Sicily & Naples with Flour + Water

October 1 - 7, 2023 | One Exclusive Departure

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Heart & Soul of Italy

Immerse yourself in the food, art and culture of Sicily & Naples with Flour + Water's Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow

October 1 - 7, 2023

One exclusive departure—reserve your spot

7 Days, 6 Nights

Best of Sicily, Siracusa, Mt Etna, Taormina, Naples

Price from

$8,000

per person based on double occupancy, including internal flight from Sicily to Naples

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

Yesterday, you met one of Sicily’s most renowned winemakers on the slopes of a volcano. The day before you learned centuries-old traditions from a Siracusan cheesemaker; today, after waking up and sipping a perfect espresso in the shadow of Mt Etna, you’re off sailing the sparkling waters of the Ionian Sea, pausing after lunch in a quiet fishing village to stroll medieval alleys and ancient Roman amphitheaters. What’s next? Oh, just pure immersion in the beating heart of Naples with two master chefs and some of the world’s best pizza (no exaggeration). This is Sicily and Naples as few others can experience—a rare inroad to the culinary and cultural secrets of southern Italy.

With us are Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow, two of San Francisco’s most talented restaurateurs and the creative and culinary duo behind Flour + Water. The menu is a celebration of pure and authentic Italy, anchored in traditional ingredients and cooking techniques. It’s an approach and philosophy launched them to the top of “Best Italian Restaurants in America” lists by GQ and Thrillist. Ryan and Thomas love what they do — and it shows in each dish and every thoughtful detail. Sicily and Naples with these incredible humans is a celebration of the Italy we love: its people and places, culture and cuisine.

If you want to venture into iconic Italy, but do it like a local, this is the trip for you. Uncover the delicious backstory of southern Italy’s great dishes. Meet vintners, cheesemakers and pizzaiolo chefs, as we go deep in the story behind what makes southern Italy so deliciously unforgettable.

Discover

Ancient Greek ruins, medieval villages, a star-lit night under the gaze of Mt Etna

Go Deeper

Connect with local winemakers, artists and chefs, and with Thomas and Ryan of Flour + Water

Savor

World-class wines, delicate pastas and the freshest seafood—and we’ll try it all

Luxuriate

In the finest accommodations—artful palatial hotels and noble rural villas, all perfectly located

Your Experience

“History and tradition of Southern Italian cooking play a role in everything we do at Flour + Water.”
Ryan Pollnow

Sicily, Siracusa, Mt Etna, Naples

“I can't wait to explore through the lens of the locals, to eat and drink just like a true Sicilian.”
Thomas McNaughton

Your Hosts

Ryan and Thomas have conquered the SF Bay Area restaurant scene with a culinary philosophy rooted in their love of Italy. Thomas earned his chops in San Francisco’s Michelin-rated kitchens before going abroad, working in the pasta laboratorio of Bologna’s Salumeria Bruno e Franco. Ryan’s inspiration comes from his extensive travels in Italy. Together, they’re the perfect hosts for a week of delicious discovery.

Ryan Pollnow

Ryan Pollnow grew up in Northern California and completed culinary school in Sonoma County. He apprenticed alongside Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz in Spain's Basque region before returning to the Bay Area. Despite his ascendency to co-chef and vice president of the Flour + Water Hospitality Group, Ryan's not quite ready to stay put. Traveling for inspiration has always been central to his growth, and he can't wait to show us his Italy.

Thomas McNaughton

Thomas McNaughton is one of the Bay Area's most highly regarded culinary talents. Multiple James Beard “Rising Chef” nods, a Forbes “30 Under 30” award, one of Food & Wine's “American Icons at Every Age” and one of its 10 “Empire Builders” in 2012. More than a decade later, Food & Wine seem to have gotten it exactly right: Thomas is a culinary force with a passion for Italy that's infectious.

Day by Day

Day 1: Catania & Siracusa

Benvenuti a Sicilia! We meet up with Thomas, Ryan and our fellow adventurers in Sicily’s historic Catania, then dive right into the epic market scene. We’ll sample some of Sicily’s finest street foods as fishmongers hawk fresh swordfish and octopus hauled in overnight. Afterwards, we head to nearby Siracusa, a seaside wonder basking in 2,700 years of history with deep Greek, Roman, Byzantine, North African and Norman influences.

