"La mia terra è sui fiumi
stretta al mare
Salvatore Quasimodo

Chocotravels presents a unique travel that ties together the architectural beauties of the Sicily in the XVII century with the fragrances and the flavours of this enchanted land.
From Palermo to Catania, from Modica to Ragusa and Noto following the sparkling scene of the baroque style we'll be surrounded by the incredible landscape of this island where the green, the red and the yellow of the country melt with the dark blue of the sea. And then we'll taste a lot of flavours never tested before or perhaps forgotten for a long time, in a world where history and legends still live together as the famous Modica's chocolate. Here, in this nice small town near the sea, the Aztec tradition lives again thanks to Franco and Paolo Ruta from the "Antica Dolceria Bonajuto" and to many other artisans that maintain the secret of this ancient recipe brought to them by the Spanish domination.


1°day: arrival at Palermo airport in the morning. Transfer by private bus to "Vucciria" the colourfully market so picturesque that resembles an Arabian souk. Palermo, in the 827 A.C was an important Islamic commercial centre. Lunch in a typical restaurant nearby the market. Following, guided tour to the main interesting baroque places in the town as Piazza Vigliena with its marvellous Palaces and San Giuseppe, SS Salvatore and Santa Caterina churches. In the evening accommodation in the reserved Hotel **** and dining free.
2°day: breakfast in Hotel and transfer to Acireale, near Catania. In the XVIII century it was one of the most important cultural centre of the whole island and there are wonderful examples of the famous "flourished" Sicilian baroque. But before leaving Acireale we cannot miss to taste an incredible ice cream really handmade following ancient recipes: once it was made with the snow of the Etna Volcano. Then we'll continue our travel to Catania, situated among the golden shores of the Ionian Sea, the Etna (the biggest volcano in Europe) and the green, fertile land crossed by the Simeto River. This town was completely rebuilt after a terrible earthquake in 1693 so its architectural aspects are very interesting. Guided tour: we'll visit Via Crociferi that with its Churches and its Palaces proposes us the "flourished" Catania's baroque; Palazzo Biscari, full of putti and flours, the Benedictine's Monastery and the Cathedral devoted to Sant'Anna. We can't forget the true symbol of Catania: "U liotru", a basaltic elephant with an Egyptian obelisque on the shoulders built in 1736.
Following we'll reach Modica: accommodation in Hotel ***. Dinner in a typical restaurant with a …….chocolate menu!

3° day: breakfast in hotel. At about 9.30 A.M we'll reach the "Antica Dolceria Bonajuto" where Franco Ruta will keep a charming lesson about the Modican Chocolate, true "food of gods" because it is still prepared following the ancient Aztec tradition. "The history of our chocolate winds along a same road, that going back to the past, joins the Sicily, especially the country ofModica, the Spain and finally refinds its roots in the splendid civilization of the Aztecs, old population of Mexico. The discovery of America allowed the Spaniards to know a great variety of food-stuffs, such as the "Xoco'atl", a product extracted from cacao seeds, kept carefully by the people. The term Xoco'atl indicated a drink and a solid product too. As for the latter, the first distinction had been made by brother Bernardino de Sahagun, who for the first time used the masculin "Cioccolato" pointing out that cigar shaped product that Aztecs obtained by grinding tha cacao seeds on tool called "metatl" (a round stone resting on two cross-bases), using a special stone "matterello". The so obtained cacao meal was mixed with cooked maize flour; the whole was rubbed on the "metatl" till the cocoa-butter had hardened the blend. The Spaniards during their domination, introduced the working of the chocolate, as well as they had learned by the old aztecs. This chocolate contrarily to what happened in the rest or Europe did never pass to an industrial phase, remaining unchanged over the centuries. Up to present the Bonajuto Old Pastry produces the chocolate with the same ".
Then we'll visit his workshop to discover the secrets of this incredible product and later he will propose us how to taste his chocolate. For lunch we suggest you to go and try some specialities of this country because Arabian and Spanish cooking are melted together with local products. There is a great variety of appetisers made of the famous DOP cheese from Ragusa or of sausages and olives. And don't forget the starts as the wonderful "minestroni"(vegetable soup) with lentils, broad beans and chick pea. For the meat lovers we suggest to taste the rabbit "a stimpirita", the pork "alla normanna" and the "Mpanatigghia" (in Spain it is called "Empanadilla") a cake with meat, almonds and chocolate. In the afternoon guided visit to the "Bottega del Dolciere" rebuilt with ancient instruments for preparing chocolate as the famous "metate". Time at disposal for shopping and visiting the house where Salvatore Quasimodo, the famous Sicilian Nobel poet was born. In the evening dining at Frigintini: for a particular appetiser we'll go to Aldo Puglisi's, a young pastry maker for tasting his interesting creations: the "Ciokarrube" pralines made with carob flavour. Overnight in Hotel.

4°day: breakfast in Hotel and guided visit to Modica. It is called "Lace Town" for its precious Churches and its noble Palaces rebuilt in a pure baroque ibleo style. San Giorgio's, with its 250 steps stair, conquests the visitors together with Santa Maria of Bethlem's, San Giovanni Evangelist's and San Peter's. Transfer to Ragusa crossing a many colourfully landscape. Arrival and accommodation in Hotel **** .
5° day: breakfast in Hotel and transfer to the interesting archaeologic site of Cava Ispica, something like a canyon 10 Kilometres long where many testimonials of Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Arabian and Norman dominations were found.
Then we suggest following a rural itinerary because this particular zone is famous for carrots, tomatoes and carrube: do you know that the carob flavour is largely used in pastry thanks to its particular chocolate taste? Visit to a characteristic "masseria iblea" (a sort of farm) to eat the famous warm "ricotta" ( a typical Italian cheese).
In the afternoon transfer to Ragusa Ibla, the ancient part of Ragusa completely rebuilt in the baroque style at the end of 1600. You can't loose this incredible visit with all the sparkling Palaces and the rich Churches that sign an important period in the Italian art. Dining in a typical restaurant and a fantastic ice cream at "Gelati Di Vini" will crown our night.
6° day: after our breakfast transfer to Noto. This town is considered the real capital of the Sicilian baroque style with the Dome and its Palaces as the Municipale, Vescovile and the Sant'Alfano ones and all its beautiful Churches. On Sunday the 3rd in May the traditional" infiorata" takes place to hail the spring arrival.
Via Nicolaci is completely covered with flowers that create gigantic

pictures changing every year: the subjects may be, in fact, mythological, religious or cultural ones. After the guided visit we'll have the possibility to take part to some guided tasting of the typical wines of this region. In the afternoon transfer to Catania airport.


The quotation includes: Grand Tourism bus; BB accommodation in Hotels****/***
Dinners and lunches as specified in the program;
guided visit
As in the program; kit with detailed program.
The quotation doesn't include: beverages, tickets,
fee entrance, personal extra and all not specified
in the "the quotation includes"

On request we can add one day for some other hours of chocolate school and two days or more for sun bathing and swimming in the marvellous sea of this island.

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