UK BREAD MAKING
. . unique cooking and wine-tasting holidays in Sicily
Adventures offers unique cooking and wine-tasting holidays
in Sicily. A 7 night 6 day all-inclusive gastronomical tour
with cooking lessons, wine tastings and trips to local producers.
Our destination, the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago,
made up of seven islands, scattered off the north-east tip
of Sicily, in the sparkling azure waters of the Mediterranean
Sea. All astonishingly beautiful, with an identity all their
own, the Aeolian archipelago was designated a UNESCO World
Heritage site in 2000.
Why the Aeolian Islands?
The islands' geography and climate are perfect for the cultivation
of crops and vines; the ideal setting for our cooking and
wine tasting holidays. Volcanic soils are the richest agricultural
lands on earth - and this, combined with a sun drenched climate,
ensures that the islands slopes and plains are spilling over
with olive groves, fruit orchards, capers and vineyards. Then
there's an abundance of sea life to be caught fresh daily,
that can speedily go 'straight to the plate'. Delicious simple
cooked food, great wine, historic towns, volcanic landscapes
and outstanding natural beauty...what are you waiting for!
Read on to find out more about our holidays and how you can
join us to discover the true taste of Sicily on your own Aeolian
Each week long adventure is run in small groups with a minimum
of 6 people to a maximum of 10 people per tour. The holiday
consists of 5 hands-on and indeed ‚Äėhands-in' cooking lessons,
1 cooking demonstration, wine tours, fishing trips and visits
to local producers.
The cooking part of the holiday is relaxed and informal.
Lessons will take place in family-run restaurants, steeped
in tradition with recipes handed down through generations.
This is authentic cooking which is to be found in the houses
of the local Sicilian people as opposed to upmarket commercial
locations. Throughout the week we'll be using fresh organic
local ingredients, sometimes homegrown.
The holiday is also as much about the wine as it is about
the food. We'll be introducing and discussing a new vineyard
with each dining experience and of course sampling their wines.
We'll meet local wine experts and producers, with one day
dedicated to wine tours.
All cooking classes are taught in Italian, but don't worry
if you don't speak the language, native English translation
will be provided in parallel, step by step.¬†The holiday is
suitable for cooks from novice to experienced. In either case,
we are sure you will be inspired by ideas and recipes that
you can recreate at home. Recipes will be printed for each
cooking lesson so that by end of the week you will have a
folder filled with ideas and inspiration to take home with
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND BOOKING
ADVENTURES COOKING HOLIDAYS
Come and join us for an all-inclusive gastronomical tour
of Sicily and its Aeolian islands. Over 7 nights and 6 days
you'll enjoy a truly authentic cooking and wine tasting
experience, with a chance to explore the islands and their
volcanoes! For this holiday we'll be based on the island
of Vulcano, visiting the nearby islands of Lipari and Salina
with an optional visit to Stromboli.¬†Please note the holiday
does not include flights but everything else is included;
the food and wine, the cooking lessons, fishing trips, wine
tours and tastings and any other activities detailed within
Please note all Aeolian Adventures run from Sunday
to Sunday, with these days dedicated to arrival and departure.
The itinerary is subject to subtle variation, according
to local availability and sea conditions.
If you have any special requests or particular interests
the Aeolian Adventures team will do their best to facilitate
your wishes. Our aim is to ensure you have an unforgettable
experience with every attention to detail.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND BOOKING
Arrivals into Catania Airport, where you will be met, then
transferred by private car or minibus to the elegant four
star UNA Palace Hotel which¬†is perfectly situated in the
centre of Catania with roof top views over the historic
city and Mount Etna.
Sunday is dedicated solely to arrivals as all flights coming
from the UK arrive late afternoon. On this evening you are
free to relax or explore the surrounding area and have dinner.
Restaurant recommendations can be given and a map of the
local area, if required. The Aeolian Adventures team will
be on hand for assistance, and local phones will be provided
in the event that you should need to contact us at any time.
We begin our adventures in the bustling, baroque city of
Catania, with an early breakfast followed by a short walk
to the amazing, sprawling fish market, which winds around
historic streets and piazzas. Here you'll find every form
of sea life imaginable, a truly mesmerising experience and
the perfect introduction to the importance of Sicilian seafood
on the table.
