Sicily, Italy – A Taste of the Islands

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Join us on a journey and path of discovery in Sicily. La Foresteria is an Estate immersed in the vineyards which stretch to the beach of Porto Palo on the Crystaline Sea at Menfi in the Province of Agrigento near the Planeta wineries. It is the perfect place for a gourmet holiday in the heart of ancient sun kissed Sicily.

Janice Thomas will guide your culinary senses and daily adventures:

Sicily’s kitchen is packed with fresh ingredients, shiny fish fresh from the Mediterranean, almonds, pistachios and delectable combinations of pasta, sardines and saffron.

We will fly into Palermo on the west coast of Sicily, which has one easily accessible airport. A driver will pick you up and transport to our Hotel. Upon arrival on our first night in Palermo, we will stay at one of our favorite hotels, The Grand Hotel Wagner. The location is perfect for getting around the city.

Our private driver will transport us the next day to Menfi and the Foresteria Planeta; a lovely estate known for it’s great wine and agritourism. Our location near the sea is the perfect destination for our daily adventures to surrounding areas to sip, savor and shop. We have planned the perfect combination of cooking, cultural touring and relaxation. Spring in Sicily by the sea is breathtaking.

Each day we will venture out on side trips especially designed for us to give a true taste of the traditional Sicily and an intimate look at the soul of the island. Aside from history, architecture and natural beauty, one of Sicily’s greatest attractions is it’s great food. Every village, town and city has markets exploding with fresh produce, fish and a lively culinary scene. Sicilians’ attitude towards food is much like it’s character, including lots of tradition and just a taste of the modern.

Our accommodations in the countryside will be at Foresteria Planeta.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 Our welcome dinner will be at one of my favorite restaurants and features a variety of scrumptious local flavors. A taste of Sicily you will not forget. We will meet in the Hotel lobby at 6:30 P.M.

Day 2 Our morning visit to the Monreale will be magical and memorable too! We will enjoy a walking tour of Palermo’s Mercato del Capo, which is the most famous in Palermo. We will have a flavorful lunch and city tour with a local guide. In the afternoon, we will drive into the countryside to Menfi and our Estate Foresteria Planeta, where we will call home for the rest of the week. We will enjoy poolside relaxation, a walk and a great sunset before dinner with wine pairing at Planeta.

Day 3 Morning tour at Selinunte and then off to Porta Pala  at the sea for our lunch at Da Vittorio, one of the area’s best restaurants. After lunch we will visit the village of Sciacca which is famous for ceramics.  Dinner at Planeta.

Day 4 Our day trip to Castelvetrano will feature a cooking class at the Becchina Estate which is one of Sicily’s best olive oil producers. We will learn about the processing procedure as well as having an extensive tasting. We will also make our own Ricotta cheese in a large copper kettle with our favorite, local Sheep farmer. In the afternoon we will visit the flour mill and bakery of Filippo Drago, who is saving the ancient grains of Sicily. We will return to Foresteria for a lovely dinner with wine pairing.

Day 5 Our morning will include a hands-on cooking class with Chef Angelo Pumilia at our own Foresteria. The class will feature all the best of the local flavors and the culinary craft of making hand made couscous, in their state-of-the-art blue and white tiled kitchen, followed by feasting on the lunch we have prepared. Afternoon off to relax poolside. Dinner at Planeta.

Day 6 Our adventure today will lead us to the village of Trapani, which hugs the harbor and is the capital of the province. Trapani is laden with elegant baroque palazzi and impressive churches. We will also visit the famous salt flats of Trapani. Our lunch will be at Cantina Sicilliana with famous Chef Pino Maggiore. After class, we head up to Erice for a lesson on marzipan from the famous Maria Grammatica, featured in the book “Bitter Almonds”. Light dinner at planeta.

Day 7 Today’s cooking class will feature the best of local flavors. After class we will visit a local woman winemaker, Marilena Barbera and tour her small winery which is next door to Planeta’s property. Our farewell dinner will feature the delicious foods we have prepared in our cooking class

Day 8 Depart Planeta Estate to Palermo Airport.

Janice Thomas

Janice owns the Savory Spoon Cooking School in Ellison Bay WI and is known for her personal approach to cooking, creating memories with every recipe. She is the primary cooking instructor at the Savory Spoon and a Culinary Guide in Mexico, France, Italy and China. Traveling with her students gives her creative and imaginative cultural ideas to share with her students year after year. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Women Chefs of America and has over 25 years of experience in the culinary world. Janice invites you to join her and indulge yourself in an unforgettable experience.

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