Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia
Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia
Join us on a 8-day unique Italian responsible and cultural escorted tour to visit one of the most stunning Italian regions: Sicily.
For anyone eager to live an immersive adventure in the Italian and Sicilian culture and traditions, where you really get to know the food, region and people, your hosts and local guides together with their friends, have put together amazing experiences that combine passion, beautiful places, ethical visits and locals to show you the best of Western Sicily in a responsible way putting you in touch with local communities.
This is a fully escorted tour that will give you the insights into daily life, culture, food & wine, and production and will let you discover the authentic Italy in a balanced mix of experiences, relax, adventure and learning.
Respecting our philosophy, there will be only local guides that love and know everything (or almost:-)) about their area of Sicily, like Fabrizio (Italia Sweet Italia founder & Tour guide) for Abruzzo. The tour has been designed by Fabrizio and the local suppliers all together, who worked hard to select partners, licensed tour guides and passionate people living and working in Sicily, that share our philosophy and style to create a new and unique trip to support small local businesses and sustainable tourism.
The highlight of this tour is the chance to discover and experience the Sicilian culture with the warm hospitality of local people, great food and dessert traditions with the support of local suppliers only and small businesses that said No to mafia.
- Palermo airport pick up at 2:30 pm, transfer to Palermo downtown
- Check in and relax at your centrally located hotel
- Get to know your local guide Chiara and learn more about this 8-day Italian cultural and responsible vacation
- Short visit to the historic center of the city to learn how to go around in the chaotic yet fascinating Palermo
- Welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Palermo
- After breakfast we’ll visit the historic center of Palermo through a walking tour: among the narrow alleys and airy squares you will see fountains, churches and historic buildings, but also the colorful market stalls, shops and laboratories where the artisan and gastronomic traditions are still active today
- During our visit to one of Palermo’s market, you’ll have the opportunity to taste the typical specialties of Palermo street food, such as panelle and arancine, for a lunch on your own (the tour guide will suggest you his favorite places and will explain these amazing foods)
- Next we’ll drive to Monreale, a few kilometers away from Palermo, to visit the majestic Norman Cathedral characterized by golden mosaics, the cloister of the adjoining monastery, and the panoramic point from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire Gulf of Palermo
- In the second part of the afternoon you’ll have free time to discover more about Palermo and to have dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of the city. Obviously your guide will suggest you his favorite places
- After breakfast we’ll leave the city for the countryside. Natalia will welcome us in the middle of the green, among the hills overlooking the Gulf of Castellammare, to tell us about the history and typical features of the farm where she lives and which she manages with passion together with her Finnish husband Rami. The events of the estate, which has belonged to the family for almost a century, intersect with the human events that Natalia unravels among her private and professional memories
- This small winery is devoted to organic farming and boasts products of various kinds, which safeguard local biodiversity. The farm also manages a wine cellar and a vinegar cellar: we will taste their wines and vinegars, under the guidance of Natalia, and chatting in the evocative courtyard space
- Then we will move to another nearby farm, which dominates the splendid view of Lake Poma from an altitude of about 500 meters (1,640 feet). Another warm Sicilian family will welcome us, lovingly caring for the land and transforming its fruits into delicious preserves and jams. Laura and her parents will have lunch with us, telling us why they decided to transform the family business into a social farm that collaborates with local businesses that deal with young people with social and / or mental disabilities
- After some relaxation, returning to Palermo, we will stop in Capaci, a town known for the massacre of Giovanni Falcone
- Antonio, a great photographer, involuntarily witnessed the murder of the judge, his wife and the men of his escort: through his words we will have a heartfelt snapshot of that May 23, 1992 that changed Antonio’s life and the history of Italy
- We will discover that Capaci goes beyond that date and it’s more than the place of the attack: a nice town that offers a lot to its inhabitants and tourists, from the sea life to good food to the friendliness of its people
- After the short “secular pilgrimage” (we can do it walking or by car, as you prefer ) to the symbolic Casina no Mafia, Antonio will host us in his “garden of coincidences” explaining the reason for this name, enjoying a nice aperitif
- If you are still hungry, you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Palermo
- After breakfast we’ll explore the hinterland by visiting Corleone, a town nestled in the rock, immersed in the countryside as far as the eye can see, and characterized by a breathtaking landscape
- Among the alleys of the town we will experience the kindness of its inhabitants and the commitment of those who fight for the change of a community that wants to redeem itself from the stereotypes conveyed by cinema and literature: the names of Riina ‘Boss of all bosses’ and Provenzano still have their weight, as well as those of fictional characters such as the “Don Corleone” from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, however the Corleonesi have always fought against mafia violence
