Keen foodies can uncover Sicily’s rich culinary heritage with a range of authentic experiences offered by Sicilian villa specialist soloSicily, from pasta-making lessons to street food tours.
Influenced by an array of different cultures over the centuries, this sun-soaked Italian island is bursting with home-grown flavour, from zingy lemons to freshly caught seafood. Budding gourmands can discover a range of local delicacies during their visit, with experiences including:
Chocolate Tour in Modica
The city of Modica in southeast Sicily is famous for its gourmet chocolate. Chocoholics can see first-hand how it’s produced during a guided tour of the island’s oldest chocolate factory, Antica Dolceria Bojanuto, before learning how to make traditional chocolate for themselves and, depending on the time of year, decadent biscuits, hot chocolate or ice cream. This half-day experience ends with guests sampling their creations on the school’s panoramic terrace.
Just a 20-minute drive from Modica, the UNESCO-recognised coastal town of Scicli is the perfect base for this chocolate-fuelled Sicilian escape. Villa Elaya is a contemporary retreat boasting a tranquil roof garden and striking swimming pool. Up to six guests can admire the views through floor-to-ceiling windows and enjoy leisurely meals in a covered courtyard. Prices range from £1,738 (€2,000) per week in low season to £3,051 (€3,510) per week in high season. http://www.solosicily.com/elaya.aspx
Street Food Tour in Catania
Catania sits on Sicily’s east coast in the shadow of imposing Mount Etna. Street food is an important part of this ancient city’s culinary heritage and visitors can experience this tasty tradition for themselves during a half-day gastronomic tour, taking in key cultural sights such as the Piazza Duomo and Villa Bellini while stopping to taste local delicacies such as arancini (fried rice balls), arrusti e mangia (grilled meat) and signature sweet snack cannoli (crispy pastry with a ricotta cream filling).
Visitors to Catania can book a stay at Villa Nabila, a former winery situated in the village of Milo on Mount Etna’s vine-covered slopes, just 45 minutes from the city centre. Sleeping eight, this authentic Sicilian property features thick stone walls, arched doorways and timelessly traditional décor. Guests can unwind by the large pool and dine on a fabulous wrap-around terrace with breath-taking sea views. Prices range from £2,086 (€2,400) per week in low season to £3,476 (€4,000) per week in high season. http://www.solosicily.com/nabila.aspx
Sicilian Cookery Class in Taormina
Perched on a mountainside on Sicily’s east coast, glamorous Taormina offers an authentic taste of la dolce vita. This pretty town is home to countless restaurants serving traditional Sicilian cuisine and visitors can learn to recreate their favourite dishes back home during a half-day cookery course, before dining on their home-cooked feast with a bottle of local wine. Led by a professional chef in a local cookery school, guests will tour the local market selecting ingredients before learning to cook authentic pastas and fish dishes.
Villa Grecale in nearby Giardini-Naxos – 30 minutes from Taormina – is a home-from-home from which to discover Taormina. Set in a private residence amid manicured gardens, this classically styled property sleeps eight people and boasts a large pool and an upper-level terrace with wonderful views over the Ionian Sea, Taormina and Castelmola. Prices range from £3,476 (€4,000) per week in low season to £5,866 (€6,750) per week in high season. http://www.solosicily.com/grecale.aspx
In-Villa Pasta Making Lesson in Torre Salsa
Foodie families renting a villa for their Sicilian escape can pick up every pasta-making tip during a half-day pasta-making class in their own villa kitchen. During this fun, informal cookery lesson led by an experienced local cook, guests learn to create favourites such as cavatelli (pasta shells made with an eggless semolina dough) or maccheroncini (traditional Calabrian tube-like pasta made with durum wheat), preparing the dough from scratch and mastering the perfect sauce for the different types of pasta.
Spacious Villa Palummara is the ideal venue for a group cooking class. Located in Torre Salsa on the southwest coast near a scenic nature reserve and several sandy beaches, this hilltop family villa with panoramic pool sleeps eight and offers sea views from a sweeping panoramic terrace – the perfect spot for guests to tuck in to their homemade pasta. Prices range from £2,168 (€2,495) per week in low season to £4,620 (€4,015) per week in high season. http://www.solosicily.com/palummara.aspx
For reservations visit www.solosicily.com or call soloSicily on 020 7097 1413.
15 May 2018
Notes to editors
Founded in 2006, soloSicily is a private villa rental company with a collection of over 40 hand-picked villas in Sicily. The portfolio is designed to suit all needs, with romantic hideaways, chic beachfront villas, family-friendly holiday homes, luxury villas with private pools and aristocratic country estates. Based in Palermo, soloSicily has a dedicated team of people who are passionate about Sicily and use their local knowledge to find the best villas on the island.
For more information and images please contact Emma Hill or Tiggy Dean at Hill & Dean PR on 020 8875 9923.