Cooking, Wine, Volcanoes & Walking Tour in Sicily: Mount Etna & Stromboli
Cook typical Sicilian dishes in classes at a great, family-run restaurant under Mount Etna, with a delightful family in their home, with a colourful restaurant owner on Stromboli and the chef in a 4 star hotel’s fine restaurant.
Enjoy warm, local hospitality at a lovely, historic, family-run four star hotel with a wellness centre and spa in untouristed little Linguaglossa in the foothills of Mount Etna. Unwind at a pretty three star hotel right the sea on Stromboli.
Read about the “Italians you will meet” on this Italy cooking school tour.
Italy Cooking School Tour Highlights
- In untouristed Mount Etna town, Linguaglossa, learn about life under the volcano with local people and explore this typical mountain town.
- Experience an optional walk with incredible views on black volcanic paths under Mount Etna.
- Cook typical Sicilian dishes with food loving locals: a friendly family in their Linguaglossa home, a talented family in their restaurant near Mount Etna, a delightful restaurant owner on Stromboli, the creative chef at a 4 star hotel’s fine restaurant.
- Discover fascinating layers of history at the well preserved ancient Greek theatre in beautiful Taormina.
- On the spectacular, colourful Aeolian island of Stromboli, swim at black volcanic sand beaches and enjoy walks high along the green hillside. At night, watch the live volcano hurl its fireworks into the sky.
- 4 nights at an elegant, historic yet minimalist 4 star hotel in Linguaglossa with buffet breakfast. (The hotel owners own a bakery so you enjoy heavenly, fresh pastries and breads.)
- 2 nights at 3 star hotel in Stromboli with breakfast
- 4 full menu cooking classes
- 1 lunch
- 5 dinners
- excursions in the Italy cooking school tour itinerary
- boat transport Milazzo to Stromboli, back to Milazzo
- private transport from pick up to drop off at Catania airport with local driver
- one group transfer from/to Catania airport
- bilingual local guide/tour manager with you throughout the Italy cooking school tour
- 4 lunches so you can eat as light as you want
- 1 dinner after your hike on Stromboli
- wines with meals so you can choose your wines
- mountain guide fee (about 30 Euros) to climb 900 metres to top of Stromboli
- taxi fares up and down to mountain restaurant in Stromboli
- optional boat tour around Stromboli
6 Night Italy Cooking School Tour Itinerary
Arrive in Catania airport, transfer via private minivan to your lovely four star hotel in the heart of little Linguaglossa in Etna’s foothills. The 18th century palazzo, formerly a noble family’s home, was transformed to a chic hotel with some historic touches and very comfortable, fun, minimalist style rooms. You can step out and explore this typical Sicilian mountain town on foot and taste local life.
Over lively conversation in your welcome dinner on the estate or in a typical restaurant, get to know your group.
Optional two to three hour walk in the exotic foothills of Mount Etna following black volcanic sand paths and craters punctuated with green and gold trees overlooking the blue sea.
Or stay in Linguaglossa and pamper yourself in the hotel’s spa or explore Linguaglossa, full of interesting murals and good cafes stuffed with tempting Sicilian cookies and cakes.
At a winery in the hills, the fourth generation of a local family makes excellent wines and will give you a warm Sicilian welcome as they show you around the estate and taste their wines with you. At the winery, savour a light lunch of cheeses, olives, salamis and antipasti while you enjoy their Etna wines.
Return to your hotel to relax for a couple of hours.
In the late afternoon start your cooking class on seafood in a hill side restaurant with the effervescent owner and his friendly, knowledgeable chef son. Make authentic local dishes like sardines with stuffed with bread, raisins and pine nuts, swordfish rolls, and semifreddo with local pistachio nuts. Drink some prosecco wine and congratulate yourselves in a group cheer. Later, dig into your creations with some good Etna wines.
In the morning explore Taormina with a friendly local guide and wonderful storyteller with a vast knowledge of history and local lore.
Discover fascinating layers of history at the amazing Greek theatre, build in the 3rd century B.C. with spectacular views of Mount Etna and the sea. Admire well-preserved 14th century palazzos on narrow, winding streets and pop into alluring bakeries full of Sicilian treats like almond, orange or pistachio cookies, cannoli and marzipan.
Lunch is on your own – perhaps at a relaxed local wine bar where you can taste local specialties and learn more about the regional wines.
