The magic of Western Sicily is undeniable with turquoise seas, coastal hikes, and ancient temples. The western coast has beckoned people for millennia, including significant influences from the Arab and Carthaginian cultures. The idyllic Egadi Islands, located just off the coast of Trapani, offer laid back villages and seaside respites.
The lovely botanical garden was planted in the caverns of Favignana's ancient stone caves. The island is arid but here it is green and filled with flowers.
This is the homeland of the Gods of Greek mythology. Near these places, Pluto abducted Persephone from her mother. ....In the distance you can see the lake of Hercules and the rocks of the Cyclops. Land of Gods and heroes.
The Phoenicians and Greeks built temples on Sicily dating dating back hundreds of years BC. The Temple of Segesta was built by the Greeks in 430 BC. The nearby Greek amphitheater overlooks the rolling hills and still has Greek plays performed in the summer.
The Egadian Islands are surrounded by azure waters protected by a nature preserve, offering a rich marine life, ancient coastal shipwrecks and even caves with neolithic paintings of life millions of years ago. Favignana is the largest island, with sandy beaches to walk on and a lovely town to walk or bike in.
Palermo has many UNESCO world heritage sites, including the Palermo Cathedral built on top of a Muslim mosque by the Normans in 1185.
To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.
Your Sicilian cooking class will be at the 18th century palazzo of the great Sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of “The Leopard.” His adoptive son lives there with his wife, Nicoletta who will be our teacher for the day and guide in the colorful markets. "The Leopard" became the best selling book in Italian history and was made into a movie in 1963 starring Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale.
“Palermo was lovely. The most beautifully situated town in the world – it dreams away its life in the Conca d’Oro, the exquisite valley that lies between two seas. The lemon groves and the orange gardens were entirely perfect.”
Cost includes lodging, land transportation, ferry transport, all breakfasts, meals as indicated in itinerary, gentle early morning chair yoga and meditation when time and setting are appropriate, odyssey guides-Diane Magliolo and Char Selsvold, local guides, entrance fees. Small group experience, max 10 people.
Cost does not include alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, taxi/shuttle transport to and from airport to B&B, airline transport.
Cost: $Price TBD, based on double occupancy with a minimum of 4 persons, Limited number of single rooms are available at an additional cost. If you are willing to share but we are unable to pair you with a same-gender roommate, you will not be charged the single supplement
Contact us if interested. A deposit of $500 will hole your place. Credit cards of checks are accepted
Tap your cursor over the days in itinerary to have it open up
- Street art tour with our local guide, Enrica, and the opportunity to sample local street food. The street art focuses on social justice issues, You will also walk past the Teatro Massimo, third largest opera house in Italy. You learn why the Piazza Pretoria, a late Renaissance style fountain, is also called The Fountain of Shame. Shopping at the Addio Pizzo craft stores in Palermo. The “Addio Pizzo” is a community of businesses and consumers who refuse to pay "pizzo" – Mafia extortion money in Sicily. These small stores represent local artists who create pottery, jewelry, leather goods and much more. Free evening to explore Palermo. B, L
- A very special Sicilian Cooking Class will be done at the 18th century palazzo of the great Sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of “The Leopard.” His adoptive son lives there now with his wife Nicoletta who will be our teacher for the day. Teaching proceeds go to preserving the palazzo and the history associated with it. The Leopard became the best selling book in Italian history and was made into a movie in 1963 starring Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale. Nicoletta teaches us about the history behind the food of Sicily, the “cucina povera” or peasant food that helped Sicilians get through tough times and the food that reflects the many conquerers that have settled in Sicily, including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. Nicoletta will take us to the local outdoor Capo market in the morning to shop for ingredients and then back to Palazzo Butera for the class. B L
- Boat tour to the island of Levanzo, the smallest of the Egadi islands, and walk to the Grotta del Genovese, a cave with marvelous neolithic paintings. Some of the paintings could date back 13,000 years and include images of bison, deer, sea animals, fertility symbols and a female figure, high and alone on the far wall, painted with ochre and animal fat, possibly the mother goddess during ancient times. In the afternoon, we will visit the Tonnara in Favignana, a 19th century tuna factory and now a museum. Favignana, B,L
We will visit the very unusual ‘underground gardens’ or Giardino dell Impossible, botanical gardens with over 300 species of plans which have been established in the deep sandstone caves and tunnels of Favignana. B L
- We will have a leisurely departure to Mondello, a seaside village close to the airport, stopping to see the Doric columned temple of Segesta, originally built by the indigenous population, the Elymians, and later completed by the Greeks in 430 BC. Nearby, is an ancient Greek amphitheater that still has Greek plays performed in the summer. Mondello is another charming seaside village in Sicily sandy beaches and lots of good restaurants. B, D