Cooking, Wine, Volcanoes & Walking Tour in Sicily: Mount Etna & Stromboli
In untouristed little towns in Sicily, feel part of authentic local life in rich, truly one-of-a-kind cooking, wine and walking experiences with a cast of local people, passionate about sharing their food, culture and lives with you.
Cook, drink, eat and explore in Linguaglossa (pop. about 5000) in the unique Mount Etna foothills in private, insider visits in families’ homes, restaurant kitchens and wine cellars.
Discover breathtaking natural beauty as you walk paths near Mount Etna and on the exotic, remote, volcanic Aeolian island of Stromboli (pop. about 500). As you dine on a patio overlooking the sea, marvel at Stromboli’s live volcano hurling its fire into the night sky.
An extraordinary series of enriching, local lifestyle and nature experiences!
See day by day itinerary below.
Read about the “Italians you will meet” on this Italy cooking school tour.
6 Night Italy Cooking School Tour Itinerary
Arrive in Catania airport. Private transfer to a 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 hotel with historic touches and comfortable, fun, minimalist style rooms. Easy to step out and explore this typical Sicilian mountain town and taste local life.
Welcome dinner in a typical restaurant.
Abundant continental breakfast at the hotel every morning. The hotel owners have a bakery so you enjoy heavenly, fresh pastries and breads.
Optional walk about 3 hours in Mount Etna’s exotic foothills on 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, a local family makes excellent Etna wines. They show you around the estate and taste their wines with you. At the winery, savour a light lunch with their wines.
Cooking local seafood dishes in a class in a hill side restaurant with the effervescent owner and his friendly, knowledgeable chef son. Enjoy your creations with good Etna wines.
Explore Taormina with a local guide and wonderful storyteller with a vast knowledge of history and local lore.
Discover fascinating layers of history at the amazing Greek theatre with spectacular views of Mount Etna and the sea. Pop into alluring bakeries full of Sicilian almond, orange or pistachio cookies, cannoli and marzipan.
Lunch is on your own.
In Linguaglossa walk from your hotel to a charming family’s home for an authentic Sicilian experience. They grow vegetables, olives, hazelnuts and have vineyards and sheep. The joyful, outgoing mother makes cheeses, salami, bread, and preserves like dried tomatoes.
Make 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 your creations with their wine.
Leave your hotel at dawn, catch the 8:30 a.m. boat in Milazzo to arrive for lunch at the island of Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands.
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.
Free time to explore the town, 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, enjoy your hands-on cooking class in a family’s home and dine on your efforts at their table.
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 2 hour boat trip around Stromboli. Stop to walk in Ginostra, home to 27 residents who got electricity about 7 years ago. Re-board the boat to view the steep, black hillside where volcanic fire and rocks run down from the crater to the sea.
In the late afternoon, hike along or up Stromboli.
Choose from three different levels of hikes. In choices 2 and 3, dine after the hike/ride on the outdoor terrace of a rustic restaurant set high above the sea. Arrive before sunset so you watch the sun set over the sea, as you sip a cool drink. As darkness falls and you enjoy dinner, the volcano hurls its fire into the night sky in a spectacular show.
Choice 1: Challenging hike for about 5 hours up and down a 45-degree hill to the craters at the top at 900 metres—amazing views. Descend in the dark with your lights in loose volcanic sand and rock. Dine and celebrate in the piazza on your return.
Choice 2: Intermediate level 2-3 hour hike up to 400 metres along the mountainside in daylight with steps up and down about half the time and magnificent views.
Choice 3: Walk leisurely or take a taxi up a stone road in daylight for about an hour to the restaurant for dinner. Walk back to town with flashlights to light your way or take a taxi down the same road.
Leave Stromboli by boat for Sicily’s mainland. Private transport to your Linguaglossa friends’ 4 star hotel where they welcome you home. Lunch on your own.
Free time to relax.
In late afternoon, learn about Sicilian nouvelle cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients in a hands-on cooking class with the chef in your 4 star hotel’s restaurant. Divine food!
After breakfast, depart for Catania airport.
Includes: 6 night tour
- 4 nights at 4 star hotel in Linguaglossa with buffet breakfast
- 2 nights at 3 star hotel in Stromboli with buffet breakfast
- 4 full menu cooking classes
- 1 lunch & 5 dinners
- 3 hour guided walk in Etna’s foothills
- tour and tastings at Etna winery
- guided walk in Taormina, including Greek theatre
- guided intermediate level hike on Stromboli
- boat transport Milazzo to Stromboli, back to Milazzo
- local guide/tour manager with you throughout, except “free time”
- private transport on Sicily’s mainland with local driver, except “free time”
- one group transfer from/to Catania airport
- 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 wines you prefer
- mountain guide fee (about 30 Euros) to climb 900 metres to top of Stromboli
- taxi fares up and down to mountain restaurant in Stromboli
- transport in Stromboli
- optional boat tour around Stromboli
Monday & Tuesday: optional extension
After breakfast, drive to Catania. Dive into its ancient, boisterous fish market. Street vendors at rustic tables shout out about their wares — everything from huge swordfish to gyrating octopus!
Enjoy a grazing lunch at the market. If you wish, 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, where they have olive groves and vineyards. 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 restaurant features wonderful home style dishes of fresh, local ingredients in the former grape pressing room.
After breakfast, depart for Catania airport with our private transport.
- one night with buffet breakfast at 4 star hotel
- excursion to Catania with driver and guide
- full menu dinner with guide at agriturismo
- transport to Catania and agriturismo restaurant
- grazing lunch at Catania market
- wine with meals so you can choose wines you like