COST PER PERSON: $4800
TOUR DURATION: 9 days
SIZE: 7 people ( We love the personal touch) 😍
WHAT IS INCLUDED
Join us at harvest time to experience the olive oil production from start to finish. From hand picking the olives in the ancient groves to transporting the fruit to the traditional press, you’ll see the pure olive juices flowing out of the press without the use of any heat, and you will be involved in the whole process. This is one of the most engaging parts of the tour as you get to participate in the olive harvest along with the Papa Vince family; your bottle of olive oil will never taste the same! Not only will you learn the techniques but also have the opportunity to pick up some of the local dialects and with the group camaraderie, you’ll make memories that you will treasure forever as you mingle and dine with Papa Vince’s relatives.
This is all without mentioning that you’ll be staying on the enchanting Island of Sicily. Known as one of the pearls of Southern Italy with its diversity of landscapes, cultural heritage, and a rich, flavorful cuisine, Sicily is the perfect vacation location. With this organized itinerary from Papa Vince, you are ensured to experience the best that Sicily has to offer.
Depart the US to arrive in Sicily the following day.
Arrive in Sicily, Italy where you will be picked up from the airport and transported to your lodgings near to the Papa Vince active farm. You will have time to settle into your new home for the week, given the opportunity to rest or the option to visit the Castle of Rampinzeri, This is where Papa Vince worked as an apprentice for the De Stefani nobility and first learned how to make the finest quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is located just outside Santa Ninfa and was visited by the Italian Royal Family in the early 20th Century.
DAY 3: Palermo - city and street food tour.
One of the tops must do excursions in Sicily is the Palermo street food tour taking in the bustling open-air markets including Vucciria Market and Mercato di Capo, where every dish tells a chapter in the history of the city. Some of these markets date back to 1100‘s AD during the Arab occupation. Eat like a real Sicilian as you savor a variety of street food samples from stalls which have been handed down from one generation of chefs to the next, some who have practiced the family tradition in this open market for over 200 years. Sample the exotic delicacies such as arancini - rice balls stuffed with meat, vegetables and cheese or panelle and crocche - chickpea fritters and potatoes, and to satisfy any sweet craving are the most famous cannoli – pastry cylinders filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, which every guest of Palermo has to try.
DAY 4: Excursion to Erice & Trapani
Venture out to Erice, an unforgettable medieval town with ancient beginnings perched on a cliff top offering breathtaking panoramic views. It is surrounded by ancient town walls, crowned by a 12th-century castle and is the site of the pagan temple of Venus. In times of antiquity, this temple was quite famous and made Erice a Mediterranean hotspot for sailors who had come to seek out the goddess of love. Their frequent journeys made Erice an important and wealthy city. Take the time to wander through the maze of streets, visit the intriguing shops, especially the Erice mouth-watering pastry shops - ”pasticcceria” before heading down to the port city of Trapani and its Duomo; Basilica Cattedrale di San Lorenzo (St Lawrence the martyr) that dates back to 1421.
DAY 5: Excursion to Mazzara dal Vallo / Trapani Le Saline sea salt windmills
Mazzara dal Vallo has a beautiful old Arabic quarter known as the Casbar with many houses in typical Arabic style. The flavors that flutter through the labyrinth of narrow streets of the Casbar tell of the North African influence that has remained on the Island. Visit the Basil Cathedral whose style is a melange of Romanesque, Baroque and Greek. From here we will visit the Trapani sea salt pans, a reserve with a low coastline, the continued presence of winds and a very warm climate that has made this an ideal place for the extraction of sea salt for centuries past. Take a walk in paradise alongside canals that are lined with rare plants and home to many migratory birds as well as over 60 windmills which assist in the extraction of the salt.
DAY 6: Excursion to Selinunte
Founded in the 7th century BC, Selinus as it was called, was one of the most progressive cities in Magna Grecia (GREAT GREECE - the Greek colonization of the Mediterranean). Today it stands as one the most expansive archeological sites in Europe with the most magnificent remnants of ancient Greek domination in Sicily. Imagine what life was like 2,500 years ago as you explore the temples, ancient town walls, and museum.
It was the Greeks who first introduced the olive into Sicily and Papa Vince attributes the success and quality of its extra virgin olive oil to the rich Greek cultural influence upon the land.
DAY 7: OLIVE HARVEST DAY 😂
Get ready for an invigorating day at the Papa Vince farm to experience how the olive from the tree gets into the dark green bottle on your kitchen table. Papa Vince uses traditional techniques of olive harvesting and all the olives are hand-picked to preserve both the delicacy of the fruit and the trees themselves, many of which are over 100 years old. We will take a break for lunch with the Papa Vince family and continue with a trip to ‘Frantoio’ where we press the olives with technology that allows us to continue ancient olive oil pressing techniques without compromising the quality and nutrients of the oil.
DAY 8 :
Free Day Today you have time on your hands for some souvenir shopping or just take some time to relax and enjoy the fresh air. We can also offer advice on other local tours for your last day of exploration.
DAY 9 :
Return flight to the USA.
As you venture out on our Papa Vince Sicily tour, be sure to bring a healthy appetite, ready to experience the exuberant flavors of the Sicilian cuisine. The island is incredibly fertile and the produce grown on Sicily includes citrus fruits, olives, eggplant, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, plus a cache of fresh seafood and you’ll be sure to experience all these flavors throughout our stay on the island. Not only will you have the opportunity to taste the local dishes but you will also be able to take the recipes home with you. Our Papa Vince family hosts have included live cookery demonstrations at the family farm and this is often one of the most enjoyable & unique aspects of our tour. It also means that you can make the recipes in your own kitchen back home and continue to live out your Sicilian experience.
You’ll get to experience homemade pasta making techniques as well with cousin Cati who will teach you how to make our Busiate pasta. And for those with a sweet tooth, there are always the pastries mainly prepared with ricotta cheese and almond paste. These demonstrations are included in your tour and are guaranteed to convert you into a Sicilian food aficionado.