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May 7, 2013 12:38 PM

Looking for a cooking school on Sicily

Two couples will be going to Sicily in September 2014 and would like to go to a cooking school for 5-7 days. Anyone have any experience/recommendations with a cooking school on Sicily. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. One of the best known cooking schools is that on the Tasca d'Almerita wine estate. Run by years by Anna Tasca, it is now run by her daughter.

    I also know that Divina Cucina is running a bunch of Sicily weeks this year, so you may want to look into that.

    1. I don't know about a program lasting that long, but know of shorter possibilities on Ortigia (Siracusa, southeastern Sicily) and in Palermo. ( I've not actually participated in either class.)

      I've stayed with Fiora on Ortigia several times and been privileged to enjoy her cooking.

      And I've stayed with Nicoletta at Butera 28 and enjoyed her shopping and dining expertise.

      For longer programs, you certainly would enjoy Divina Cucina (Judy Witts Francini). I believe she has in the past included a session with Nicoletta at Butera 28,

      1. I just got back from a stay at an amazing B&B in Siracusa (Syracuse) right on the Passeregio of Arteusa in the Ortigia district. The chef, Salvo Ficara, and his wife, Adrianna Breuer, were more than gracious hosts. They asked after our interests the first day and the next morning took us to the Siracuse market in Ortigia.

        After witnessing the death of the markets in Palermo, the Ortigia market was like walking from a dungeon into the sunshine. They took us to a cheese where they begin to make their ricotta each morning at 3am. I've never actually had a grilled ricotta before, so this place, with its fresh ricotta which was also grilled was amazing. That dish was just the first. Salvo had them prepare several plates (paired with wines) for us and it was finished with a cannoli filled with the most amazingly (again with the ricotta) smooth, sweet filling I've ever had. Not a curd to be felt.

        Of course, that was nothing compared to the breakfast / brunches he prepared for us the following days. Everything was so fresh, the flavors exploded. But he prepared some unexpected combinations: a salad combinging oranges & red onions or olives stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesean; as well as some classic staples which were so well combined the flavors just leaped off the plate: scrambled eggs and ham, or mussels & clams combined in a white wine reduction.

        Staple foods were repeated, but the combinations were changed up. It was like the foods were re-invented each day. And each day, we sat in their small garden which was part of the terrace of the passeregio overlooking Siracusa harbor.

        I'd highly recommend contacting them for a personalized experience of Sicilian food preparation. He even has his own olive grove and patch of land where they grow vegetables and produce their own olive oil.

        Their email is I'm unsure of how all the arrangements work. I'm just a traveller raving about an incredible experience I had with some of the best food I've ever had prepared for me. My husband is the cook and spoke with Salvo about the preparations.

        4 Replies
        1. re: andrea345

          thanks for the detailed report!! wondering if you could talk about Palermo and your other experiences as well.

          1. re: jen kalb

            I am working on a trip report right now. I've just posted the beginning part in its own thread. Thanks for asking!

          2. re: andrea345

            are you able to give me the name of the b and b they run? I can't find it on the airbnb site. Your descriptions are just great.

            1. re: joma21

              Adriana hosts on AirBnB. I just checked directly with her, the cooking is still on. Here's her Airbnb profile.


              I loved Siracusa, and Sicily in general. Would go back in a heartbeat. I was bored silly amongst the beers on Belgium because the contrast to sicily's vibrant markets, food, wine, and art was just too striking. Sicily set a standard for me. Enjoy.

          3. I suspect I am too late to help you find a program, but I recommend Soul of Sicily ( It is based in southeastern Sicily, around Noto and Siracusa.

            1. Hi. We organize exclusive cooking experiences in east Sicily at prestigious locations. Upon request we can get all the arrangements for a residential tour. Please, have a look at our website: