Sicily & Naples with Flour + Water

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Heart & Soul of Italy

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

October 1 - 7, 2023

Sold out — join the waitlist and we will contact you if and as space becomes available

7 Days, 6 Nights

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

Price from


per person based on double occupancy; includes internal flight from Sicily to Naples

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

We will contact you if and as space becomes available

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. They are two of San Francisco’s most talented restaurateurs and the creative and culinary duo behind Flour + Water, a celebration of traditional Italian cooking techniques and ethically-sourced ingredients from Bay Area purveyors.  It’s an approach that’s earned serious accolades including “Best Italian Restaurants in America” nods by GQ and Thrillist. Ryan and Thomas love what they do — and it shows in each dish and detail at their restaurants, as well as in their new line of dried pasta, Flour + Water Foods. Sicily and Naples with these incredible humans is a celebration of the Italy we love — and a celebration of using travel as a force for good, with 1% of sales going to nonprofit Zero Foodprint, a nonprofit mobilizing the food world around agricultural climate solutions.

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.


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


Traditional meals in country villages, the best street foods and local flavors paired with top regional wines

Force for Good

1% of sales goes to Zero Foodprint, a nonprofit that helps restaurants reduce their climate impact

Go Deeper

With local winemakers and artists, chefs and artisans, and with Thomas and Ryan

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. FYI: To offset carbon emissions, we will be donating 1% of sales to Zero Foodprint, a nonprofit aimed at helping restaurants reduce their climate impact.

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 which includes Flour + Water Foods, 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, reflected daily at Flour + Water’s restaurants and Flour + Water Foods.

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. Our first stop is Agricola Oliva, where we will visit the lemon groves and have a guided tour of the olive oil mill for an explanation of techniques and the stages of production to make extra virgin olive oil. We will follow our tour with an olive oil tasting and a vegetarian lunch.

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

  • Olive oil estate visit
  • Transfer to Siracusa
  • Walking Tour of Ortigia
  • Stay at Ortea Palace in Siracusa

Day 2: Siracusa

After a grand breakfast, we will embark on a street food tour of Ortigia and its outdoor market where we’ll taste an eclectic array of local staples—from arancini siracusa (an open-faced version of the Sicilian classic) to aged prosciutto, local cheeses and homemade sesame sticks. Speaking of cheese, we’ll dive deep into the world of fresh mozzarella with a demonstration and tasting to punctuate the experience.

After all this incredible food, repose is in order. The rest of the afternoon is yours to embellish—relax at the hotel or explore the dream-like lanes of Siracusa and wander wherever the wind takes you. 

Day 2: Siracusa Highlights

  • Ortigia food tour
  • Mozzarella demonstration
  • Evening on your own
  • 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 remainder of the afternoon and evening, we’re sticking around Etna’s shadow. If you’re feeling inspired, Thomas has invited us on a bicycle ride up Mt. Etna. If you’d rather take it easy, our basecamp is 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 head straight to Gragnano, the heart of Italy’s dried pasta renaissance. Historically, pasta-makers—eager to leverage the mountain breeze and salty air—would hang their pastas outside on drying rods. Today, while most chefs use heaters to supplement the drying process, we’ll get a crash course in this unique Amalfi tradition and alongside both Thomas and Ryan, participate in a hands-on cooking class.

As dusk descends, we’ll make our way back to the city for an evening of independent exploration. Naples is a blast after dark, and the night is yours to explore its hipster bars with DJs spinning vinyl and cozy intimate restaurants with wine lists as mesmerizing as the night is long. Enjoy!

Day 5: Naples Highlights

  • Fly to Naples
  • Visit to Gragnano
  • Evening on your own
  • Stay at Grand Hotel Parker's in Naples

Day 6

This morning we  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? The main event here, however, is pizza. With Thomas and Ryan’s coveted list as our guide, we’ll walk the cobbled alleys in search for that perfect slice of pizza.

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 collaborative cooking demonstration, then indulge in several unforgettable courses and plenty of wine to toast our journey together. The night ends whenever it ends!

Day 6 Highlights

  • Street Food Tour
  • 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


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


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


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.
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I was blown away by how flawlessly Modern Adventure fulfilled and exceeded my expectations.
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I loved the warmth, sincerity and caring of the Modern Adventure team.
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Book Sicily & Naples with Flour + Water

Number of Travelers


Reserve your spot today with a $1,500 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


per person based on double occupancy; includes internal flight from Sicily to Naples

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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 $2,200 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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