Here, we’ll embark on a walking tour of the island of Ortigia, the bustling city center of Siracusa that still lives like a quaint cobblestone village. Later we’ll join the locals on a passeggiata, or evening walk, on the promenade for an unforgettable first sunset together over the Mediterranean en route to an elegant and locally sourced welcome dinner.

Day 1: Catania & Siracusa Highlights

  • Catania market tour
  • Transfer to Siracusa
  • Walking Tour of Ortigia
  • Stay at Ortea Palace in Siracusa

Day 2: Siracusa

After a grand breakfast, we’ll be treated to a full-on exposé of traditional Sicilian cheeses at the CoRFiLaC Laboratory, where we find out how to taste cheese like pros and see all stages of the best Sicilian cheesemaking.

Next, we’ll move onto the next Sicilian ingredient: tomatoes. We’ll meet one of Italy’s most respected tomato growers, Casa Morana, where we’ll learn how they make epic tomato sauce and sit down to a picnic lunch on the bucolic farm.

Heading back to the hotel, we will stop at Noto, a breezy, walkable town, famed for its limestone Baroque buildings. Our afternoon pick-me-up? A fresh slice of hazelnut sponge cake and a cappuccino ghiacciato (iced coffee with almond-milk granita) at a beloved family-run bakery.

Tonight, the dream-like lanes of Siracusa are yours to explore on your own.

Day 2: Siracusa Highlights

  • Cheese tasting at CoRFiLaC Laboratory
  • Casa Morana visit & farm lunch
  • Explore Noto
  • Stay at Ortea Palace in Siracusa

Day 3: Mt Etna

After breakfast, we pack our things and move our Sicilian adventure to an active volcano over twice the size of Mt Vesuvius. At nearly 11,000 feet, Mt Etna is a towering mountain that sometimes glows red. We’ll hike its craggy fissures with a local volcanologist who shares the ins and outs of Etna’s fascinating history.

Appetites worked up, we’ll move on to one of the area’s top-notch vineyards set atop the volcano’s slopes with panoramic views. At Tenuta San Michele we’ll meet the winemaker, sip juicy reds and rich whites, then lunch on the best charcuterie and aged sun-dried tomatoes under the golden Sicilian sun. For the night, we’re sticking around Etna’s shadow. We set up in an intimate boutique hotel in a village at the volcano’s foot, where we can toast our day under a starlit sky.

Day 3: Mt Etna Highlights

  • Transfer to Mt Etna
  • Hike Mt Etna with volcanologist
  • Tour, tasting and lunch at Tenuta San Michele vineyards
  • Stay at Relais San Giuliano in Viagrande

Day 4: Taormina

We’re up early for breakfast as the morning mist hangs over the volcano, then heading out on a private boat ride along the breathtaking rocky shorelines and beaches of the Ionian Sea. It’s surreal scenery, as we see inside Grotta Azzurra, a sea cave with crystalline waters that glow blue. We enjoy a specially prepared lunch at sea, then dock to explore the lovely historic city of Taormina’s medieval lanes and churches, and its epic hilltop Greek theater with a full coastline panorama below.

We’ll have an afternoon full of Taormina’s endless appeal. Sit with an espresso in vibrant piazzas, browse shops in the alleys bursting with life, pop into a Gothic cathedral, and take some gelato to cliff-hugging terraces overlooking the sea. We’ll return to our hotel by the volcano for another star-lit night under Mt Etna’s gaze.

Day 4: Taormina Highlights

  • Private boat ride in Ionian Sea
  • Special lunch prepared at sea
  • Explore coastal town of Taormina
  • Stay at Relais San Giuliano in Viagrande

Day 5: Naples

Our adventure of southern Italy moves on today, as we fly to a buzzing Mediterranean capital under the watch of Mt Vesuvius. We’ll jump right into Naples’ oldest spot for street food, Pignasecca Market. We’ll wander this outdoor mercato tasting fresh fruits and pastries, and dig into an Italian favorite, cuoppo Napoletano—because how else would you eat the best fried seafood than in a cone? We’ll then work off our treats on a walking tour of Piazza del Plebiscito in the city center, admiring Naples’ Royal Palace, Castle Nuovo and the immense Galleria Umberto. 