Remaining in the centre of Catania we will have our first
hands-on cooking lesson, with an Italian pastry chef. We'll
learn how to make cannoli - the iconic Sicilian dessert,
a crispy pastry tube filled with sweetened ricotta - and
also arancini (rice balls), a traditional Sicilian street
food. We'll then lunch on what we've made.
After lunch we transfer to the port of Milazzo by mini-bus,
and from there take the hydrofoil to the island of Vulcano
(45 minutes), our base for the rest of the week.¬†On arrival
we transfer directly to our hotel Villa Saracena, a short
distance from the port. You now have time to relax, settle
into your accommodation and enjoy welcome drinks.
In the evening, before dinner we visit the Centre of Vulcanology
for a brief but informative talk on the history of the islands,
their evolution and their volcanoes, presented with an aperitif,
a glass or even two, of the local bubbles.¬†Then on to the
venue for our welcome dinner; La Forgia restaurant, owned
and run by the delightful Maurizio who serves and entertains
his guests whilst cooking at the same time! ¬†His specialities
combine classic local dishes with middle-eastern flavours,
influenced by Sicily's turbulent ancestral and cultural
LWe begin our day with the option to take a mud bath in
the bubbling volcanic mud pools of Vulcano, thought to have
healing and rejuvenating properties, or for those feeling
more energetic an early morning hike up the volcano, accompanied
or self guided, to watch the sun rise over the archipelago.
The walk up the volcano is steep but short. ¬†The crater
can be reached within 20 minutes or 30 to 40 minutes at
a more a more leisurely pace whilst you look back to admire
the views, which become more magnificent with elevation.
Mid morning, we drive into the hills of Vulcano, for a
hands-on cooking lesson at the family-run Trattoria Maria
Tindara established by its namesake Maria Tindara in the
early 1960‚Ä≤s, in the days before there was electric light
in Vulcano. ¬†Rosi, Maria's daughter in law is now the
head of the kitchen and will be showing us how to make her
legendary tagliatelle with typical sauces, plus some of
her favourite local dishes. ¬†This is followed by lunch,
which will be the dishes we have prepared, all washed down
with local wines.
After lunch there'll be time to relax and recharge before
the evening ahead.
This evening, after dark we'll go fishing for squid,
a local variety known as totani (broad tailed flying squid),
with fishermen such as local character Capitano Felice,
who will show us how to prepare the catch and then cook
it for us on board.
Today after breakfast we head down to the port, a short
walk from the Villa to take the hydrofoil to the island
of Salina (45 minutes), the second largest and most verdant
island in the archipelago, on the trail of some of the islands
better known vineyards. These include the wineries Francesco
Fenech, Caravalglio and Hauner famous for its Malvasia dessert
wine, with tours and tastings at each.
Lunch at the famous Da Alfredo trattoria, located in the
tiny seaside town of Lingua,to sample the local speciality
Pane Cunzatu (a grilled flat bread spilling with typical
fresh local ingredients), followed by granita (fruit ice),
arguably the best in Sicily.
We return to Vulcano late afternoon with time to relax
before dinner. Dinner this evening is a traditional Sicilian
barbecue, in a relaxed garden setting with live traditional
This morning you'll have the opportunity again to hike
up the volcano, one of the highlights of Vulcano, or for
those who have not already done so, take a steaming mud
bath and soak up the therapeutic benefits. ¬†If you're
up early enough, you'll see the locals strolling through
the streets in their bathrobes heading for the daily ritual
of bathing in the mud pools.
Mid morning we drive to Trattoria Maria Tindara for our
second hands on cooking lesson with Rosi and family. Today
we'll be cooking zucchini parmesan made with sweet seasonal
zucchini, as an alternative to the better known eggplant
parmesan. Then onto the main course of Sicilian sweet and
sour rabbit (coniglio in agrodolce) which can be substituted,
for those who prefer, with lamb or even fresh local tuna
steaks. For lunch we will eat what we have prepared, accompanied
by local wines.
This evening we take the hydrofoil (10 minutes) to Lipari,
the largest island in the archipelago, for wine tastings
paired with local produce. ¬†We'll also have time to explore
the historic centre and visit the pretty little fishing
harbour of Marina Corta. We return by water taxi.