- The history of the city is in fact linked to the history of the peasant movement, and to the fight against the mafia between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century
- We will have lunch in a local farmhouse, for a genuine gastronomic experience
- Free afternoon in Palermo for your own activities, which could be: visit Palermo’s museums and art galleries, take part into some extra activities/excursions, or just do some shopping visiting artisans or have a walk in the “piazza” and “corsi” to enjoy your last day in Palermo
- In the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Palermo
- After breakfast we say goodbye to Palermo to travel to the province of Trapani, stopping in a Baglio (traditional Sicilian farmhouse). Daniela, even before being an excellent cook, is a perfect hostess: she will welcome us with an aperitif on the terrace to illustrate the history of the estate (which was also chosen as a film set) and then will introduce us to the discovery of the secrets of authentic Sicilian cuisine
- Together we will prepare lunch based on typical recipes (i.e. homemade pasta, caponata and arancine) enhancing local and seasonal products, appreciating the flavors and aromas of the Sicilian island
- In the afternoon we will visit the archaeological area of Segesta, where the remains of the ancient Elymian-Greek city (a temple and a theater) stand out in the gentle hilly landscape
- Arrival in the enchanting Erice, where we will spend the next 3 nights
- Check in and relax in a historic palace that used to be a convent
- Short welcome and orientation tour
- In the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the typical restaurants of Erice. Obviously your guide will suggest you his favorite places and you could have dinner or aperitivo also in the restaurant of your accommodation
- After a pleasant and fresh awakening in the village of Erice, we will move for an exciting naturalistic trekking experience within the Zingaro Reserve. A coastal path, about 7 km (4.3 miles), which can be easily traveled in no more than two hours*, dotted with broom, thyme, almond trees, ash trees, dwarf palms and carob trees, to fully enjoy the typical Mediterranean landscape overlooking the marine cove
- The uncontaminated nature, the bright colors and the sea breeze will leave us breathless
- We will be able to make stops for a swim or for a bit of relaxation in some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy
- After the walk, we will enjoy a light lunch with the famous Trapanese “pane cunzato” (a sort of stuffed bread) in Scopello
- Returning to Erice, through the panoramic road full of curves and hairpin bends, we will visit the splendid medieval village nestled on top of Monte San Giuliano
- Among the winding and cobbled streets there are many unexpected views of the landscape that the town dominates from above, but also many architectural jewels to admire, including the castle, many churches and palaces
- We will stop at a local pastry shop to taste the typical Erice sweets, whose recipes were created by the nuns in the town’s many cloistered convents
- In the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the typical restaurants of Erice
* If you prefer to skip this easy walk (you just need comfortable shoes), you can join us for the general explanation about the Reserve and relax by yourself on the beach or in the nearby and beautiful village of San Vito Lo Capo for some exploration or shopping by yourself
- After breakfast we’ll drive to the fascinating Mazara del Vallo, which contains the most typical features of Mediterranean culture: located less than 200 km (124 miles) from the Tunisian coast, only the sea separates it from Africa, but in every corner you can breathe the multi-ethnic atmosphere of the city
- The labyrinthine Arab-North African layout of the historic center enchants with its maze of alleys and inner courtyards of the buildings, in which to get lost pleasantly. The so-called Kasbah recalls the Islamic medinas, so much so that it is believed to be on the other side of the Mediterranean
- Our Sicilian-Tunisian guide will introduce us to the historical-artistic past but also the multicultural current affairs of Mazara: a middle ground between the African and European coasts, a starting point and landing place for the citizens of the Mediterranean
- After a traditional lunch based on couscous to continue our multicultural day, we’ll enjoy a few free time to “get lost” around the beautiful alleys of Mazara
- Next, we’ll move to admire the landscape of the Saline: the choreographic salt shallow salt pools and windmills, the soft shades of white and pink that paint the reflections of the sea testify the repetition of an ancient extraction technique tested in this area for the first time by the Phoenicians
- We will enjoy this natural spectacle with a farewell aperitif at sunset in Marsala
- After breakfast departure (normally at 09:00 am) for Palermo airport (around 70 minutes driving from your hotel, so make sure to get a late morning or afternoon flight) or your next destination in Sicily if you want to explore more fascinating places of this Island or other Italian regions (don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll be happy to support you to continue your Sicilian and Italian trip)
NOTE ABOUT YOUR ITINERARY
Your Itinerary is a guide to your activities during the week. However, sometimes we modify the final itinerary to take advantage of the season and the weather. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a fabulous time, and that sometimes means tweaking the schedule even after your arrival. Your guide will provide suggestions during the week, and the group will decide if any modifications are desired. Be assured that only enhanced experiences are ever considered.
