Itinerary - Cooking & Adventure on the Islands of Sicily

Places Palermo Airport >> Trapani >> Favignana
Classes & Experiences Afternoon Cocktails

Dinner: Due Colonne Trattoria (Included)

We start our week at the Palermo (PMO) airport. We will meet at the airport arrivals at 2:30 PM and drive you to the Port of Trapani. Once there, you will board the hydrofoil to Favignana Island, where we will bring you to our accommodations for the week to get you checked in at the "Nido".

As you arrive and get settled in, you will find snacks and drinks available. At around 7PM, we will head up to a cafe in town of Favignana, meet where we get together for cocktails and discuss the days ahead while getting to know one another. After that, we'll take a little stroll around to get acquainted with this lovely village before dinner.

Tonight we will have our welcome dinner at the “Due Colonne” trattoria, a lovely place in the heart of Favignana village. We'll have time for a nice stroll and visit the local shops, then head home for the evening.

Places Favignana
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class (included) resulting in lunch
App: Sicilian Caponata
1st: Busiate Pasta from scratch with “Siciliano Pesto”
2nd: Fresh Catch of the Day, Polpette with raisins, pine nuts & cherry tomatoes
Side: Caper and Olive Salade
Dessert: Sicilian Almond Cookies


Breakfast: Mediterranean Breakfast at Nido (included)
Lunch: The meal we prepare in cooking class (included)
Dinner: La Bettola Trattoria (included)

As we wake up this morning, we will find breakfast awaiting us in the courtyard outside. We'll have local Sicilian pastries, Cappuccino, Espresso, Tea, etc. at our little courtyard snack bar. Time to get ready for the day while having breakfast overlooking the beautiful morning sea.

Around 10:00 am, we'll head up to Ivan's villa, with its stunning sea-views, for cooking class with Adelina, our chef instructor for most of the week's classes. She is so much fun and will have you cooking like a local in no time! We will don our aprons and start cooking together!

For our class today, we will prepare today's lunch:
Appetizer: Sicilian Caponata
1st Course: Busiate Pasta from scratch with “Siciliano Pesto”
2nd Course: Fresh Catch of the Day, Polpette with raisins, pine nuts & cherry tomatoes.
Side: Caper and Olive Salad
Dessert: Sicilian Almond Cookies

As always, class is 100% hands-on, so today will be a work out! Once class is over, we will sit down and enjoy the meal we prepared for lunch.

After lunch, we will go back to The Nido for some time to rest, then head back into the village in the early evening for a visit to the island’s historic (now closed) Tuna Cannery. After our private tour by the caretaker, we will spend some time strolling and shopping in town before dinner.

Dinner tonight will be at Trattoria La Bettola. This charming little restaurant will serve us one of Sicily's most traditional dishes - Frascatole. After dinner, we'll head back to the Nido for the evening as we have an early day at sea scheduled for tomorrow!

Places Favignana
Classes & Experiences

Night-Fishing with Local Fishermen (included)
Boating/Swimming Favignana (included)
Cooking Our Catch for Lunch (included)


Breakfast: At Port & At The Nido (included)
Lunch: Our Catch of the Day on the boat (included)
Dinner: Pizza on the Beach at Lido Burrone (included)

It's an earlier than usual rise this morning as we head down to the port for a wonderful experience with some local fishermen for a Sicilian fishing adventure! A light snack will be ready for us in the morning in the courtyard at the Nido before we head down to meet our local fishing guides, Rosario and Michele.

Rosario and Michele are local fishermen that do this nearly every day of their lives, just as their fathers did, and their fathers before them. We will board their little fishing boats and head out to the local waters with them to take part in the local traditions.

We will help Rosario and Michele cast their nets, enjoy the beautiful scenery as the sun rises on the sea's horizon before circling around to bring in our haul. They will also bring some focaccia on board to snack on as well!

We'll take our fresh catch and bring it back to port where the locals will revel in watching us try and sell our bounty at the local market...All while calling out in Sicilian dialect to "Come and buy our good fish!" We'll leave the rest up to the experts as we head back to the Nido to clean up and rest a bit before heading back out for our afternoon...Back on the boats!

Bring your sunscreen because when we head back to our boats, it's all fun and relaxation this time as Rosario and Michele will be doing all the heavy lifting. We'll just be basking in the sun, cruising the calm seas while we motor on the crystalline waters of this lovely little island. We'll stop at some gorgeous, serene and typically uninhabited coves for swimming and snorkeling while our hosts prepare us a wonderful lunch on board featuring many of the fish we caught this morning!

Places Favignana & Marettimo Island
Classes & Experiences

Private Excursion and Visit the Grottos and Town of Marettimo Island (included)
Sunset Dinner with Local Seafood Delicacies (included)


Breakfast: At Port & At The Nido (included)
Lunch: Panini on the boat! (included)
Dinner: Specially prepared Private Sunset Dinner (included)

A Mediterranean Breakfast will be ready for us in the morning in the courtyard at The Nido.

