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A Sicilian ChristmasDecember 7-17, 2024 7 nights in Val d’Noto at Casa Luza

3 nights in Palermo at Palazzo Arone di Valentino

DAY 1 ARRIVALPick up in *Catania or *Palermo airport. (See note below) Check into villa. Light lunch upon arrival. Relax and settle in. Dinner tonight in Noto. (*Catania is 1 hour drive to the villa, Palermo is 3 hours but there are direct flight form Newark to Palermo, and I was thinking to start and end the tour in Palermo for an easier transition to the flight home.)

DAY 2 COOKING CLASS Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the opening of the Christmas festivities in Sicily. Shops may be closed during the day, so it’s a good day to do an activity at the villa. We’ll make Sicilian favorites like Cavatelli all Norma, arancine, and cannoli. Tonight we will go into Noto for dinner and catch the procession.

DAY 3 WINE TASTING AT OCCHIPINTI & COS Wine tasting and lunch at Occhipinti Winery. Arriana Occhipinti is a young, female, award winning wine maker who has been producing outstanding vintages under her own label since age 22. She uses biodynamic farming methods in her vineyard and produces some of the most amazing Frappato and Nero d’Avola. Dinner at Rosso Crossificia in Noto.

DAY 4 Visit Catania’s street food markets for a progressive food crawl. In the evening we visit the Via Etnea all lit up for Christmas. Dinner at the villa.

DAY 5 Explore Palazzo Castellucio and Rachel Bartoli’s antique shop followed by lunch and sweets at renown Caffe Sicilia. Chef at the villa tonight to cook for you.

DAY 6 Market to table cooking class in Ortigia during the day with a local chef. Shop for seafood and fresh vegetables to create the menu together, then go back to the her location and cook. Free time to shop after lunch. TIP: Seek out the artisan candles made here by Ortigia Siclia.

DAY 7 TRANSFER TO PALERMO It is a 3 hour drive to Palermo so we will stop in the Nebrodi Mountains for lunch. After checking into Palazzo Arone di Valentino, we will have dinner together in the Center of Palermo. Palazzo Arone di Valentino is situated in the historical centre of Palermo, within the Arab Norman UNESCO World Heritage Site and a short walk from the famous Quattro Canti.It is the perfect place to stay for anyone who wants the comfort of a luxury hotel in an aristocratic residence. The rooms and suites are like a journey into the past, with the comfort and convenience of the present. Ideal for those who are looking for an unforgettable experience in a house that is full of history, art and culture.(These apartments are on different floors of the palazzo, some with a more modern style and some with more Sicilian baroque furnishings and flair, but everyone will have access to the common areas and we will host a dinner party in the dining room.)

DAY 8 Tour the city and visit the cathedral and Chairamonte Prison learn the stories their ancient graffiti tells. Tonight do your Christmas shopping at the Palermo holiday market in Piazza

DAY 9 ARBARESCHE VILLAGE OF PIAN DEGLI ALBANESEPrivate tour of the home studios of the artisans in one of the last remaining ancient Albanian settlements. Lunch at a local agriturismo. BONUS: Pian degli Albanese has some of the best cannoli on the island. Dinner tonight in Palermo.

DAY 10 MONREALE MOSAICS. Head above Palermo into the village of Monreale. Find the oldest mosaic makers in an intricate labyrinth of alleys that make up the historic medieval quarter of the "Ciambra”. Visit the cathedral and have lunch in the quarter.An elegant farewell dinner tonight at Palazzo Arone.


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