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Epicurean Delights of Southern Italy & Sicily

8 days with Ponant   Rating: Deluxe

Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1 Civitavecchia (Rome) (Italy)
Embarkation 10/18/2020 from 16h00 to 17h00, Departure 10/18/2020 at 18h00
Built on an Etruscan site, between the Tyrrhenian sea and the Monti della Tolfa, Civitavecchia respires the dolce vita. This very modern and easy going town combines art and history with panache. You can also visit superb historical sites like Fort Michelangelo or the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi. Just 80 kilometres from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.
Day 2 Gaeta (Italy)
10/19/2020 from 07h00 to 23h00
Gaeta takes its name from the legend of the nanny of Aeneas. This illustrious relationship can be seen in the nobility of this old town, built on a peninsula, at the end of a headland. In Roman times, Gaeta was already a renowned seaside destination; it fell under Byzantine domination then became an autonomous duchy and an independent republic. The fortifications that surround this ancient fort remind us of this rich history, as does the cathedral bell tower, an elegant building of both Roman and Moor influence, decorated with ceramic in the style of bell-towers of Amalfi.
Day 3 Naples (Italy)
10/20/2020 from 06h00 to 23h59
More Italian than Italy itself, Naples is the capital of the beautiful region of Campania, and is an unusual city to say the least. Its gulf, dominated by Vesuvius, is one of the world’s marvels. Built by the Greeks and then occupied by the Romans, the city has retained the memory of antiquity, as Castell dell’Ovo illustrates. But Naples has another side to it with its hustle and bustle, narrow streets, clothes hung out to dry at windows, Caravaggio paintings on the walls of a church, and incessant rumour in an sleepless city. This is a head-spinning city to visit and savour: don’t forget to eat a slice of pizza Margherita.
Day 4 Agropoli (Italy)
10/21/2020 from 07h00 to 20h00
Day 5 Vibo Valentia (Italy)
10/22/2020 from 07h00 to 23h00
Nestling in the heart of Calabria, a region of white rock at the toe of Italy’s boot, Vibo Valentia harbour town offers laid-back charm in the heart of pristine nature. You can wander through its historical centre, exploring its medieval past of the which the Norman castle is the most beautiful illustration. Now a museum, this castle houses a selection of precious pieces from Antiquity. The region is brimming with medieval villages as well as fine sandy beaches along the Costa degli Dei, a perfect setting to unwind.
Day 6 Taormina, Sicily (Italy)
10/23/2020 from 07h00 to 23h00
Located on Sicily’s eastern coast, in the province of Messina, the seaside town of Taormina is Sicily’s Saint-Tropez, boasting heritage sites, secluded beaches and luxury shopping. You can visit its medieval centre, suspended 300 metres above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past are the ruins of the Greco-Roman theatre. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.
Day 7 Syracuse, Sicily (Italy)
10/24/2020 from 07h00 to 23h00
Its undulating rocky coastline, the endless sandy beaches, the menacing form of Mount Etna which surveys its island like a patriarch, the flowery gardens on the hillside... Sicily lays out its varied landscapes like a shopkeeper displays his wares. Described by Cicero as “the most beautiful city in the world”, Syracuse was one of the most prestigious cities in Sicily and at her height was even a rival for Athens. A central city of Ancient Greece, it was home to a succession of civilisations, each of which has left their mark. The blend of Arabic, Roman, Norman, Byzantine and Spanish cultures makes Syracuse a town that is extraordinarily rich in fragrances, colours and flavours.
Day 8 Valletta (Malta) 
Disembarkation 10/25/2020 at 08h00
The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase vennels to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. You can visit the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes. Saint-John’s cathedral and the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century are also among the most emblematic sites of the city. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.
All This Included

Created specially for like-minded travelers.

Join New York Times experts Eric Asimov and Arthur Schwartz on this very special exploration of the foods and wines of southern Italy and Sicily.

Food—its cultivation, preparation, and consumption—has always been central to the Italian way of life. This one-of-a-kind program is an extraordinary opportunity both to study and to experience the various roles food and wine play in our lives and its relation to physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Immerse yourself in the bounty of Sicily and Southern Italy’s regional cuisines as we sample the pastas of Syracuse and the wines of Mt. Etna, the artisanal meats and cheese of Calabria, mozzarella from Agropoli and pizza from Naples. Taking advantage of rich volcanic soils and a variety of splendid grapes, wonderful reds and whites and sparkling wines characteristic of each region abound.  We will taste them all.

In addition to these culinary-tailored activities, we will have the opportunity to see the temples of the ancient Greeks at Syracuse, Taormina, and Paestum; to discover the iconic Roman sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as those in the Eternal City itself; and to discover inviting medieval towns, including Noto and Tropea. Seldom is there such an opportunity to enjoy such a rich feast.

  • Port and safety charges
  • Open bar
  • Gratuities
  • Your cruise including all meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation
  • Welcome aboard and captain’s cocktail parties, gala dinner
  • Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, white, red and rosé wines served with meals
  • 24 hour room service (selected menu)
  • Evening entertainments and events, and/or organised shows
  • Porterage from the quayside to the ship and vice versa
  • English-speaking guest-speaker (when applicable)


Ponant Quintessential Food and Wine Theme voyages blend the expertise of chefs with lectures and discussions with experts on the social and cultural aspects of cuisine. We combine sampling of local foods and wines with an appreciation of the importance of food and drink beyond mere sustenance, exploring how the cultivation, preparation, and consumption of food is at the center of so much human activity and how the experience of dining – food, drink, and dialogue – shapes our sense of self and of community.

Highlights of this cruise:

  • Series of lectures and discussions with New York Times experts on food and wine, Eric Asimov and Arthur Schwartz
  • An included exclusive private dinner at the Michelin-starred Palazzo Petrucci in Naples (see details in the “Cruise Package”)
  • Optional excursions to iconic ancient sites: Syracuse, Taormina, Paestum, Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Optional excursions to agriturismo sites and wineries in every port of call
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Jacques-Cartier 
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Fares may be subject to a fuel adjustment.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Ponant terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.