Bring the sunscreen again today as we'll be heading by hydrofoil to the nearby island of Marettimo. Here we will board private boats to visit the stunning grottos with their crystal blue waters and rocky

hillsides. This is a truly hidden gem, at is is incredibly reminiscent of the island of Capri, except how it must have been hundreds of years ago before the tourists arrived!. We'll also visit the charming town and see how the locals live still with centuries of tradition behind them. Marettimo was once a thriving fishing village and the ancestral home of many descendants that started much of the fishing industry in Northern California as well as Crabbing in Alaska.

Our lunch will be casual dining on panini and wine as we cruise the grottos here that seriously rival those of the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples!

After our wonderful and relaxing day out, we'll go back to Favignana for some time to enjoy the surroundings, take a hike, go to the beach or stay at the Nido before we head out to dinner.

Dinner tonight will be very special! We will meet up again with our fishermen friends, Rosario and Michele, that have prepared for us some local delicacies fresh from the sea! We'll sit dock-side, have some prosecco and wine, while we sample their daily catch!This will be a very cultural and local custom experience! Dinner will follow as we'll then have a comfortable and casual evening aboard their boat for a truly wonderful and memorable time together and dining in an exclusive setting and atmosphere.

After dinner, feel free to stay in town and enjoy the easy-going nature of island life.

Places Favignana
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class (included) resulting in lunch
1st: Gnocculi Pasta "alla Norma"
2nd: Veal Marsala
Dessert: Casatelle with Fresh Ricotta

Experience:Make Ricotta Cheese (included)
Experience:Make Local Honey (included)
Experience:Sicilian Pizza Making (included)


Breakfast: At Port & At The Nido (included)
Lunch: The meal we prepare in cooking class (included)
Private Family Dinner: At a Local Farmhouse and Grotto (included)

After breakfast, we will back over to Ivan's villa for today's cooking class.

For our class today, we will prepare today's lunch: 1st Course: Gnocculi Pasta "alla Norma"
2nd Course: Veal Marsala
Side: Roasted Potatoes
Dessert: Casatelle with Fresh Ricotta

This is a truly traditional meal that criss-crosses the island of Sicily! First, Pasta alla Norma was coined when a chef in Catania wanted to honor his hometown composer, Vincenzo Bellini, with a special preparation of the dish that lends its name to the opera, Norma. And it seems to have stuck as it is very popular and known world-wide!

Veal Marsala is prepared using wine from the western side of the island, south of Trapani.

Our dessert is delightful and delicious traditional Sicilian Casatelle that originates in Trapani, and we'll make ours with fresh ricotta made from the local producer we will be visiting this afternoon! In fact, often the Ricotta we use in our classes was made by our own group the previous week, as well as for tomorrow's class.

After class and lunch, we'll have some time to freshen up and relax before our next outing. In the late afternoon we'll be heading over to the home of a very special family that is hosting us to a fantastic and very personal experience. We will be making fresh ricotta cheese from scratch! We'll even extract delicious, local, fresh honey from their hives to use on our ricotta! They will have the wood-fire oven

burning in their private grotto where they will prepare some fresh-baked focaccia while we roll out the dough for making our very own pizzas with an abundance of toppings of fresh, seasonal ingredients! As mentioned above, some of the ricotta we make today will be used tomorrow during our class, and if we have another group here next week, they will be using our ricotta for their cooking classes!

Tonight is a rare and unique opportunity to spend time in a very casual setting with a local family and a number of their friends. We'll play some music and have an island pizza party!

Places Favignana
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class (included) resulting in lunch
1st: Eggplant Parmesan: "Sicilian-Style
2nd: Arancini (Sicilian Rice Balls)
Dessert: Cannoli with Fresh Ricottaa

Experience:The "Grigliata" (included)


Breakfast: At Port & At The Nido (included)
Lunch: The meal we prepare in cooking class (included)
Private Family Dinner: BBQ at Ivan's Villa (included)

After breakfast, we're back again over to Ivan's villa for today's cooking class.

For our class today, we will prepare today's lunch:
1st Course: Eggplant Parmesan: "Sicilian-Style" 2nd Course: Arancini (Sicilian Rice Balls) Dessert: Cannoli with Fresh Ricotta (Yes, you read that right!)

Our chef instructor, Adelina, will once again show us how the locals prepare some more of their classic cuisine and recipes. Eggplant Parmesan, while an Italian favorite throughout the country, is prepared

much differently here on the island. And who can resist the amazing Arancini? These delicious and savory rice balls filled with ragu, cheese, peas, rolled in bread crumbs and then deep-fried, have been a Sicilian favorite dating back to the 10th century!. By now you will not only now how to pronounce "Arancini" (and make them, of course), but you will even know how to pronounce in different parts of Sicily. This is important, because if you ever use the wrong pronunciation in Eastern Sicily, well.. those may be fighting words! Our dessert course will be another Sicilian classic: Cannoli!!! We will make our own from scratch and filled with the ricotta that we made yesterday! These will be the freshest and best cannoli you have ever had! Yes, even better than the ones your Sicilian Grandmother made, but we promise we'll never tell her ;-).

After another incredible home-prepared meal, we'll have some time to rest up, pack and enjoy the rest of our time at the Nido before dinner. Yes, more food! But there's plenty to do if you want to hike up to the castle above the town to get a little work-out in!

