Taste of Sicily



SEPTEMBER 2-12, 2022

Your journey begins in    Historic Palermo 

We'll begin our first full day with a local guide who'll take us through a fun exploration of the local culture and colorful street food scene of Palermo.

The Arab-Norman architectural delights of Palermo, Cefalù and Monreale, named a World Heritage Site in 2015, are a treasure to behold. This area represents a profound cultural union of two peoples of inestimable wealth and is an example of Sicily’s grandiose cultural eclecticism. 

On our last day in Palermo we'll spend some free time exploring the beautiful sea side town of Cefalu. 

The next stop on our journey begins on day 4 with an Olive Oil experience and lunch at Amodeo farm for before arriving at our next destination, Canicatti near Agrigento.   

Street Market in Palermo
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Symbol of Sicily
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Scala dei Turchi
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Known for the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas in the Valley of the Temples, Agrigento is a vast archaeological site with well-preserved Greek temples. 

After our visit to this historical site we'll visit the stunning natural white rock formation on the southern coast of Sicily, Scala dei Turchi  (Stairs of the Turks) named for the Turkish pirates who climbed up the stair-like rocks to raid nearby towns. Today, the area is well-known for its amazing scenery and beautiful beaches.


We'll be staying in the small town of Canicatti where my grandmother is from, just a few minutes from Agrigento. Here we will experience the local culture and treasure the beauty & warmth of true Italian hospitality. We'll enjoy casual family dinners and a cooking class with our family friend, Antonio Cani. 


We'll spend our last three nights exploring Syracuse and the Island of Ortiglia. Here the architectural styles vary widely, encompassing Greek and Roman remains, Medieval Norman buildings and Baroque style. Restaurants, trattorias, bars and views over the lagoon abound.

There's a colorful daily street market which sells a fantastic array of Sicilian delicacies. At the end of the market is a must-see for food lovers: a delicatessen of rare quality, called “I Sapori dei Gusti Smarriti” (literally the flavors of lost tastes). Here you can find cheeses, hams and cured meats of the very best quality, many of which, especially those produced in Sicily, you will find nowhere else.


We'll take a day trip to Mt Etna where we'll enjoy a delicious farm to table lunch and tasting of unique Sicilian wine varietals, followed by a guided walking tour of the beautiful resort town, Toarmina.

Stroll through ancient piazzas, sip your spritz on a terrace overlooking the beach, breath in the atmosphere, live in the moment.

This is Sicily.

Just a few of the beautiful things you'll experience...

 What's Included: 

  • Airport arrival & departure transfers to/from hotels at designated times

  • Welcome dinner, wine included

  • 9 nights hotel accommodations, 3 nights each in Palermo, Canicatti & Syracusa, dbl occupancy (a roommate will be assigned if you are traveling solo in a twin room)...

      *Please inquire about single room options*

  • Daily breakfast included

  • Transportation during our excursions

  • Sicilian street food tour with local guide (today's lunch)

  • Excursion to Monreale with local guide

  • Transportation to/from Cefalu 

  • Olive oil tasting and experience at Amodeo farm with lunch 

  • Welcome dinner in Canacatti 

  • Guided tour of The Valley of Temples in Agrigento and visit to Scale dei Turche 

  • Cooking class with Antonio Cani, followed by dinner with the foods we prepared. You are welcome to simply watch and sip vino if you prefer not to cook! 

  • Transfer to Syracusa with stop in Caltagirone, free time for lunch on your own, great place to shop for Italian pottery 

  • Truffle hunting experience, with lunch at a watermill 

  • Day trip to Mt Etna followed by a wine tasting excursion with lunch 

  • Guided walking tour in Toarmina

  • Farewell dinner, non alcoholic drinks included

  • Total of 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners included

*Airport transportation  **at designated time** Please pre-arrange flights with me prior to booking. Let me know if you need help booking flights. 


* Single room options are available, book asap if you prefer a single room, supplement fees apply. 


**Want to add on an extra night or two? Just ask and I'll be happy to help you book flights and hotels.


***Reminder: USA flights arrive in Italy 1 day later than your US departure date!

What's not included: 

  • Your round-trip airfare from home

  • Transportation to Palermo

  • All meals not mentioned in the itinerary 

  • Personal Alcoholic beverages, other than whats provided in itinerary   

  • Other non-included items: souvenir shopping, tips, spa services, personal taxi fare when venturing out on your own, etc.

  • Personal, medical or trip cancellation insurance

  • Optional excursions

*Please pre-arrange flights with me prior to booking, so you can meet the hotel transfer.

**Feel free to inquire if there is a place you'd like to go before/after our week together and I'll try to help you arrange it!

Meet your hosts

Ann Marie Packard

Your Host, and event planner

Hello! I'm so excited for Sicily 2021!

I have some really amazing things lined up for us and I can't wait to experience them with you. 

I became very passionate about travel and helping people live their dreams after my father passed away in 2007 without ever having realized his.

It has become my mission to share the gift of travel by creating amazing trips so you don't have to stress about details. There is so much beauty and culture to be explored, why not give yourself permission to enjoy it? Come awaken your wanderlust spirit, this is your one life... come live it with us! 

Janell Pekkain

Co-Host, Olive oil expert and passionista!

Janell's love of travel, food, connection and community led her to open Olive This Olive That in 2012, an olive oil retail shop in San Francisco. Janell graduated from the International Tour Management Institute in 1996 and lived abroad for 12 years. It's her passion for travel and connecting with people that makes Janell a wonderful co-host for Sicily 2021.

Her deep knowledge and passion for extra virgin olive oil and gastronomy is a big bonus! Janell is an active member of the California Olive Oil Council, certifying hundreds of California produced olive oils through the panel every year. It will be a special treat to have her along as we explore the tastes of Italian extra virgin olive oil. 


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     Dbl occupancy

(airfare not included)

Space is limited to 12 participants 

       A non-refundable deposit of $895 is due at the time of registration to secure your space

Deposits can be made through PayPal, Visa, Check or Cash






Total payment of $2895 (includes deposit) is due by March 15th 2022

All remaining balances are due by June 15th 2022

3% fee for credit card/paypal payments

For general questions about this trip please email


Ann Marie



Reservation/Refund and Cancellation Policy:

A $895 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Your spot is not reserved until we receive your deposit. Second payment of $2000 due by March 15th, 2022. All remaining balances due in full by June 15, 2022.

If you need to cancel anytime between 30 days to 60 days prior to the trip 50% of the payment, less the deposit, will be refunded. We are not able to provide refunds for cancellations less than 30 days prior to the trip. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum (if we do your deposit is refunded in full).

Trip cancellation insurance is always recommended whenever making travel plans,

a "cancel for any reason" policy is highly recommended especially in times of Covid.

Insure my trip  online insurance is one company we know and trust,

where you can choose from several policy options.

Contact Us
Dolce Vita retreats

San Francisco, California