This morning we'll visit the local goats cheese farm,
a lovely walk from the Villa along blossoming bougainvillea
lined tracks. Here farmer Fabrizio keeps a herd of a hundred
plus goats which graze freely on the slopes of the volcano.
The goats are hand milked, then traditional methods are
used to make the highly regarded ricotta and pecorino cheeses,
which are freshly made by Fabrizio daily. ¬†For those who
wish, there's the possibility of joining in with the production,
from herding to milking to making the cheese. ¬†After which
we'll choose a selection of cheeses to be accompanied
with fresh bread and local preserves for a well deserved
The day continues with a cooking demonstration and lunch
at Diavolo de Poli family-run restaurant, a quaint unassuming
locale, where daughter Nancy runs front of house, whilst
mother Santina is firmly in charge of the kitchen. ¬†Among
the home cooked delights that will be prepared today, are
the delicious antipasti for which they are locally renowned
followed by pasta alla Vulcanara and stuffed swordfish rolls,
all Aeolian specialities.
This afternoon there's time to relax; perhaps find a
quiet corner of the garden to read or maybe take a dip in
the pool ahead of our evening activity.
In the evening we'll learn the secrets of how to make
the perfect pizza and focaccia. For those who wish there's
the opportunity to prepare the ingredients, get messy, and
attempt to throw the dough. ¬†Aprons will be provided! ¬†Work
done, we'll eat all that we've made.
Departing early, today's first port of call is the island
of Lipari, arriving by hydrofoil (10 mins) with the day
ahead to further explore.¬†For breakfast we'll head to
the famous Pasticceria Subba, another family-run business
since it opened in 1930.¬†Here you can try a typical Sicilian
breakfast of mouth watering miniature pastries, with coffee
as you like it or the granite (topped with whipped cream
for an extra treat) served with brioche.
This morning we'll wander around Lipari's main town
and visit the ancient fortification dating back to the Greeks
and Romans, with an optional tour of the archaeological
museum. Then there's the busy main street, Corso Vittorio
Emanuele, which is packed with shopping opportunities. All
of which can be accompanied or self guided.
Late morning, we drive out of town for our last cooking
lesson and hands on experience, at La Dolce Vita farmhouse,
perched 200 meters high upon rolling cliffs with spectacular
views out to sea and the coast of Sicily with Mount Etna
looming in the backdrop.¬†Today amongst other local dishes,
we'll sample the different pesto's, almond, pistachio
and caper (typical of the islands and Sicily) and learn
how to create recipes using their different flavours. As
always, lunch is what we make paired with the local or Sicilian
Then back to the island of Vulcano with time to relax before
our sunset boat cruise (pending sea conditions) with picnic
supper and local wine.
Departure day - and after breakfast it's time to say
goodbye, taking with you not just many happy memories, but
ideas, inspiration and plenty of know-how to create your
own Sicilian menus for friends and family back home. For
those planning to stay on the island or travel onward within
Sicily or Italy, we will ensure all necessary connections
and assist with any advice or information as required.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND BOOKING
THE UNA PALACE HOTEL
Your first night will be spent at the UNA Palace Hotel in
the historic centre of Catania. It's an elegant period building
which has been restored in keeping with local traditions and
Sicilian style. Breakfast is served in the roof-top restaurant
with spectacular views of Mount Etna.
For the rest of your holiday you'll be staying at the charming
Villa Saracena which is situated in an idyllic and tranquil
location, on the edge of the small town of Vulcano.¬†Villa
Saracema is a small family run hotel, in a lovely garden setting,
with rooms that lead out onto a pool and striking views of
the volcano in the backdrop. The perfect place to relax and
The villa is within 5 minutes walking distance of the town,
the volcano and the Porto Ponente black sand beach; perfectly
situated for all local amenities and the weeks activities.¬†A
light continental style breakfast will be served daily, with
tea and coffee, fruit juices, fresh fruits, local pastries
and fresh local produce.
Villa Saracena is also part of an agritourismo, which means
they have farmland where they grow their own produce. For
those who wish to be more independent and explore, there's
the option to have breakfast at one of the local bars; petty
cash will be available to subsidise this. One of my favorite
things to do in Vulcano is cycle down to the sea in the early
morning and have coffee whilst watching the sun rise over
the little fishing port - and bicycles are also available
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND BOOKING
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