Dinner tonight will be a special farewell to Favignana as we are hosted by none other than Ivan, himself, as we are treated to a traditional Grigliata. An Italian BBQ with lots of Grilled Meats like, Pork, Ribs, Chicken along with Bruschetta and Roasted Potatoes! The meats and sausages we will be grilling tonight are something special in and of themselves. Ivan had them brought over by ferry today from Francesco Campo, Sicily's most celebrated butcher. Oh, and we will be spending an afternoon tomorrow learning how to make these sausages when we meet Francesco on mainland Sicily.

If you have been reading our other itineraries, you may have noticed that dinner on Day 6 has a common theme. This is an evening that we really break out into a true local and casual dinner party, traditional to the area we are in, and usually at a local villa or home. You never know who is going to drop by, as the whole town is welcome... Maybe the fishermen we were with, maybe the shepherd... you never quite know. And often, one of them will break out their guitar and we will find ourselves singing the night away

This will be another very relaxing evening under the stars, enjoying the island lifestyle with good friends, good food, good wine and good times!

Places Trapani - Erice - Val d'Erice - Marsala
Classes & Experiences

Sausage Making Class (included)
Harvesting Salt at the Flats (included)
Winery Visit and Tasting (included)


Breakfast: At Port & At The Nido (included)
Lunch: The Sausage & local specialties from our Sausage Class (included)
Dinner: Marsala Ristorante (included)

This morning we will be checking out of The Nido, as we will be leaving Favignana and sleeping on Mainland Sicily in Marsala for our final night. We'll have breakfast at the Nido before boarding the ferry to Trapani.

We will make our way up to the medieval city of Erice, which sits on a hill high above the Trapani coast, at about 2,400 feet above sea level. As we enter the walled city, we will suddenly feel as though we stepped back in time. Erice is full of narrow streets, cobblestones, lovely little shops, and two breathtaking castles. We'll start off our visit at the "Antica Pasticceria del

Convento", a wonderful little bakery in the village. Nuns in the convent here adopted a little girl who later left the convent. She began to make a pastry called “Genovesi”, which was something the nuns had taught her. They are filled with a pastry cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar, and this place is famous for them. We'll have some for our dessert, then give you time to wander the city, do a little shopping, and a little sightseeing.

As we leave Erice, we will head down to visit the area's most celebrated butcher, Francesco Campo, who will teach our Sicilian Sausage class. Before we begin our sausage making class, we will sample some of his local specialty cheeses and salumes. We'll then get started with our class. Today, we will make two kinds of traditional Sicilian sausage:

Boscaiola and Capricciosa

We will grill our sausage and serve it with salad, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and other Sicilian specialties for our afternoon meal.

After lunch, we will head to the Saline or Salt Flats between Trapani and Marsala.

While virtually every tourist that visits Western Sicily has "The Salt Road" on their itinerary, the most popular stop is the "Ettore Infersa" salt mill. The tourists go there, look at a museum, walk through a shop, and stand behind some gates to take pictures of the people harvesting the salt.

We'll be walking right past the tourists and through those gates. We'll be spending the day with the owners of the mill.

To start, we'll put on some rubber boots and walk out into the flats, where we will try our hand at harvesting salt ourselves. As we often say, we don't just take photos of the view... We ARE the view people are photographing! We will be the workers out there the tourists are photographing... at least for as long as we desire.

* Note: The ability to harvest salt is dependent on wind conditions and lack of rain for days before our visit. If we are unable to harvest salt, we will modify the experience based on what can be done today


Finally, we will of course visit the mill itself to get the whole experience, but far more than other tourists ever dream of.

After an amazing experience at the Salt Flats, we will have a stop at a local winery for a tasting and tour of this small producer winery. We'll learn the legends and the myths about this popular wine that is not just a dessert wine! You will be pleasantly surprised!

Some time to relax at our hotel before our farewell dinner at a local restaurant close to the hotel. After a long day, everyone is always happy about that!

Places Marsala >> Palermo Airport
Classes & Experiences n/a

Breakfast: At Departure Hotel (included)

Sadly, our week comes to a close this morning. We will provide an airport transfer for flights out of Palermo (PMO).

The Not So Fine Print:

Itinerary Subject to Change

This is a base itinerary, which is subject to minor changes before the vacation begins. Changes may be reorganization of days due to closure and festivals, changes due to weather, or seasonal changes. Additionally, these itineraries are prepared well in advance, and at times there are unexpected closures for various reasons that require us to alter the plans. In the end, our goal is always to make it better for our guests, and when substitutions happen, they are always wonderful.

Menu Variations

The menus listed on the itineraries are subject to change depending on season. We use only fresh ingredients wherever possible, so if we are unable to prepare a certain dish, it will be substituted. Occasionally we make changes to some items as certain dishes prove to be very popular.


Some places on our itineraries don't work well with cold weather or rain. We may have to have some of our meals indoors that were scheduled to be outside. When we do expect rain, we try to rearrange the schedule to make the best of it, but substitutions may be made.