VISIT THE MEDITERRANEAN ISLAND OF SICILY, ALL WHILE STAYING SAFELY GLUTEN FREE!
Choose any date of travel (this is an individual itinerary, not a group trip).
Gluten Free Travel-Us has unveiled a magical destination that can now be done gluten free, thanks to Ellen Morse's hard work and the knowledge of her partners at Select Italy. Select Italy has been a native Italian family run boutique travel company since 1991. The company specializes in customized itineraries in Italy and Croatia. Able to create authentic experiences guided by an Italian aesthetic, they are pleased to collaborate with Ellen Morse on a Gluten-Free journey into Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean.You'll visit historic towns, well preserved ruins of Greek temples, and picturesque coastline. You'll be able to meander through narrow streets of medieval villages, go to wine tastings, and experience hands-on cooking classes. Blessed with the legacies of ancient civilizations having washed up on its shores, it is said that that Italy's acclaimed gastronomic excellence has its roots in Sicily, and one can never truly claim to visit Il Bel Paese ("the beautiful country") without ever having stepped foot in Italy's largest region: La Sicilia.
By joining this adventure to visit Sicily's most precious gems, you will be able to discover first hand how nature, history, and culinary excellence are the root of the island's identity. Quintessentially Mediterranean and an ancient crossroads of commerce, Sicily is a culmination of ancient and modern history. No wonder this captivating land has such fine food. Sicilian cuisine traces its DNA through two millennia of inhabitants: from the Ancient Greeks, Arabs, and Normans...to Spain, Greece, North Africa, and the Middle East in more recent times. Since Ellen Morse has personally confirmed that all the accommodations and restaurants offer a high level of gluten free knowledge, you know you'll be food-safe, never worrying about your gluten free diet and able to relax and enjoy your journey.
With highs in the high 80's (F) in summer and lows in the 40's (F) in the winter, Sicily is a year-round destination, but it certainly comes alive in peak summer months from May to September when travelers flock to its sandy beaches and sail among the 15 islands that dot its shoreline. Getting to Sicily has never been easier. Arriving into Palermo no longer means an obligatory connection on Italy's mainland. The main European carriers all offer service from major EU gateway cities, most year-round. Prefer the high seas? If you choose to visit the Italian mainland first, you can then take advantage of daily ferry service from Naples to Palermo that takes just over 10 hours. Book a cabin to wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy the sun rise over the Mediterranean. For those flying in from the Italian mainland, your flight from Rome will take just over an hour, while from Milan you can add an additional 45 minutes to your flight time.
The itinerary below is a suggestion for spending 12 fantastic days immersed in Sicily's land, history, and cuisine. All experiences are customizable to your specific interests, preferences, and budget, while all accommodations and restaurants are vetted for gluten free safety.
Ellen will provide many suggestions as you begin working with her. This is not a group tour but a trip you can take at any time and with anyone you choose. Pricing depends on your dates of travel, point of departure, and other factors.
Days 1-4: Palermo/Erice/Trapani/Marsala
Arrive in Palermo, Sicily's capital city, first established in 734 BC. These first days of your journey will immerse you in Sicily's fascinating history passing through Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Arab, French, and Spanish rule.
Palermo is the epicenter of the revival of modern day Sicilian cuisine, while Erice takes visitors back to mythical times (legend has it that one of its temples was founded by Aeneas). You'll visit archeological sites with well preserved ruins of Greek temples, and you'll have time to meander through quiet medieval streets. With its strategic port used since Roman times, Trapani will be your next stop. You'll learn about the importance of Arab influence on the history of Sicily.
Days 5-8: Trapani and surrounding areas
Now that you are well-versed in Sicily's history and culture, it's time to experience its natural beauty first-hand. During these days you will visit some of the island's most famous wineries (whose bottles are most likely featured on your favorite Italian restaurant's wine list!).
You'll also have the opportunity to tour a stunning nature preserve, home to falcons, eagles, Sicily's signature saw palmetto tree, and pristine beaches.
Days 9-12: Marsala/Egadi Islands/Agrigento
A visit to Sicily would not be complete without time spent at sea. Embark on a pleasant 90-minute mini cruise, complete with local antipasti and refreshments. The cruise will take you to the Egadi Islands for photos, sun bathing, and some time to explore. Don't forget to try a "granita," or Italian ice, as you take in the panoramic blues of the Mediterranean.
A highlight of your journey will be a visit to Agrigento, the "Valley of the Temples," which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You'll see the finest examples of Ancient Greek Doric style temples outside of Greece!
You'll continue on to more of Sicily's finest cantinas and a private tour and tasting of vintage wines. Before returning home, you'll have fun on the last day of your journey, learning how to make one of Sicily's gifts to the culinary lexicon: la caponata. It's a famous and refreshing marinated vegetable salad made from: eggplant, celery, garlic, tomatoes, olives and Sicilian extra virgin olive oil.
PLEASE NOTE: IN THIS SPECIAL SITUATION, IF WE CAN GET A NUMBER OF TRAVELERS WISHING TO GO AT THE SAME TIME, WE COULD CREATE A GROUP TRIP IF YOU DESIRE.