Arrive by plane or boat!
Palermo stretches along a beautiful bay on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Founded by the Phoenicians in the VII and VIII centuries B.C. After the Arabs conquered the city in 831, it enjoyed a period of immense prosperity. You will love the city’s wide boulevards, traditional Sicilian Old Quarter, and baroque palaces.
Check into your hotel for the first 3 nights of your Sicilian experience.
Our local expert will have booked a hotel for you and will be more than happy to recommend a restaurant based upon your personal preference from unique modern options to traditional Sicilian cuisine.
Discover the ancient town of Palermo at your leisure or with a guide to talk and walk you through the history of the city. Visit the city's main sights, including the Norman section, Quattro Canti di Citta (the Four Corners of the City), Palermo's extravagant baroque square and the twelfth-century Duomo (Cathedral).
In the morning, Duchess Nicoletta will take you to a local open-air market, to buy fresh seasonal produce. This will be followed by a short walk through the historic streets of Palermo, to the 18th century palace by the sea where your cooking class will take place. The Duchess Nicoletta Polo will teach you how to create an entire Sicilian menu in her spacious kitchen surrounded by copper pots and traditional blue and white Sicilian tiles.
Lunch in the elegant dining room will be followed by a tour of the beautifully restored palace, the last home of Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the world-famous novel “Il Gattopardo”.
Tonight, dine in the city or at the nearby vineyard restaurant of Baglio di Pianetto.
Leave Palermo for a day of olive oil, Marsala wines and salt pools with your English-speaking driver and guide to Castelvetrano, known for its high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Visit the “Antica Tenuta Becchina” oil mill in the Valle del Belice, at the centre of 70 acres of orchards – about three thousand trees. Taste the “Becchina Green Oil”, an authentic extra virgin olive oil, and enjoy lunch in the gardens.
Return to Palermo, on the coastal road from Trapani and Marsala, known for their century old salt-pans. On the “la via del sale” (the Salt Road) you will see the many Dutch-style windmills used to pump sea water and grind the salt. Finish your day trip with a tasting of the traditional Marsala wine at the Florio winery before returning to Palermo.
Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and is the centre of the reinvention of Sicilian wines. Your driver will take you along the coastal road to the picturesque, historic town of Cefalu to explore it and enjoy a waterfront lunch.
Your luxury accommodation for the next three nights is at Monaci delle Terre Nere , a boutique hotel and winery on the Eastern slopes of Etna.
After your check in, head to the Convivium Bar for an 'aperitivo' before dining at the Locanda Nerello restaurant, where the traditional cuisine is based on fresh products from 0 kms away - their organic farm.
After dinner, taste local grappa, liqueurs and cocktails prepared by the talented house mixologist, Paolo Sanna to the sounds of traditional Sicilian songs. An evening of local color.
After the signature organic breakfast of homemade biscuits, pastries, cakes and fresh-baked bread cooked in the brick oven, accompanied by local and homemade specialities, you will be ready for an exclusive wine tasting experience under the guidance of the winery's sommelier.
An educational vineyard walk and a palmento (winery) tour will be followed by an expert-led tasting of wines from the Monaci delle Terre Nere estate and the best producers on the volcano. You will discover native varieties such as the Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, with famous names of the region such as Benanti, Frank Cornellissen, Passopisciaro and Tenuta delle Terre Nere, along with liqueurs and dessert wines such as Malvasia delle Lipari, Passito di Pantelleria, Marsala Superiore or Vecchio Samperi.
After lunch on the estate, take the afternoon to relax or explore the grounds: walk through the herb garden, the fields and roads of the 46 hectares winery and visit the farm. You can also take a private yoga lesson, enjoy a massage or just relax by the pool. For the more adventurous you can explore on horseback or on a bicycle.
Tonight, you will experience a candle lit romantic dinner on a private hill, with a breathtaking view.
The fun doesn't stop after dinner at Monaci delle Terre Nere: take in a film about Sicily by the outdoor pool, with the backdrop of the sea, or explore the beauty of bright stars by the pool, with professional astronomers and powerful telescopes.
Visit the Cottanera estate, a family property in the shadow of Mount Etna. The vines were planted on an old Hazelnut grove on the northern slopes of Mount Etna directly on lava stone, 700 metres above sea level. The situation and altitude give their signature freshness and elegance to their wines. This is the perfect place to learn about Etna wines: visit the vines and winery and discover the traditional grapes from their range of 3 white, 8 reds, 1 rosé and 1 Metodo Classico sparkling wine!
The visit will finish with a delicious light lunch of home-grown olives and sun-dried tomatoes, accompanied by Cottanera olive oil drizzled on bread baked in a wood-fired oven and a selection of local cheese, salami and a salad of local seasonal vegetables. Drink in the amazing scenery as you tuck into pasta, dessert and coffee. Not so light after all!
Visit the local seaside town of Catania for an evening by the sea
Go to Etoil D’Or, a local bar and enjoy their arancini, cipolline and pizzette, all typical dishes from Catania.
Optional Helicopter tour of Etna
You will be driven to Mount Etna, where you will enjoy a private helicopter tour lasting for around 20 minutes. Admire the beauty and power of Etna's fiery craters seen from above. Fly over the Piano Provenzana and the whole district of Etna North, reaching 3400 meters, to see the craters, the Valle del Bove and have an overall view of the volcano. Then, back to your jeep to continue on your tour to see the recent craters of Monte Nero and the Bottoniera, or walk through the Linguaglossa pine forest, crossing a corridor of lava flow.
Then, leave for Viagrande and visit the prestigious Benanti Winery, one of the first wineries in Sicily to produce high-quality wines. Enjoy their wines with lunch at the winery.
After a leisurely breakfast return to Palermo for your departure.
This marks the end of our suggested 4-day wine holiday package in Sicily. Contact our local travel expert to customize a wine holiday to your needs and preferences.