Agricultural Sicily: Natural Food and Wine Route

Agricultural Sicily: Natural Food and Wine Excursions

A huge variety of crops, fruits and food productions, the diversity of soils and climates and the largest number of organic farms in the whole country make Sicilian farming one of the most eclectic and interesting of Italy. Our rural landscape, beautifully shaped by the agriculture, is one of the principle actors of the Sicilian economy, history and society.

This is why visiting Sicilian farms and discovering the history of Sicilian agriculture is perhaps the best way to understand the culture of the island and appreciate the beauty of its territory.

This itinerary offers the possibility to visit selected innovative and historical family run productions and try excellent DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) wines and PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products, largely organically grown, while hosted in beautiful orchards, wineries and old farms in the magnificent set of Etna and the UNESCO world heritage sites of the Noto valley.

We have imagined this programme for those travellers who are interested in the beauty of monuments and landscapes but want to experience, at the same time, the most authentic aspects of a territory. You will be able to take your time to enjoy every meeting, every new experience and every cultural exchange away from the “normal tourist tracks”.

You will meet young and elderly people, experienced “family” cooks, shepherds and famers, wine and olive oil makers and all of them will be keen to share with you their history and their experience.

A responsible way to visit Sicily by getting in contact, talking, cooking, walking and eating with some of the people who are contributing to the renaissance of the Sicilian rural world.

The black of the lava, the lush green of the trees, the yellow and orange of the citrus, the blue of the sea and the white limestone of the UNESCO world heritage baroque cities will constantly remind you that the world is a place where cultural and biological diversity are a treasure to be protected and enhanced.

Tour Details

  • Dates: March, April, May, June, September, October, November and any other period on request
  • Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
  • Size: Min 6 Pax – Max 16 Pax

Day 1

After meeting with the Paesaggio Sicilia staff member at the airport of Catania the group will be transferred to the hotel in old town of Modica by minibus.

A short introduction to the programme and a traditional Sicilian dinner together will complete this day of tour.

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Day 2

After breakfast, during your first morning you will visit the beautiful baroque city centre of Modica with its famous chocolate production. Here we will meet a producer who has combined the tradition of the chocolate, imported from Mexico by the Spanish colonisers, with the principles of fair trade and organic production. The rest of the time will be for you to explore the fascinating old town before we meet again in the afternoon for an excursion to Scicli.

Scicli is another gem of the baroque architecture that has gained much fame as set of the TV Inspector Montalbano (written by Andrea Camilleri) TV series, together with Modica and Ragusa.

After a stroll in the city centre, we will move to the an aromatic herbs nursery. Here, near the blue sea of Scicli, Enrico and his family grow organically more than 150 varieties of rare aromatic plants. Through a sensorial visit they will let you discover hundreds of scents, share their passion with you and show you how to use many of those herbs during a familiar cooking demonstration to prepare an “aromatic” dinner and enjoy the beautiful sunset all together.

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Day 3

The Cerasuolo di Vittoria is the only Sicilian wine rewarded with the Italian DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). It is a blend of Nero d’Avola with Frappato, produced in many wineries of the Vittoria area. We have chosen for you two wineries: Arianna Occhipinti, a young woman with a great passion for vineyards and wine and COS, inspired by the ancient Greek wine production. We would like to present them to you as a continuum: two wineries working with the same philosophy, the same respect for the territory and similar use of organic and biodynamic techniques but that eventually make very different wines.

Then it will be time for a free afternoon stroll in the beautiful city centre of Ragusa Ibla to discover another gem of the Sicilian baroque architecture and enjoy a granita or an ice cream in one of the local coffee shops.

The night in Modica is free for you to choose one among the many good restaurants and bars and relax in the lively atmosphere of the city centre.

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Day 4

Today we will cross the Hyblean plateau, characterised by dry stone walls, carob trees and stone farmhouses to reach a traditional dairy farm. Here, using only red Modicana cow’s milk, they make one of the best examples of the famous PDO Ragusano cheese. The PDO Ragusano is a variety of caciocavallo made from fermented stretched curd with a similar process to the one used in Southern Italy for mozzarella and provolone. You will be able to watch the dairy process and talk with the cheesemakers family about their fight to save the Modicana cow breed from extinction.

The tonnara of Marzamemi is our second stop for this day. Tonnara is the word we use for a large and articulated building where in the past fishermen kept all their boats and equipment used for catching tunas and preserving the fish with oil and salt within the same premises. Nowadays fishing methods have changed but you will still be able to visit this charming place and some of the local workshops where the tuna is still transformed.

