Sicily & Naples with Michael Scelfo

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Culture & Cuisine

Immerse yourself in the food, art and culture of Sicily and Naples with Chef Michael Scelfo

July 11 - 17, 2022

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7 days, 6 nights

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

Price from


per person, based on double occupancy

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

We will contact you if and as space becomes available.

Sicily is the stuff of legend, unlike anything you’ve experienced before now. Sicily has been ruled by no less than thirteen different empires, each leaving a mark on the land, the people, and the cuisine—a fascinating collision of cultures. This is Italy, so of course the wine is delicious, and the views take in medieval alleys leading to buzzing piazzas bathed in golden sunlight. But Sicily goes deeper. Food and culture are layered over thousands of years of history, a tribute to the Mediterranean Sea and an age-old mix of flavors and cultures, from Byzantine to North African, evident in every bite.

Your traveling companion is acclaimed Boston chef Michael Scelfo. Michael is the heart and culinary soul behind two of Cambridge’s top kitchens, with an Italian family that’s inspired his love for food, growing up slow-stirring his grandmother’s red sauce. He’ll join us to uncover the delicious backstory of Sicily’s and Naples’ great dishes, from traditional Sicilian pastas and desserts to the freshest seafoods and, of course, pizza. We’ll meet vintners and cheesemakers, street artists and local chefs, we’ll hike to vineyards perched atop a mighty volcano with sweeping views of the Ionian sea, as we go deep in the story behind what makes southern Italy so deliciously unforgettable.

If you want to venture into iconic Italy, but do it like a local, this is the trip for you. Kick back with local winemakers. Sample street food. Then catch a sunset while sipping a world-class wine. You’ll find mouthwatering flavors and soaring scenery—and that’s only the beginning. This is an adventure to the birthplace of pizza, a journey of food and culture across Sicily and Naples. Immerse yourself in the true Italian experience.


Ancient Greek ruins, medieval villages and sun-drenched piazzas, the glory of a star-lit night under the gaze of Mt Etna


We’ll be in the literal birthplace of pizza, home of world-class wines and the freshest seafood—and we’ll try it all!

Go Deeper

Connect with local winemakers, artists and chefs, and with Sicily's ancient cultures and traditions


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

3 Reasons to Travel with Michael Scelfo

For Michael, food is all about connection. He gets intimate with his ingredients, fusses over menus like he’s about to cook for family, and curates dining experiences that make conversation easy. If you pull up a seat to eat with Michael at one of his award-winning Cambridge, Massachusetts restaurants, you can trust that you’ll leave with more than a full belly.

Personal Connections

The Scelfos are from southern Italy, and Michael still has family here. One of his early memories is learning to simmer his grandmother’s red sauce. So this trip is personal for Michael, a celebration of his own southern Italian roots.

Cooking with Heart

Michael views his Boston restaurants the same way he views his kitchen table: If you’re dining here, you’re family. He thinks about what his loved ones would want to taste and experience. Then he makes it for you.

Never Pretentious

Michael's motto is “Serious food does not have to be pretentious.” We couldn't agree more, and we'll savor every bite at top-end kitchens and humble street-food stands.

Your Experience

“Sicily is a life-long dream come true, to connect with my family roots and literally walk in their footsteps.”
Michael Scelfo

Sicily, Siracusa, Mt Etna, Naples

“Photography is my second passion. Being able to shoot and eat my way through southern Italy is just so incredible.”
Michael Scelfo

Day by Day

Day 1

Benvenuto a Sicily! We meet up with Michael and our fellow adventurers in 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 village—watch out for uneven cobblestones! Later we’ll join the locals on a passeggiata, or evening walk, on the promenade for an unforgettable first sunset together over the Mediterranean.

Day 1 Highlights

  • Sicilian market tour
  • Walking tour of Ortigia
  • Sunset promenade
  • Stay at Ortea Palace in Syracuse

Day 2

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 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 Highlights

  • Cheese tasting at CoRFiLaC Laboratory
  • Meet tomato growers at Casa Morana and picnic lunch
  • Visit to Noto
  • Stay at Ortea Palace in Syracuse

Day 3

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 green 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 Highlights

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

Day 4

Don’t sleep in today! Rise early for breakfast as the morning mist hangs over the volcano. Then pack up a sun hat, as we begin the day with 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 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

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 Highlights

  • Fly to Naples
  • Market Tour
  • Explore Naples after dark
  • Stay at Costantinopoli 104 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. We’ll sit for an immersive, tasty “pizza course” with an authentic wood-fired oven to craft different types of Neapolitan pizza. Delicious may be an understatement.

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 for 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 at Art Gallery
  • Stay at Costantinopoli 104 in Naples

Day 7

This morning, we’ll breakfast together and then say goodbye to Michael, pack up all we’ve collected, along with new memories, and head to the airport. Ciao!

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfer to airport

Where We Sleep

Authentic, lovingly curated accommodations—we’ll relax and unwind 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.

Costantinopoli 104


Filled with antiques, modern art and Liberty stained glass, this 19th-century, neoclassical villa is the perfect spot for a base right in the historic center of vibrant Naples. Most rooms come with terraces, others face the courtyard pool, and lovely staff serve wonderful breakfasts in the oasis-like courtyard.

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 Michael Scelfo

Number of Travelers


Reserve your spot today with a $1,000 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


per person, based on double occupancy

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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; private travel for all day trips and excursions; internal flight from Sicily to Naples; 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?

    For both departures, 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 $1,500 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. If you would like us to pair you with a roommate, that option may be available upon checkout—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 March 13, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after March 14, 2022 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after May 12, 2022 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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