U.S.
Friday, May 24, 2024

Day 2: Arrive Catania, Sicily | Giarre
Saturday, May 25, 2024
Settle in at Don Arcangelo all'Olmo, an enchanting villa featuring lush gardens and views of Mount Etna. Explore the property before becoming acquainted with your travel companions during dinner served with Sicilian wines and specialties of the region.
Overnight: Don Arcangelo all'Olmo (R,D)

Day 3: Taormina
Sunday, May 26, 2024
Spend the day touring Taormina, an idyllic town perched on a rocky hillside. With your local guide, delight in exploring the town's network of winding streets and ancient Greek theatre—one of Sicily's most picturesque and well-preserved. Charming streets open to stunning panoramas of popular beaches, the warm Ionian Sea, and snow-capped Mount Etna. This afternoon, stroll down the pedestrian-only Corso Umberto with leisure time to discover the lively shops and restaurants.
Overnight: Don Arcangelo all'Olmo (B,D)

Day 4: Piazza Armerina
Monday, May 27, 2024
Today visit Sicily's archaeological masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Villa Romana del Casale. During a guided tour, explore the famous 4th-century site that offers the best preserved and most extensive examples of Roman mosaics in the world. The villa offers a glimpse into a wealthy Sicilian family's lifestyle from centuries past. 
Overnight: Don Arcangelo all'Olmo (B,L,D)

Day 5: Viagrande | Catania
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
This morning, browse the colorful and culture-rich outdoor street market in nearby Catania, a local tradition dating back to the 9th century. Then venture to Benanti, an award-winning winery, for a unique cooking lesson followed by a vineyard tour and wine tasting.
Overnight: Don Arcangelo all'Olmo (B,L,D)

Day 6: Siracusa | Ortigia
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Welcome to the historic city of Siracusa, a 2,700-year-old fortified seaport founded by Greek Corinthians and Teneans. During the Athenian Empire, Siracusa rivaled Athens in size and importance.  Cicero described Siracusa as the greatest and most beautiful of the Greek city-states. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it features many structures dating back to the 5th century B.C. Visit the storied island of Ortigia, the heart of the ancient city. See the massive Greek theater as well as the “Ear of Dionysius”—the famous stone quarry nearby. In the old city, the kaleidoscopic markets overflow with local seafood, dairy, meat, and succulent produce, such as ruby-red tomatoes, tender figs, and dark green capers.
Overnight: Don Arcangelo all'Olmo (B,D)

Day 7: Mount Etna
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Today you can opt to visit Sicily's greatest natural attraction, Mount Etna—another UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highest active volcano in Europe. Lovingly known locally as "The Etna," at almost 11,000 feet, it has four craters at the summit and more than 300 vents on the flanks. Marvel at its enormity as you take in its unique, dominant features and view the destruction of previous eruptions and lava flows.

Guests opting to relax at the villa in the morning instead of taking part in the high-elevation hike up to 9,580 feet can rejoin the group in the afternoon for a wine tasting and delicious lunch at Donnafugata. This family created winery leads you in a sensory discovery of wines from precious small productions and gastronomic specialties through genuine Sicilian hospitality. 
Overnight: Don Arcangelo all'Olmo (B,L,D)

Day 8: Taormina
Friday, May 31, 2024
After a leisurely morning, travel to Villa Britannia to experience a hands-on cooking class of traditional Sicilian fare with a celebrated chef who selects only locally grown, hand-picked ingredients to concoct a unique menu for the group. You'll have an opportunity to create a variety of mouth-watering dishes made from the freshest ingredients chosen daily. These might include: marinated prawns, caponata, pasta alla Norma, seafood risotto, zuppa di pesce, veal rolls, chicken alla cacciatore, and desserts, such as Sicilian cassata, tiramisu, and crespelle.

Following the cooking class, enjoy a farewell luncheon and wine pairing at Villa Britannia on the terrace with views of the sea and Taormina. Celebrate capping off a fabulous week of new memories and adventures.
Overnight: Don Arcangelo all'Olmo (B,L,D)

Day 9: Giarre | Catania | Depart for U.S.
Saturday, June 1, 2024
After breakfast, guests departing during the suggested times take a complimentary transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level

Moderate

Activities are generally not very strenuous, however, we expect that guests on this program can enjoy two hours or more of walking, are sure-footed on cobbled surfaces, and can walk up and down hillsides and stairs without assistance. Historic city centers are usually more accessible by foot than vehicle. Due to the structure of some buildings, facilities for the disabled may be limited. Also, dexterity to use kitchen tools and participate in lessons is not necessary, but adds to the enjoyment of this program.

Your Guide(s)

Stefania Meloni — Insider, Interpreter, Epicure, Host

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Stefania's love for the food, wine, art, culture, and places of Italy can only be compared with her enthusiasm for sharing new and enriching experiences with others. When not traveling, Stefania enjoys cooking and sharing recipes with her friends.

Accommodations

Don Arcangelo all’Olmo

May 25 - May 31

Don Arcangelo all’Olmo, lovingly known as L’Olmo, is a Think Exquisite villa from the award-winning villa company, The Thinking Traveller, and it sits serenely between Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. Once a farm building on a wine-producing estate, the property was painstakingly restored to create the grand villa that exists today.

Guests will experience authentic Sicilian hospitality with true personal attention, as the villa is exclusive for our small group.

Property Amenities: Fine dining featuring locally sourced ingredients, complimentary Wi-Fi, large sitting area with open fireplace, TVs in the living area of the main house and in the Casa all'Olmo, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, colorful gardens, and fitness room.

Classic Double: Impeccably designed for comfort, these rooms are located in Casa all'Olmo—a superbly restored farm house next to the main building.

Deluxe Double: Spacious and bright, these classically appointed rooms are in Casale, the main building.

Room Amenities: Air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, iPod docking station, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

NOTE: This property does not have an elevator.

(Accommodations subject to change.)

Terms and Conditions