After the sea, back in the countryside in the Pachino cherry tomato PDO area. The Padova family will host you in their beautiful olive oil farm and let you try their excellent oil together with the local fresh and sundried tomatoes specialities in a real Sicilian rural atmosphere.

Back in Modica, there will be time for a siesta and then a walk along little hidden charming alleys will take you to the Enoteca of Giancarlo Antoci (wine bar. Here, over a glass of wine, we will discuss about the connections between the mafia and the rural world in Sicily and quickly try to draw the history of Cosa Nostra from the past to our days. A cosy dinner will follow our discussion and you will be able to discover, with the wise suggestions of Giancarlo, the Western Sicily wine production: an area that makes excellent wines very different from the East.

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Day 5

After check out, we will move to Carlentini, in the PDO orange area, to meet the Andrea’s family and visit their wonderful citrus orchard. This estate is a very large property where, next to the PDO oranges, also olives, lemons and many sorts of fruits and vegetables are grown. The whole production is organic. Here in company of Andrea you will experience a real day on the fields, learn more about organic farming and take part to the activities that are running according to the period of the year. Later on, together with Andrea’s sister Francesca and their mother, the day will flow into a “narrative cooking session” and you will be able to prepare some of their traditional recipes.  Be prepared for a pleasant relaxing day in the countryside.

After lunch, we will slow move towards the Etna to reach our accommodation: the Agriturismo Case Perrotta. This charming rural hotel is also a farm with many hectares of organically farmed land that gives excellent Etna PDO cherries and a several times awarded olive oil. Among the olive and cherry trees, the volcano Etna smokes quietly but sometimes offer fantastic red lava eruptions to the Case Perrotta guests.

Over dinner, you will have the opportunity to taste the excellent oil and the many specialities of the chef Paternò.

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Day 6

Sometimes it is also pleasant to jump for a while into the real tourist attractions: Taormina is worldwide known and it is a place that cannot be missed. It is one of the few examples of towns in Eastern Sicily that kept their medieval aspect after the terrible earthquake of 1693 and therefore were not heavily shaped according to the principles of the baroque architecture. This day will be for you to stroll around its cosmopolitan old city centre, enjoy its little cafes and restaurants, its terraces on the blue Ionian Sea and visit the beautiful Greco-Roman theatre, the cathedral and the many medieval buildings.

We will finish our day with a relaxing walk around the Case Perrotta cherry orchard, an aperitivo and a consistent barbeque.

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Day 7

To enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Etna we will take a light excursion on the volcano with a professional local guide who will introduce you to the history and geology of the area and take you to observe some of the most spectacular panoramas. According to the weather, we will do a picnic or try a typical mountain hut lunch.

The afternoon will be for relaxing and packing before we enjoy another wine tasting and dinner hosted in the beautiful historical Benanti winery, producer of excellent Etna DOC wines. The Etna DOC wines are now the most representative and appreciated Sicilian wines and their reputation goes far beyond the regional and national boards. The Benanti family is one of those who had a crucial role in the explosion of the Etna wine passion both in Italy and abroad. In their company, you will be able to try some of their DOC and cru that are now part of the Sicilian wines legend.

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Day 8

After breakfast, we will say goodbye to you and we will transfer you to the airport for your departure.

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Price per person: on request

Tour Inclusions:

Eight days, seven nights tour fully escorted by Paesaggio Sicilia staff member

Accommodation in double room with breakfast (please ask for single room fee)

All meals including water and wine specifically mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

All the activities in local farms and enterprises included in the itinerary

Three winery visits and wine tastings as indicated in the itinerary

Two olive oil tastings

Guided excursion on the Etna

Transfers to and from Catania airport

Transports in mini bus or van for all transfers and activities

Medical and baggage assistance

 

The fee does not include:

Airfares

General expenses – phone calls, laundry, room upgrades

Transfers outside of the tour dates, personal transport, excess baggage, security and government taxes, visa, travel and medical insurance

Meals not specifically mentioned in itinerary 

 

Hotels: 

Hotel Palazzo Failla **** S or similar

Agriturismo Case Perrotta****

 

If you want to have more information about this tour or if you have any special request or if you are interested in booking a place for this tour please contact us by email at info@paesaggiosicilia.com or by phone calling the number +39 347 7857691

If you are a group of people and you want to customise your own tour, travel without our travel assistant or create a new tour according to your needs please contact us by email at info@paesaggiosicilia.com or by phone calling the number +39 347 7857691

If you want to book one of our tours please link to this page for booking procedures and conditions