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Glories of Antiquity


Ports and Excursions of Mediterranean

Taormina (Sicily), Italy-port

Naxos is gateway to the island of Sicily’s strategically significant northeastern region. From this port city, it is a short transfer to Taormina, resting 820 feet above the sea and overlooking imposing Mount Etna. In the early 20th century, Taormina became a colony for expatriate artists and writers, including D H Lawrence. Highlights of any tour of this city would include the remarkably preserved Roman-style Greek Theater, whose acoustics are still appreciated in performances today; the splendid 15th century Palazzo Corvaia; and the Odeon, a small Imperial Age theater set amidst colorful public gardens.

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Below is a list of those shore excursions previously offered in this port. For information on which shore excursions will be offered on a particular cruise, please reference the specific itinerary of that cruise.

Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Gourmet Explorer Gourmet Explorer
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • Chef Market Tour, Cannoli Pasta & Lunch
    Moderate Activity/WalkingRegent ChoiceGourmet ExplorerMeal
  • Discover Mt. Etna & the Vineyards of San Michele Estate
    Moderate Activity/WalkingRegent ChoiceMeal
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Full Day Minibus
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Car
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Minibus
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Explore Taormina On Your Own
    Light Activity /WalkingMinimal Activity Required
  • Food & Wine Trails: Mt. Etna, Taormina & Villagrande Estate
    Moderate Activity/WalkingRegent ChoiceMeal
  • Hidden Sicily - in the Footsteps of the Godfather
  • Mount Etna
    Seated Tour
  • Mount Etna and Off-Road Ascent
    Regent Choice
  • Sicilian Wine Roads
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Taormina and Greco-Roman Theater
  • Taormina and Lunch in a Private Villa
    Regent ChoiceMeal
  • Taormina and Mount Etna
    Moderate Activity/WalkingRegent ChoiceMeal
  • Wellness - Taormina Terrace Yoga
    Regent Choice
  • Wine Tasting At Villa San Michele

Chef Market Tour, Cannoli Pasta & Lunch

Moderate Activity/Walking Regent ChoiceGourmet ExplorerMeal

Duration: 7 hours

Tour Code: TAM-1GT

Accompanied by your Chef Instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen, visit the renowned fish and produce market in Catania, learn how to make delicious cannoli while observing a Sicilian pastry master and cap off the day with lunch and a cooking demonstration at a famed Taormina restaurant with slow food Chef Turi. Wines from Etna’s award-winning Benanti winery will be paired during lunch by the winemaker himself for an authentically Sicilian wine-and-food experience.

Meet your Chef Instructor in the Culinary Arts Kitchen this morning for an introduction to Sicilian cuisine and an overview of your day’s schedule. Then, delight in a drive from the pier through Giardini Naxos and on to seaside Catania. Sicilians are passionate about food, and there is no better place to experience that passion than Mercato del Pesce di Catania. This ancient street market is always a wonderful cacophony of exotic sights and sounds, with locals selling everything from blood oranges to cuttlefish. Watch tuna and swordfish being handled by the local fish mongers and sample aged sheep cheeses and cured meats. You'll stroll through the marketplace, with an orientation provided by the chef and an experienced culinary guide.

After enjoying the market 'like a local', you'll walk a few blocks to a nearby patisserie for a tasting of a delicious Sicilian-style cannoli crafted by a local Sicilian pastry master. It's thought that cannoli were invented in Sicily in the 9th century when Arabs introduced sugar cane as a sweet substitute for honey. This classic dessert consists of tube-shaped, fried pastry dough filled with sweet, creamy ricotta cheese from sheep's milk. It's often flavored with chocolate chips, pistachios or candied fruits.

Next, you'll head back to Taormina for lunch at Nero d’ Avola, a local restaurant so acclaimed it was featured on CNN. Here, you’ll be greeted by the owner and slow food advocate, Chef Turi Siligato who will provide a brief overview of the ingredients and menu, followed by a lunch prepared especially for your group by Chef Siligato in this enchanting and authentic Sicilian institution. Chef Siligato is an avid fisherman, so chances are your meal’s ingredients will be from his personal catch of the day. During lunch you’ll be treated to Benanti wines from the Etna region, poured by one of the family winemakers. Winning awards and accolades for their wines, the Benanti family has fueled the resurgence in Etna wines, particularly in New York and California, and you’ll be able to sample and judge for yourself.

After an exquisite luncheon and memorable day immersed in Sicily, you'll return to the ship.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-hours of moderate walking/standing that includes some uneven surfaces and steps to negotiate. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.