Is Cooking & Adventure on the Islands of Sicily For Me?

Please read this page carefully to make sure it is a right fit for you. This is one of our most immersive and adventurous vacations.

  1. Your Disposition - Our vacations are focused on having a good time with new friends. Everything we do revolves around that. People seeking a self-centered vacation might reconsider. Our groups tend to span all ages, men & women, singles & couples... everyone is welcome, and when our guests come ready to embrace a new culture, look forward to trying new things, and interact with other guests, it is always amazing. Even the way our guests see us is important. If you see us as "providers of a service", you may reconsider our trips. We bring you into our family and become part of the group with you... as though you are visiting friends and family. If you are able to be in this frame of mind, our trips will be like nothing you have ever experienced, but if you are looking for a more detached relationship with us, our trips may not be for you.
  2. Be Ready to Embrace the Culture - Our trips focus on bringing you into the true culture of the place, but some guests want to see it, but not live it. We embrace the culture and do things the way locals do, which may or may not be what you are looking for. This includes little things like not having cappuccino with our meals (Italians only have cappuccino as a breakfast beverage), not having bacon and eggs for breakfast (Italians have coffee or tea and pastries), or larger things, like the fact that we have most of our dinners after 8:00 PM, like the Italians do. Every step of the way we adapt to the local culture, rather than asking the local culture to adapt to us. This also tends to make us much more welcome guests than other groups!
  3. If You Suffer Sea Sickness - Please remember we are on the islands, and will be on boats for several days during this trip. If the seas are rough, we will always let you know what to epect if you need to take medication, or may want to sit a part of a day out.
  4. EXPECT and EMBRACE Changes in the Schedule - The weather can be unpredictable, and some things on our itinerary simply cannot be done in certain weather conditions. For example, on the day we go to Marettimo, and the day we go to Fishing, if the sea conditions are not right for boating, we simply cannot boat. In such cases, we do our best to find alternatives. However, poor weather on an island vacation can happen, and it does unfortunately limit options.

    There are, however, some things that we may change from time to time that ARE within our control. For example, there may be a special festival event happening in a nearby town. Or we may have a unique opportunity to participate in local activities, such as harvesting. These are often the kinds of things that come up on the fly with a phone call. They are rare, but they do happen. These are the times that we make a call based on our experience, because if we look for a unanimous vote among the guests on something they cannot imagine until they have experienced, we will never get a consensus. An example of this happens on our Tuscany trips in the Autumn. We may get a call telling us we can go harvest wine grapes. When that happens, we always cancel whatever we were doing that day and go harvest. Our reasoning is simple: Our name is "Culture Discovery", and we are all about unique experiences that you would never be able to otherwise have. You can visit that town on the itinerary again, but when will you have the chance to harvest those Tuscan grapes?
  5. Physical Intensity - You by no means need to be athletic for this vacation, but you must be able to handle some level of physical exertion. A good rule to follow would be to ask yourself if you can do three flights of stairs, then continue walking without needing to sit down for a while.

  6. Age Concerns - We have had guests as old as 90 years old with no problems whatsoever. Age is not a limiting factor, so long as you are in good physical condition with no health problems that exertion would complicate.
  7. Altitude - Most of the week we are at sea level.
  8. Walking, Bus & Boat Time - In Italy, walking is always a larger concern than it probably is back home. This is because the towns are ancient, and much is closed to vehicle traffic. Some guests are also concerned about how much time they will spend in a bus. There is very little bus time on this trip, as we will be spending most of the time on the islands. Some short Island hopping trips by boat will happen.

Total Walking, Bus & Boat Time for the Week

  • Total Walking All Week: ~ 4 miles (6.5 km)
    This is the total for the entire week, not per day.
  • Total Time in Bus All Week: ~ 2 hours
    This is the total for the entire week, not per day, and does not include transfers at beginning and end of the week.
  • Total Time in Boat All Week: ~ 5 1/2 hours
    This is the total for the entire week.

Special Needs we can (and cannot) cater to on our Sicily Vacation

Physical Limitations You must be able to walk up to a mile and do at least a few flights of stairs in order to come on this trip in order to go on the excursions.

If you suffer motion sickness, please consider that we will be spending time on boats, and we cannot guarantee sea conditions. Furthermore, much of the driving is along very winding roads.
Food Limitations We can cater to most food allergies, vegetarian diets, and to some extent kosher diets. We will substitute with other dishes if you let us know in advance. We can even cater to a gluten-free diet. Our cooking class menus will not change based on a guest's food limitations, but even in the classes, we can usually offer alternatives to eat. That said, if you do have limitations, it is important that you have a positive attitude about it. We are happy to substitute, but the variety of alternatives may be limited. For those that do not eat seafood, there will always be non-seafood options, but they will be somewhat limited.