Odyssey to Sicily

Explore ancient sites - Savor authentic food

Sicily has been known since ancient times as the “middle of the Earth”, being at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe. Your peaceful odyssey on this small island’s melting pot of cultures will create a wonderful opportunity to discover the complex richness of Sicilian history and its influence on their cuisine and wine. This year you will also have a direct experience of learning about local customs, crafts, and music while attending the renown Fungi Festival in the medieval village of Castelbuono. There will be ample to wander on the streets of Castelbuono and mindfully walk in the Madonie Mountains.

Sicilian cooking class with chef Mimmo Zito and Diane Magliolo

SICILIAN FOOD AND WINE

Nourish your body and soul while feasting on succulent Sicilian cuisine and wine. Sicily's fusion of ingredients in their unique cuisine has been influenced by the many cultures that have settled there for thousands of years; including Phoenician, Greek, Arab, French and Spanish.

A local chef will guide you through the centuries old outdoor markets of Palermo, and later teach you how you how to cook a multi-course Sicilian meal. The food is all organic, sourced locally and seaonal.

The 3 day Fungi Festival during our stay at a sweet B&B in the medieval village of Castelbuono will offer us a unique opportunity to observe local culture and have fungi and wine tastings. The festival in the town square offers live music and many other performances and the opportunity to shop for local gifts.

Monreale Cathedral, Siciy, UNESCO World Heritage site

CULTURAL CAPITAL OF ITALY

Palermo, Sicily, has been chosen as the 2018 Italian Culture Capital. This ancient city represents an amazing synthesis of Norman, Byzantine and Arab cultures whose influences are seen in the beautiful architecture and art seen in the numerous UNESCO sites, including the Palermo and Monreale Cathedrals. Palermo’s history teaches us that a dialogue between cultures can occur.

It is also a city that has been through historical periods of violence and corruption, most recently when the Mafia had control. The Addio Pizzo or goodbye to extortion movement has created significant changes in Palermo in the past 25 years. Some of the recovered Mafia money was used to commission international street artists to create street art in the poorest section of the city, emphasizing the fight against the mafia, concern for equality, human rights, refugees, etc. It is a truly fascinating city to explore.

Goats in the Madonie Mtns.

NATURE WALKS IN SICILY

You will go on numerous easy to moderate nature walks in Sicily. One of our walks takes us to the curious goat herd of local shepherd, Guillio. Guillio shows you how ricotta is made the traditional way, including milking the goats and cooking the goat milk in a cauldron over a wood fire. Fresh ricotta and a simple lunch with local olives and wine highlight this adventure.

The Madonie mountains offer breath taking views and a chance to see Sicily as it used to be. Another gentle hike to one of Sicily’s great natural wonders awaits you on Piano Pomo. More than 200 holly trees (Ilex aquifolium), up to 300 years old, have grown into tight-knit clusters and are unique in Italy. The ascent of 325m begins at Piano Sempria and winds through holm oak woods where you will find an ancient 800 year old moss covered oak.

Cefalu, Sicily

SICILIAN ODYSSEY DETAILS

Join us in exploring the abundance of physical beauty and rich cultural history of Sicily. We will be staying at comfortable and locally owned B&Bs in Palermo and the medieval village of Castelbuono in the Madonie Mountains.

Dates - October 16-23, 2018, Detailed Itinerary

Cost: $2999 per person, based on double occupancy, with limited single rooms at an additional cost. $300 discount if you get a deposit in by June 1, 2018. Cost includes lodging, land transportation, all breakfasts, 6 lunches, 1 dinner, Sicilian cooking class, morning meditation and gentle chair yoga, odyssey guides, local guide, entrance fees. Small group experience, max 10 people.

Contact us if interested and a registration form will be emailed to you. Credit cards or checks are accepted. A deposit of $500 will hold your place. Terms and Conditions

Physical Demands: Easy to Moderate. It is active and we walk a lot. Bring good walking shoes. Walking sticks are provided if wanted on the mountain trails. Pack light with one piece of carry-on rolling luggage plus a day pack or shoulder bag.

Leaders: Char Selsvold, LCSW and Diane Magliolo, MA