Sicily & Naples with Michael Schwartz

September 5 - 11, 2022 | One Departure Only

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Mediterranean Adventure

Art, cuisine and culture of Southern Italy with Chef Michael Schwartz

September 5 - 11, 2022

One exclusive departure—reserve your spot

7 days, 6 nights

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

Price from


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

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

Ten thousand feet above the world, you breathe in crisp Mediterranean air. Behind you, through a gentle mist rising above Mt Etna’s central crater, a vista of rolling hills and brilliant blue water stretches to the horizon. You’re in Sicily, standing atop an island ruled by no less than 13 empires—from Greek and Roman to Norman and North African—with flavors and culture layered over thousands of years of history. You’ve experienced street foods and savored wines crafted from nearby vineyards. Right now, a rustic trattoria lunch awaits; tonight, as the sun sets over dreamy medieval villages, you’ll share tales of the day’s adventure over an unforgettable meal. This is the Italy you’ve always dreamed of, a celebration of Mediterranean cultures evident in every bite.

Our traveling companion is award–winning chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz. He takes the name of his flagship restaurant, Michael’s Genuine in Miami’s Design District, seriously: “Is that genuine? Does it feel right? Is it authentic?” It’s an ethos that’s served him well, earning him a James Beard Award and Slow Food accolade. For Michael, traveling and connecting with local farmers is a deep source of inspiration, a chance to jostle elbows with locals on market days in pursuit of the most exquisite ingredients.

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 Sicily’s and Naples’ 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 and the glory of a star-lit night under the gaze of Mt Etna

Go Deeper

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


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


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

3 Reasons to Travel with Michael Schwartz

The closest Michael Schwartz came to cooking as a kid was cubing white bread for Thanksgiving stuffing. It wasn’t until he was a teenager, working at a high-end Italian restaurant, that he began to understand the transformative power of fresh, quality ingredients. Nowadays he puts his stamp on the Miami food scene, with seven restaurants—including flagship Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District—and all the accolades. Not bad for a Philly kid who started out bussing tables.

Power of Simple

Michael grew up working in high-end Italian kitchens in Philadelphia, where he discovered first-hand how transformative fresh ingredients, simply and lovingly prepared, could be.

Foraging Before It Was Cool

When he opened Michael’s Genuine back in Miami’s then-nascent Design District, “foraging” was a foreign word to most Miamians. He put the neighborhood on the map, winning a Slow Food snail accolade and a couple of cookbook deals in the process.

Travel is Inspiration

Michael literally wrote a book about pizza, and he's excited to spend time and get to know people who are completely passionate about their food.

Your Experience

“I'm an equal opportunity admirer of pizza—thick, thin, square, round—doesn’t matter. So long as it's well executed, well thought out.”
Michael Schwartz

Sicily, Siracusa, Mt Etna, Naples

“Getting to know who made the wine, milled the flour...getting to know their stories, that's what excites me.”
Michael Schwartz

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, followed by a local trattoria lunch.

Afterwards, we head to nearby Siracusa, a seaside wonder basking in 2,700 years of history with deep Greek, Roman, Byzantine and North African influences. We’ll have free time to wander through ancient sites like the monumental (still in-use) Greek theater—built in a hillside for perfect acoustics over 2,000 years ago—and around dreamy Ortigia, the cobblestone island that still lives like a village. Later, we’ll regroup and join the locals on a passeggiata, or evening walk, on the promenade for an unforgettable first sunset together over the Mediterranean on way to a for an unforgettable welcome dinner at elegant, impeccable Ristorante Dom Camillo.

Day 1 Highlights

  • Catania market tour
  • Transfer to Siracusa
  • Dinner at Ristorante Dom Camillo
  • Stay at Ortea Palace in Siracusa

Day 2

After a grand breakfast, we explore nearby hill towns with sloping alleyways and sun-kissed cathedrals, each as rewarding, and historic, as the next. In Ragusa, we get 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 is a meet-up at 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. Then we stop in Modica to cap off lunch with something sweet, before returning to Siracusa to explore its lit-up lanes on our own.

Day 2 Highlights

  • Tour nearby hill towns
  • Cheese tasting at CoRFiLaC Laboratory
  • Meet tomato growers at Casa Morana and farm lunch
  • Stay at Ortea Palace in Siracusa

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 catch a short internal flight to a buzzing Mediterranean capital under the watch of Mt Vesuvius. We’ll jump right into Naples’ irresistible energy with a chef-led tour of its iconic regional dishes including, of course, its most famous creation: pizza! We’ll stop to savor slices at Naples’ most beloved pizzerias and learn the history of the world’s favorite pie alongside tastes of regional specialties and sfogliatella pastries.

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
  • Chef-led Naples food 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—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 Michael and a local pizzailo (pizza maker). Have your appetite ready.

For dinner, we’re the star guests at one of Naples’ top restaurants, Michelin-starred Palazzo Petrucci in Posillipo, where 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 Michelin-starred Palazzo Petrucci
  • 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 Schwartz

Number of Travelers


Price from


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

Can't travel on these dates?
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+1 (855) 219-8018


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 May 8, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after May 9, 2022 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after July 7, 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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