8-15 October 2023: € 2,495.00*
15-22 October 2023: € 2,495.00*
28 April-5 May 2024: € 2,665.00*
20-27 October 2024: € 2,665.00*
*Prices are per person and land only, with accommodation in a twin/double room with ensuite bathroom. Airfare and travel insurance are not included. Single occupancy supplement: + € 150.
Click here for exchange rate
- 4 nights in Palermo at Bio Hotel Palermo and 3 nights in Erice at Il Carmine in an historical residence (standard rooms for both hotels and rooms upgrade available on request, we may use similar accommodations if needed, we use accommodation adhering to the principles of ethical tourism)
- 7 breakfasts
- 6 full meals (starters, a first or second dish, dessert, water, coffee, house wine and liqueurs) and a light lunch (a special “panino” plus water and house wine on day 6) in selected restaurants, farmhouses, and a bakery based on traditional regional dishes. The other meals are free for you to explore the towns by yourself
- 2 aperitifs (a glass of wine or a cocktail or a beer or a soft drink plus some traditional appetizers)
- 3 guided tastings of wine and vinegar, “pane cunzato” (a sort of stuffed bread), traditional Erice desserts and visits to the producers
- 1 hands-on authentic Sicily cooking class and associated food costs
- Personalized cooking booklet and apron
- Daily trips, excursions and guided tours of Palermo, Monreale, Corleone, Erice, Segesta, Mazara del Vallo
- Entrance tickets to the Cathedral and cloister of Monreale, Corleone Legality Laboratory, Segesta Archaeological Park (including internal shuttle), Nature Reserve of Zingaro
- All transports for daily trips and excursions in an air conditioned minibus or car (just for the day in Corleone, in case there were only 2 or 3 travelers, we will go by public bus together with our tour leader)
- Pick up and drop off in Palermo airport in an air conditioned minibus or car
- English-speaking professional tour director and licensed local guides as per itinerary
- Joint share with the local no-mafia movement
- All taxes except city tax
- Only 100% authentic experiences
- Deep connections with the people who live here
- We have a passion for our culture and our communities
- Read the glowing reviews from our guests on Tripadvisor
- We know how to make you feel right at home
- We keep our groups small so we can take care of every detail
- We promote the local culture as a sign of responsible travel
- We are focused on preserving our way of life
- We involve small, family-run and passion-driven businesses
Italia Sweet Italia (ISI) is a small incoming tour operator specialized in organizing vacations around Abruzzo Italy, our home. ISI is a fully licensed company covered by insurance policy no. 402485101 by Axa Assicurazione S.p.A. and authorised by the local government to create and sell tour packages from 2011. Our mission is to show people from all over the world the beauty of Abruzzo and other Italian regions such as Sicily so they can experience our homeland, traditions, arts and folklore in a unique way, also demonstrating the benefits of sustainable tourism to everyone. In order to help you discover everything Abruzzo and other Italian regions have to offer, we organise small groups (up to 12 people) escorted tours including cultural, culinary, active, pottery, Italian language and ancestry experiences. We are happy to create a tailored vacation around your wishes. Our tours provide you with the rare opportunity to be invited into homes and farms, as well as into the daily lives of locals.
No, Fabrizio won’t guide this tour, there will be enthusiastic local guides that share our philosophy and we prefer to have people that love and know everything (or almost) about their region and are like Fabrizio for Abruzzo, because in order to have the knowledge of a local there aren’t other ways, you need to be a local:-). Anyway we designed the tour together and Fabrizio has personally met the local suppliers to make sure they share Italia Sweet Italia philosophy and style to create new and unique trips to support small local businesses and sustainable tourism.
The pick up at Palermo airport is planned at 2:30 pm on day 1. Normally it takes 30 minutes to drive to the hotel. A few weeks before the tour starts, we’ll send you a pdf with exact pick-up location and times. Please consider also this information:
- When we’ll have all flights and arrival information from all the travelers, if everybody that is joining the tour is supposed to arrive before 2:30 pm, we could anticipate the pick-up time
For the drop-off to Palermo airport we usually leave the hotel in Erice after breakfast, at around 09:00 am so that we arrive at Palermo airport at maximum 10:30 pm (if there is traffic, but it normally takes70 minutes). If anybody in the group has an earlier flight, we could leave 1-2 hours before (so at 07:00-08:00 am) but we make our evaluations from time to time. If you want to explore more fascinating places of this Island or other Italian regions, don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll be happy to support you to continue your Sicilian and Italian trip. If needed, we could organize a private transfer to Palermo airport that costs around € 100.
Private pick-up and drop-off for group tours
Of course, we are always happy to support you to organize a private pick up/drop off only for you to let you join our small group tours listed in our calendar.
