Taormina and Catania, two main tourist destinations situated along the Ionic coast blessed with mild climate, fishing ports and delicious food can be part of a gourmet itinerary for foodies.
Spaghetti ai ricci di mare in Taormina
Taormina, this jewel by the Ionian Sea, is situated on a promontory from where you can enjoy wonderful views of the coast and the tip of Mount Etna dominating the landscape. This place rich in history on the hill, offers pebbled beaches, sparkling waters and the naturalistic site of Isola Bella at its feet. So you can combine an inspiring cultural tour in the city centre – to visit the Roman Greek Theatre, San Nicola Cathedral, the Public Gardens, Palazzo Corvaja – and summer vacations aiming at its beaches.
If you love to have a nice stroll, meet locals, buy souvenirs or have a tasty granita for breakfast, do a tour in Corso Umberto and Piazza del Duomo. Gourmet travellers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to taste authentic Sicilian food in one of the many typical restaurants.
Spaghetti ai ricci di mare is the signature dish of this area that you should definitely taste it before leaving Sicily. This mouthwatering first course is based on sea urchins which give to the dish an incredible flavour. You can taste Spaghetti ai ricci di mare and other great seafood recipes – such as Zuppa di Pesce and Fritto Misto – in the downtown but also in the nice restaurants located along the beach, so to hear the gentle sound of the waves splashing by the Isola Bella’s cliff.
Pasta con le sarde in Catania
If you’re ready to leave the touristy site of Taormina – favourite summer getaway – plunge into the crowded city of Catania for another taste of Sicily.
While it’s not hard to meet locals in Taormina, in Catania it’s unavoidable! The fish market, in particular, is the ideal place to get a glimpse of what happens in the early mornings of this town at the feet of the majestic Etna Volcano. Soon after the first morning lights, people and traders’ shouts flood the lava stone streets and so does the strong fish flavour. The Pescheria – famous Catania daily fish market – is the right place to buy sardines, tuna, anchovies, swordfish and seafood. You can access to the Pescheria from Via Garibaldi or Via Pacini, just off the wonderful Cathedral of Saint Agata.
If you have an appetite for fish, stop by a typical restaurant near Piazza Duomo and order Pasta con le Sarde (“pasta chi sardi” in Sicilian dialect) as first course. The main ingredient are pasta and the European pilchard (sarde in Italian), caught in the Mediterranean Sea from March to September. The pasta is enriched with the unique aroma of Florence fennel.
After lunch, visit the great Baroque monuments of Catania – characterized by details made of lava stone – and the downtown, which are a World Heritage Site.
During your trip to Sicily enjoy nightlife both in Catania and in Taormina. For example, you can join exclusive night clubs in Catania or take part to the important theatrical season in the Theatre of Taormina.
At the end of your holiday in Sicily, you won’t forget the lemon scent surrounding the countryside and the warmth of people saying “Buongiorno” with a smile!
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My boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed the Foodies Tour, which included stops at producers of cheese, balsamic vinegar and cured meat. Paolo was an amazing tour guide – he's extremely knowledgeable, kind and a great communicator. We learned so much! It was really nice to be in a smaller group and most of the producers we visited were small so we were able to get a close up view of the processes. We'd highly recommend Emilia Delizia as this tour was truly authentic and a highlight of our trip!
thank you for the kind review
The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).