Sicilian traditional cuisine
Sicily is the land of culinary delights.
Climate, history, land and the dedication of the people, create the best possible produce, which skilful hands transform into amazing delicacies. Fruits and vegetables, both natural and cultivated in the hills, embody the warmth of the Mediterranean and therefore the taste is simply better. In this environement, also the local livestock produce meat and milk, which are then processed into cheese and sausages with unique strong flavours. Never ending specialties, all to be discovered, such as: “arancini di riso” (rise balls), “pasta alla norma” (pasta with aubergines and sheep cheese), “caponata” (a baked vegetables dish), “involtini alla messinese” (meat rolls), “paste di mandorla” (sweets made with almonds), “cannoli di ricotta” (pastries made of fresh ricotta cheese), just to mention the most common ones. Wines too are more dense, tasty and aromatic. Sicily has made the best out of its native vines: it is the region with the highest wine production in Italy. Try both the red and white wines (Nero d’Avola, Eloro, Etna, Sambuca di Sicilia, Bianco d'Alcamo, Malvasia delle Lipari, Moscato), as well as the sweet wines (Marsala, Moscato, Passito di Pantelleria, Zibibbo) and of course the local liqueurs. In Sicily enticing aromas are everywhere: the air is scented with the rosemary and seasonal fruits, which you can pick yourself on the public land; when getting closer to the coast one can smell the sea; when walking through the narrow streets of the villages, there is the smell of grilled aubergines and peppers. An abundance of delights for everyone.
Our locations have been selected also based on the scents and flavours: they are all located in the countryside, maybe surrounded by vines and olive trees orchards, they often offer a typical, unique cuisine and they produce natural and wonderfully tasty products. In our farmhouses, guesthouses, villas and B&Bs, food and wines are genuine and always home made.
Oil and Wine in Sicily
Sicily, just like Apulia, is the land of oil and wine.
With more than 100.000 hectares and a production of about 6 million hectoliters, Sicily is the main wine region in Italy in terms of vineyard surface area: Marsala, Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Etna, Ansonica, Bianco d’Alcamo, Grillo, Zibibbo, Malvasia, Eloro, Moscato, Passito, Nerello Mascalese are Sicily’s most iconic wines.
160.000 hectares of cultivated land are devoted to olive groves with a production of about 30.000 tons: Tonda Iblea, Moresca, Nocellara, Cerasuola, Biancolilla, Ogliarola and Santagatese are the olive varieties of the most famous sicilian extra virgin olive oils.
Our suggestions include a careful selection of properties, often with own winery and/or oil mill. In addition to this, we have a choice of mid-size wineries as well as small wine producers for unique wine and food tasting experiences.
Let Italia Solaris lead you through the best of Sicily!
Food & wine itinerary example in Sicily:
a 10 days tour through art, culture, food & wine
Arrival and departure: Catania / Palermo
Transportation: car, motorbike
NOTE: the following itinerary is to be considered as a mere proposal and is obviously subject to changes as per client’s request (e.g. number of days and of hotel accommodations can be reduced or the tour may just focus on a specific area in Sicily)
Day 1: Arrival at Wine country stay Etna. Visit to Taormina and Castelmola. Check Winery Murgo (in Santa Venerina) if you wish to taste white and red wines from the Etna region. Dinner in Taormina with its breathtaking view on the Bay of Naxos and on Mt. Etna (restaurant selected by Italia Solaris). As an alternative: dinner at guest house.
Day 2: Excursion tour to Mt. Etna including sampling of local products such as honey, dried fruits and sweets. Visit to the winery Scilio (Linguaglossa) and tasting of local white wine variety “Nerello”. Dinner at Trecastagni to enjoy the best meat of the Etna region (restaurant selected by Italia Solaris). As an alternative: dinner at guest house.
Day 3: Arrival at Country hotel Noto. Visit to Siracusa including a cruise on the Ciane river with its ancient papyrus plants, a unique in Europe! Visit to the winery Pupillo (Siracusa) to sample the famous “Solacium”, a Moscato DOP wine. Visit to the Baroque treasure town, Noto (also a Unesco World Heritage site). Dinner in Noto or in Siracusa: try the typical “pasta alla norma” or the delicious fish ravioli (restaurants selected by Italia Solaris).
Day 4: Modica: The chocolate Baroque town (the oldest chocolate production site in Europe). The visit includes a tour in a chocolate factory and in a Sicilian traditional pastry laboratory. Visit to the winery Quetzal for some fine wine tasting. Visit to Ragusa Ibla and to the castle of Donnafugata. Dinner at guest house.
Day 5: Drive to theCharme country stay Agrigento. Visit to the Valley of the temples and the Turkish staircase (Scala dei Turchi). Check the cooking classes at the guest house; as an alternative suggestion, sample a traditional Sicilian meat dinner in Agrigento (restaurant selected by Italia Solaris).
Day 6: Drive to the Wein resort South-West. Visit to the Temples in Selinunte (the largest archaeological site in Europe) and the Cave di Cusa. Have a stroll in Sciacca and try ice cream there (ice cream parlor selected by Italia Solaris – one of the best in Sicily). Visit the wine cellars in the Relais and enjoy a special wine tasting experience in-house. Visit to a local dairy factory with sampling of local dairy products. Dinner at the relais with fresh homemade maccheroni. As an alternative option: cooking classes (including dinner) at the relais.
Day 7: Drive to the Winery & resort Marsala. Visit to Mazara del Vallo. Wine tasting at the famous Cantine Florio in Marsala (where Marsala wine was first produced). In the afternoon, visit to Erice; best at sunset, the salt pans in Trapani. Fish and cous-cous dinner in Trapani (restaurant selected by Italia Solaris).
Day 8: Drive to the Luxury winery & resort Castelbuono. Visit to Cefalù. Wine tasting of the Nero d’Avola “sensi inversi” at the Relais. Take a stroll in Castelbuono and have dinner with sampling of local products such as artichokes, asparagus and fennel (restaurant selected by Italia Solaris). As an alternative: dinner at the Relais.
Day 9: Drive to the B&B Palermo city centre. Enjoy a guided tour of Palermo. For lunch try the best Sicilian arancini (rice balls) and enjoy a glorious Cassata as a dessert (bars selected by Italia Solaris). In the afternoon, visit the cathedral in Monreale. Enjoy a “pasta con le sarde” dinner in Palermo (restaurant selected by Italia Solaris).
Day 10: Departure from Palermo Falcone Borsellino airport