This week will offer a fascinating insight into Sicily’s rich culture at a time of traditional Easter festivities. We will be staying at the wonderful Edone agriturismo, deep in the Alcantara valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty and within easy travelling distance of Taormina, Etna and Catania. The week will be a mixture of talks on Sicilian history and literature, nature and cultural tours to Etna, Taormina and Catania and food and wine tastings, including the renowned red wines from Etna. In addition, Edone itself has great accommodation and food, a swimming pool and a friendly environment and there will be plenty of time to enjoy its tranquillity.
Talks, Tours and Tastings: £575
Accommodation (6 nights), buffet lunch and dinner:
Euro €420 double
Euro €510 single occupancy
Francesca Marchese is a London-based Sicilian journalist and the founder of SicilyCulture, which organises and promotes events on Sicilian film, food and features to a diverse community of Londoners. She helped establish Cinema Italia UK in 2014 and used her knowledge of Sicilian film to introduce the work of Sicilian directors to British audiences. Previously she spent a decade in Sicily as a TV reporter, with an interest in current affairs and migration.
Geoff Andrews is a writer and historian. He has written two books on Italy (‘Not a Normal Country’ and ‘The Slow Food Story’) as well as other books on British history, including most recently The Shadow Man: at the Heart of the Cambridge Spy Circle. In 2015 he founded Sicily Unlimited, which has the purpose of exploring Sicily’s rich history and culture through talks and summer schools and to promote sustainable links with local people and associations.
N.B. We do not organise flights but will endeavour to offer travel advice and can pick up from Catania airport on the morning of 29 March.
Thursday 29 March
1-4pm. Arrival at Edone agriturismo, http://www.tenutaedone.com/en
Aperitivo and dinner.
18.00: Aperitivo: Welcome to Alcantara with Salvatore and Karin Romano.
Friday 30 March (Venerdi Santo – Good Friday)
9.00 Nature trail and visit to Gole dell’Alcantatra
8pm: Visit to traditional Easter Venerdi Santo (Good Friday) procession in Castiglione di Sicilia
Saturday 31 March
9.00 Etna Trip with local vulcanologist and visit to Firriato Vineyards for lunch and Etna wine-tasting. http://firriato.it/lands/cavanera-estate/?lang=en
Sunday 1 April (Easter Sunday)
10.00. The Leopard and the history of Sicily. D.H.Lawrence and Taormina. The Inspiration for Lady Chatterley’s Lover and other writings. Daphne Phelps and Casa Cuseni.
2pm Free afternoon.
Monday: 2 April
10.00. The Slow Food movement in Sicily. The History of Sicilian food. Visit to Graniti for Slow Food tasting and talk from Salvatore Romano.
4pm. ‘Pasquetta’ (Easter Monday) cooking (optional).
Tuesday 3 April
10.00: Talk on two Sicilian writers: Leonardo Sciascia and Vitaliano Brancati (Don Giovanni in Sicilia)
2.30 Visit to Taormina, taking in Greek theatre, Hotel Timeo and D.H.Lawrence’s old house, Fontana Vecchia.
Wednesday 4 April
9.00. Visit Catania for tour of Centro Storico, including fish market.
1pm. Lunch in Trattoria di De Fiore .