Naples is a blast after dark, and the evening is yours to explore its hipster bars with DJs spinning vinyl, and cozy intimate restaurants with wine lists as long as the night. Enjoy!

Day 5: Naples Highlights

  • Fly to Naples
  • Naples market food tour
  • Explore Naples after dark
  • Stay at Grand Hotel Parker's in Naples

Day 6

After breakfast we’ll find more of Naples’ storied appeal outside our door, and learn why Neapolitan pizza is not just to-go street food—it’s an art form, with a rich history dating back to the 1700s. The ‘modern’ pizza was invented here in 1889, when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples. The story goes that a local baker crafted a pizza in honor of the queen, with colors inspired by the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil leaves)… and so the classic Neapolitan pizza was born! We’ll sit for an immersive, hands-on pizza making course with a wood-fired oven to craft different types of Neapolitan pizza, alongside Thomas and Ryan and a local pizzaiolo (pizza maker). Have your appetite ready.

But don’t get too full because our farewell dinner is a meal for the ages. After some rest and independent exploration, we’ll make our way to a restored cloister that has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery with cuisine run by Sabrina Russo, leader of the Food for Soul project. We’ll settle in as Thomas and Ryan preside over a hands-on cooking class, then indulge in several unforgettable courses and plenty of wine to toast our journey together. The night ends whenever it ends!

Day 6 Highlights

  • Hands-on pizza course
  • Farewell dinner with Ryan & Thomas
  • Stay at Grand Hotel Parker's in Naples

Day 7: Naples

Alas, it’s out last day. After breakfast we’ll gather and say farewell each other and to Thomas and Ryan, pack up all we’ve collected (along with so many new memories), and head to Naples’ airport. Ciao!

Day 7: Naples Highlights

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Naples airport

Where We Sleep

Beautifully curated accommodations—we’ll relax under the gaze of a volcano in Sicily, and feel like we’re part of the vibrant story of Naples

Ortea Palace

Siracusa

In Sicily, even post offices are palaces. You’ll feel that fully, entering this magnificent, palatial former post office from 1920 in the perfect spot in historic Siracusa. It’s a joy to stay here. Sprawling rooms are decked with fine Italian designs, lounges have expansive views of the Mediterranean coastline—and Siracusa’s iconic monuments, shops and restaurants are just footsteps away.

Relais San Giuliano

Viagrande

Set at the foot of Mt Etna, this intimate 13-room hotel is made from a luxurious mansion dating from the early 1700s that makes any guest feel like a Sicilian noble returning home. The chic rustic feel benefits from wood beam ceilings in its alluring interiors—the perfect place to set up while exploring the area’s best wineries and a hike up an active volcano.

Grand Hotel Parker's

Naples

Grand Hotel Parker’s — the city’s original luxury hotel — exudes 19th-century craftsmanship with period antiques, bronze sculptures and elaborate chandeliers decorating the palatial lobby. It's the perfect mix of Impeccable hospitality and modern comfort and design sensibility.

Everything was done superbly.
Kelly S.
I was blown away by how flawlessly Modern Adventure fulfilled and exceeded my expectations.
Josh S.
I loved the warmth, sincerity and caring of the Modern Adventure team.
Bob Z.

Book Sicily & Naples with Flour + Water

Number of Travelers

Payment

Reserve your spot today with a $2,000 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs

$8,000

per person based on double occupancy, including internal flight from Sicily to Naples

Can't travel on these dates?
Call us at

+1 (855) 219-8018

Questions?

That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; internal flight from Sicily to Naples; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.

  3. Where does this trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins in Catania, Italy, at the Il Principe Hotel. The closest airport is Catania’s Fontanarossa Airport (CTA). We recommend arriving one day early to ensure you’re at our starting point on time. On our last day, the closest airport is Naples International Airport (NAP) in Naples, Italy. Your flight home should be scheduled to depart at 12pm or later from NAP airport.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens are not required to have a visa for stays in Italy of under 90 days. Just bring a valid US passport. For citizens of other countries, please check with the Italian embassy or consulate for information and requirements.

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $2,000 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. These spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. Do I need travel insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.

  9. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before June 3, 2023 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after June 4, 2023 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after August 2, 2023 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).

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