Volcanic Soil on Etna
“Despite growing up and living in Sicily, I only recently discovered the unique environment around Etna. I fell in love with this volcano that looms large on Sicily’s eastern coast: the power, the presence, the energy was all electric and new. I came to realize that Etna is probably the only place on earth where you can truly experience with all your senses the flavor of the volcano not just through eating and drinking, but tasting the landscape by walking, foraging, hiking and inhaling a sense of place. It’s a place where the physical and the sensual combine.” – Fabrizia Lanza
A trip into the heart of one of Sicily’s most unique landscapes both in terms of food and physical geography. A week filled with adventure and exploration, for those who want to experience how a territory shapes both lifestyle and cuisine. Marvel at the intense landscape, forage for wild foods, experience cheese making, hike on Etna and watch how basic ingredients are transformed into abundant meals and one-of-a-kind wines. Get a true taste of rustic country living with local ingredients and home cooking.
Participants should be in good physical health, willing and able to hike at a moderate pace for about 20 km (4 hours).
Agriturismo Parco Statella offers charmingly rustic rooms on the property of an old wine cantina. The grounds are inside the national park, surrounded by vineyards and walking trails. All rooms have private bathrooms.
Single Room: € 2,500
Double Room: € 4,600
Monday, July 1st
2:00 pm: Pick up from Catania airport and arrival at Agriturismo Parco Statella. Join Chef Michael for a welcome aperitivo and introduction to the week’s program and local landscape.
Tuesday, July 2nd
9:00 am: Breakfast and wandering into the surrounding area for a guided walk in search of wild foods.
12:00 pm: Return to the kitchen at Parco Statella with your foraged goods for a cooking lesson to create a delicious lunch.
3:00 pm: In the afternoon we will visit the Tasca’s Tascante vineyards to see an antique palmento, a large scale wooden wine press. Tour the cellars and then sit down for a delicious tasting overlooking the terraced fields.
8:00 pm: Dinner at Parco Statella.
Wednesday, July 3rd
8:00 am: Breakfast and then an immediate departure on Mount Etna for a guided hike of the volcano’s diverse landscapes. Up lava flows, around craters, into the woods and across rocky terrain, see how every step hosts a different terrain. We will identify native plant species, peek into underground grottos and understand how time has shaped the landscape and the surrounding towns, savoring the stunning views of Sicily along the way. A picnic lunch is included.
2:00 pm: Head into Linguaglossa, a nearby town for a mid-afternoon granita and a walk around this charming village on the slope of Etna.
4:00 pm: Return to Parco Statella for a rest and then indulge in an abundant and well-deserved dinner.
Thursday, July 4th
7:30 am: Coffee and depart to see the cheese making process. We will visit a small farm where cows and buffalo roam free and their milk is transformed daily into fresh ricotta, provola and mozzarella.
After cheese making we will move to the Girolamo Russo vineyards where Giuseppe, the owner, will guide us through a home-cooked meal paired with his unique wines. After lunch we will explore the vineyards and then head back to Parco Stellata.
5:00 pm: Join Chef Massimo of Parco Statella in the kitchen to prepare a delicious dinner.
Friday, July 5th
8:30 am: Breakfast at Parco Statella we leave for Bronte to see the impressive pistacchio fields. Discover how these resilient plants cover the landscape having been grafted onto native trees.
12:00 pm: We’ll move to Randazzo to see visit this charming town with its signature volcanic rock cathedrale. A light lunch in town will be followed by a granita tasting at Pasticceria Musumeci, where Giovanna, a second generation gelato, granita and pastry maker uses only local ingredients. Into the kitchen to explore traditional pastry methods
7:30 pm: Return to Parco Statella for a farewell dinner.
Saturday, July 6th
8:30 am: Breakfast and departure for Catania airport.
*Airfare and transportation to and from Case Vecchie are not included in the price. Please request transportation arrangements at the time of booking if you would like us to book a car to and from the estate.
**Please note, due to the seasonal rhythm of life and agriculture in Sicily, planned activities and schedules may change at short notice. If this is the case, an equally engaging activity will be arranged.