Connecting to or from another part of Italy
If you are connecting to or from another part of Italy we are happy to assist you in planning your pre and post trip connections. If your planned arrival or departure does not coincide with the specified meeting time we can assist you in booking a private transfer at an additional cost or some extra nights in Sicily.
Once a complete booking is made you may also contact us directly for further details and assistance. We are always here to help and have insider knowledge and on the ground support to ensure you find the best option available to arrive or depart from your tour.
Make sure to arrive at the meeting point on time but don’t get stressed
Please note that all guests joining our tours are responsible for ensuring they make it to the meeting point by 2:30 pm at Palermo airport. Those who are unable to be on time will not be guaranteed a transfer from Palermo airport and will have to seek other arrangements to participate in the remainder of the tour. Anyway, don’t worry, there are public buses that connect Palermo airport with the city center as you can see here or you can get a taxi that will bring you to your hotel for around € 40 .
- Our tours are suitable for everybody that travelled enough to know that touristy vacations are just not them and long for more authentic travel, ways to truly experience the culture and people they’re visiting
- Our travellers appreciate la dolce vita and the pleasures of exquisite food, wine, and fellowship with others who share their passions
- Our guests are not afraid to take bold steps…to learn something new…to explore something completely out of the ordinary
- The minimum age for pre-arranged tours is 14 (14-18 accompanied by an adult) with no upper age limit. For tailor-made and private tours any age is fine
- Our tours are perfect for solo travellers (we don’t charge single room supplements for our 7-day tours in Abruzzo), couples, groups of friends and even families are welcomed
- Our guests don’t need to have any experience in cooking or painting or do pottery or speaking Italian to join our tours. Our experienced course tutors will soon discover your level of knowledge and will adapt their approach accordingly
All classes are taught in both Italian and English so you’ll have the opportunity to learn and practice a little bit of Italian
To book this tour with us, check availability contacting Fabrizio (fill in the form or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org) and go ahead with his instructions to pay by credit card. The booking becomes binding only after the payment of a 25% deposit per person and the confirmation e-mail from Italia Sweet Italia. The 75% balance has to be paid within 45 days before arrival. Tours booked less than 45 days before their start date must be paid in full.
If you prefer, you can also pay the 25% deposit and 75% balance by Bank Transfer (Italia Sweet Italia Holidays di Lucci Fabrizio, Account number: 1231254113 IBAN:
IT21R0526277910CC1231254113 SWIFT: BPPUIT33 Banca Popolare Pugliese – Società cooperative per azioni, Via XXIV Maggio, 25, 66054 Vasto (CH) – Italy. Headquarter: Via Luigi Luzzatti, 8, 73046 Matino (LE).
Before the balance is due, we’ll send you an e-mail to remind you about the payment including a link to be used in case you prefer to pay the balance by credit card.
First of all, I invite you to watch our webinar (click here, in particular from minute 10 and to minute 25 with a focus on safety) dedicated to this tour where you can virtually get to know our Sicilian tour manager Chiara. She says that “this trip is very safe because today we have a strategy. So far it was dangerous but today for example we have a list of over 1.000 businesses that are part of our network that said no to mafia that are supported by the buyers. Besides, our NGO exists since 2004 and we have never had any sort of problems. So we put our travelers in safe conditions and you can feel very safe and very confident during the whole trip “.
Then, the possibility of making some meetings with the local communities of the anti-mafia movement, according to us and other travelers who participate in this type of tour, is the added value of this trip. This does not mean that every day there is a pedantic lesson on these aspects, on the contrary, in reality even simply having fun, those who participate in our tours make a conscious choice of responsible tourism. You can do anti-mafia, that is, you can fight the mafia system without necessarily making sensational gestures or without, for example, having to come across boring stories and the history of the mafia.
This is the philosophy of this trip and it has this added value, which does not mean, however, that we will always and only talk about the mafia and anti-mafia but there will be small focuses that are precisely the afternoon of day 3 in Capaci and then the morning of day 4 in Corleone where something is actually told about the mafia and the battles against it: the massacre of Capaci and the history of the peasant movement in contrast to the mafias. For the rest, it is clearly an absolutely light journey, full of beautiful landscapes and views and which focuses on knowledge of local communities, traditions, customs of the locals, food and wine and in general local and Italian culture.
Furthermore, no one who will visit Sicily during the tour knows that you are part of a tour with a focus on anti-mafia and would make you tragic by making you take risks that there are none.
Finally, I personally visited the places of the tour with Chiara and independently, and I felt very safe all the time, otherwise I would never have created and proposed such a tour. Fabrizio