General

This is the tour for those who are interested in food, wine and culture! Sicily has become one of the most important regions in Italy regarding wine production. This trip will take you to the eastern side of Sicily, from the areas around Mount Etna to Siracusa. You will not only get to know the most important and most exciting island in the Mediterranean, but you will also meet many wine producers, and drink lots of fine wine.

You will discover the difference between the wines produced near the volcano Etna, which are conditioned by the peculiar characteristics of the land, revealed in the wine’s ‘lava-taste’, and those produced near the Ionian Sea. The third group of wines are those made near Caltagirone, more south and in the inland, with its special Cerasuolo wine. The tour ends in beautiful Siracusa and Noto.

WINE TOUR IN EASTERN SICILY. Guided tour in minibus.

DAY 1. ARRIVAL

At the airport in Catania, you’ll be picked up by minibus and driven directly to a cozy farm hotel.

In the 1500s this was a monastery for Benedictine monks where, until a few decades ago, there was grape and wine production. The beautiful buildings are made of lava stone. The large 130-acre property is perfect for a stroll surrounded by a large variety of fruit trees, including olive, cherry, walnut and various vegetables.

In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner with products grown on the farm and local wine.

DAY 2. VINEYARD IN SOLECCHIATA – CASTIGLIONE DI SICILIA – VINEYARD IN RANDAZZO

After breakfast, we drive north along the side of the volcano toward the vineyard in Solecchiata. The property lies between 650 and 980 meters above sea level. This yard produces wine and olive oil without additives, and there will be a tour with wine tasting! Then you have time to stretch your legs in the small and picturesque village of Castiglione di Sicilia. It lies on a cliff overlooking the Alcantara Valley and is several thousand years old. You can have lunch here at a characteristic trattoria.

During the afternoon, the tour continues to the vineyard in Randazzo, situated few kilometers further down the valley. This is a large vineyard with 600 acres of grape plants, including both Sicilian and international varieties. Again, there’ll be a tour with wine tasting. In the evening, we’ll drive back to the farm hotel where we’ll take a break for a couple of hours before dining together.

DAY 3. SANT’ALFIO – TAORMINA – SWIMMING POSSIBILITIES IN ISOLABELLA – THE VINEYARD IN LINGUAGLOSSA – SANT’ALFIO

In the morning, we head northeast toward the Ionian Sea. The bus will park near the beach, and you can go up to Taormina by cable car. Taormina is Sicily’s most famous tourist attraction, with a Roman theater, cozy streets, and bars with impeccable views of Mount Etna. You can spend the morning here and then have lunch on the beach.

Early in the afternoon, the bus will continue to the vineyard near Linguaglossa. This has been an important wine resort since 1815, and the family running the place is the 5th generation. There’ll be a guided tour and wine tasting.

Later we stroll back to the farm hotel, where we’ll have dinner and spend the night.

DAY 4. SANT’ALFIO – THE VINEYARD NEAR MILO – ETNA – VILLA DEL CASALE IN PIAZZA ARMERINA – CALTAGIRONE

We head southward along the side of the volcano towards Milo. There we’ll visit a fascinating vineyard.  Wine has been produced here since 1727, and of course we will get a guided tour and wine tasting.

Then we continue up over the side of the volcano as far up as the road goes towards the top of Mount Etna. In Rifugio Sapienza, you’ll have the chance to stretch your legs. It’s also possible to grab some lunch here.

Early in the afternoon, we’ll travel further east, across the island towards Piazza Armerina. There we’ll take a look at Villa del Casale. (Villa of the Emperor). This is a hunting lodge from around the 300s AC., its floor mosaics are among the most beautiful from the Roman era. They cover over 3,500 square meters. The place is UNESCO protected.

In the evening, you’ll drive to a farm hotel near Caltagirone, where you’ll have dinner and spend the night.

DAY 5. CALTAGIRONE – VINEYARD IN VITTORIA – SIRACUSA

After breakfast, we’ll continue a few kilometers to Caltagirone. The name of the town comes from the Arabic Cal’at Ghiran (Vase castle). As the town’s potters were world famous, local archeologists have found several potteries remains there. Even today, pottery from Caltagirone is among the finest on the island. There will be a walk in the old town.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit the nearby vineyard in Vittoria, with the consequent guided tour and wine tasting.

In the evening, we’ll continue to Siracusa and spend the night in a hotel.  You’ll have the evening at your own disposal.

DAY 6. SIRACUSA (ORTIGIA AND THE ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK)

Siracusa was founded by the Greeks from Corinth in the 700s BC. For a while it was the most powerful and most beautiful of all the cities in the Mediterranean. This was the home of Archimedes, Aischylos, Pindar, Socrates etc. In the 500s B.C. Siracusa controlled all of Sicily, and it’s still possible to find the remains of Greek temples and theaters. Siracusa is UNESCO protected.

After breakfast, we’ll take a walking tour to see some of the historical remains on the Island of Ortigia. After lunch, we’ll see the archaeological park with the Greek theater and Dionisio’s ear.

During May and June, Greek tragedies are played in the outdoor theater.

DAY 7. SIRACUSA – NOTO – LUNCH AT VINEYARD NEAR NOTO

After breakfast, we will start driving to Noto. The city was destroyed by an earthquake, in 1693. It was rebuilt by the most skilled architects of that time, chiefly in baroque style. We’ll take a stroll in the old town, perhaps followed by a break in one of the many fine bars that the city is known for.

You’ll have lunch just outside of Noto on a Vineyard in Modica. The farm has been in the same family hands for 7 generations, and you’ll have lunch on the terrace together with the current owner. There will be a guided tour and, of course, a chance to buy some wine.

In the afternoon, you’ll go back to Siracusa. The final dinner will be in a lovely trattoria.

DAY 8. DEPARTURE