Palermo - Festive Food and Archaeology
A real Sicilian adventure beckons. This glorious region is rich in both history and gastronomy, and we take six days to immerse ourselves in it all. An expert guide brings stories of the past vividly back to life as our senses are treated to delicious local cuisine.
Experience the incredible archaeological sites to be found on this beautiful island, from atmospheric catacombs to a necropolis, and uncover the tales they harbour. Take part in a traditional cookery class, where the secrets of local dishes are revealed, and sit down to meals that showcase the flavours of the Mediterranean. This tour will bring us even closer to the culture & heritage of stunning Italy.
- Meet with friars who teach us the art of making marzipan fruits
- Enjoy a private visit to the truly spectacular Cappella Palatina
- Stand beneath the magnificent columns of an ancient Doric temple
- Celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in true Italian style
- Pore over artefacts at a fascinating archaeological museum
- Cultural Excursion
- Christmas - New Year
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We depart London for Palermo and, upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel where we can enjoy dinner together as a group.
This morning we have an early start and begin our exploration of food with a walk through the vibrant (and ancient) Vucciria market. From here, we make our way to a cookery class, where we will be taught how to prepare some delicious local dishes. After lunch at Ristorante la Botte, we return to Palermo for a very special visit to the Cappella Palatina. We enjoy a private tour of this glittering example of Norman architecture and can admire its stunning mosaics in splendid isolation. Dinner this evening will be in Palermo and then we will attend a rousing performance, before returning to our hotel for the evening.
Today is Christmas Eve and our day begins at the impressive Salinas Archaeological Museum, which is home to fantastic ancient Greek and Punic collections, as well as interesting artefacts and troves of artwork. From exhibits of artefacts that were recovered underwater and those found buried in the ground, there is much to discover here and we have the opportunity to explore it all. Lunch will be in Palermo and we will then spend some free time wandering the area at our leisure. Pick up souvenirs, enjoy an espresso or perhaps lose yourself in local culture before sitting down to a celebratory Christmas Eve feast.
What better way to begin the Christmas Day festivities than with a trip to Segesta, where we stand beneath the honey coloured columns of its elegant 5th century Doric temple - considered by many to be the finest of its type - and the remains of an impressive hilltop theatre. Its location is somewhat remote and very rural, and it cuts an imposing figure set among such wonderful countryside. After ample time to explore this evocative archaeological site, which our guides will illuminate with their knowledge and passion, we take a break to enjoy a fabulous Christmas lunch. This will include several courses, including dishes such as falso magro and sfinci. Finally, we return to our hotel in Palermo.
We visit the 12th century cathedral, the Catacombs of Ossuna and also the Arabesque castle of La Zisa. The latter site is particularly interesting as it was a summer residence built by Arab architects and is also a revered UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, we depart for the town of Bagheria, where we will visit one of its villas. In the evening, we have dinner in Palermo before heading back to enjoy the facilities of our hotel.
The perfect way to round off a truly glorious tour - a special meeting with the friars of the Frati Minimi to learn the art of making delicious marzipan fruit awaits. This sweet delicacy is very dear to Sicily and we learn more about the tradition surrounding it during this immersive workshop. Later, we visit the Punic Necropolis and La Cuba, and then we return home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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