Walk from your hotel to a home in Linguaglossa for an authentic Sicilian experience with the charming, hospitable family. They grow vegetables, olives, hazelnuts and have vineyards and sheep. The joyful, outgoing mother makes cheeses, salami, bread, and preserves like dried tomatoes.
Have fun making the local maccheroni, watch how to make tomato sugo and other genuine local dishes with the mother in her kitchen. Around their dining table with their family, eat all your creations together with their wine and chat about their every day life and yours.
Leave your hotel at dawn, catch the 8:30 a.m. boat in Milazzo to arrive for lunch at the island of Stromboli , the last island in the Aeolian archipelago.
In Stromboli, walk along the sea front and check into a pretty three star hotel on the beach, surrounded by gardens and with amazing views of the black sand and blue sea beyond.
Free time to explore the town with its white buildings and lush gardens along quaint streets too narrow for cars, or laze on the black sand beach, taking dips in the clear blue sea. Lunch is on your own.
In the late afternoon, take your hands-on cooking class in a restaurant with an entertaining local chef, who teaches you typical island dishes in his unique style.
Enjoy your creations and good wines, including the local dessert wine Malvasia.
Free morning to laze at the beach, wander the picturesque streets, browse in shops or relax in the piazza high up in the town with views of the port and neighborhoods. Enjoy lunch on your own.
In the afternoon take an optional, fascinating two-hour boat trip around Stromboli. Stop to walk in Ginostra, home to a mere 27 residents who got electricity about five years ago. Board the boat again to view the steep, black hillside of Sciara del Fuoco, where volcanic fire and rocks run down from the crater to the sea.
In the late afternoon, hike up Stromboli. Start climbing in the light and as darkness falls, gaze in awe at the light show as the volcano spouts spirals of fire into the night sky.
Choose from three different level of hikes, or go up later to the restaurant in a taxi.
Choice One: Challenging hike for about five hours up and down a 45-degree hill to the craters at the top at 900 metres, which afford spectacular views. Descend in the dark with your lights in loose volcanic sand and rock. Dine and celebrate in the piazza on your return. (dinner not included)
Choice Two: Much easier intermediate level two to three hour hike along the mountainside in daylight with steps up and down about half the time and magnificent views.
End your hike at a restaurant on the mountainside to dine outside on the patio with a direct view up to the volcano and over the sea, and marvel at the volcano shooting its fire into the night sky. (dinner not included)
Choice Three: Walk leisurely or take a taxi up a stone road in daylight for about an hour to the restaurant for a hearty dinner (not included). Walk back to town or take a taxi along the same road with flashlights to illuminate your way. (taxi not included)
Leave Stromboli on the boat for Sicily’s mainland. Private minivan back to your Linguaglossa friends’ four star hotel where they warmly welcome you home. Lunch on your own.
Free time to relax.
In the late afternoon, learn about Sicilian nouvelle cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients in a hands-on cooking class with the chef in your four star hotel’s restaurant. Divine food!
Banter and laugh with the friends you’ve made for a lively final evening in Sicily as you savour your delectable creations and fine Sicilian wines!
After breakfast, depart for Catania airport. You’ll forever recall fondly the Sicilians you’ve talked and laughed with, their recipes and the incredible natural landscapes.
Monday & Tuesday: optional extension
After breakfast, drive to Catania and dive into the world of its famous, ancient, boisterous fish market. Street vendors at rustic tables shout out about their wares — everything from huge swordfish, to gyrating octopus, to all that comes from the Sicilian sea!
Enjoy a grazing lunch (not included) at the market. If you wish, you can also browse at street markets full of shoes and clothes or enjoy free time in Catania. (Enter “Catania fish market” on YouTube for a taste of the experience!)
Back to your hotel for a siesta.
For dinner, drive in the Mount Etna foothills to a lovely agriturismo, formerly a wealthy landowner’s estate with quaint houses of black volcanic stone, where they grow olives and grapes. From 1000 metres (3000 feet) up, magnificent views extend forever over the mountains, to the volcano, to valleys. If you wish, swim in their beautiful pool and lounge on their panoramic patio before dinner.
Their renowned restaurant featuring wonderful home style dishes of fresh, local ingredients is in the former grape pressing room where the décor takes you back to that time. An unforgettable experience.
After breakfast, depart for Catania airport with our private transport.