May 27, 2014

Sweet Home Sicilia- Planeta Foresteria

I adore returning to a place I love, like Sicily, when it starts to feel like home. That is one of the reasons I began bringing my students. 

When I ask an Italian who has been to America, how their trip was, I adore hearing exciting tales of the fabulous time they had, sites they saw and what they ate. 
Then I ask, where were you. 
"Dayton, Ohio!"
I ask, what was her name? ( when speaking to a male.)
"How did you know?"

When you meet someone and they show you THEIR hometown, you see a totally different city than if you had gone on your own, stumbling around. 

My tours are about the wonderful Sicilians and THEIR Sicily. 
David Rocco had told me about a fabulous new winery estate which had opened a hotel in Sicily, I had been offering my programs based in Palermo and we travelled from there, but Palermo is HECTIC. So off I went to explore. I found home. The Planeta Estate- The Foresteria

The Planeta Wine producers are a family and a Foresteria, means a place for visitors. Forestieri are people that are not native to a place, my mother-in-law always said her son married a forestiera, she didn't say he married an American!

the new generation of the Planeta family

The family had farms raising vegetables and fruit, Sicily is a very fertile island and perfect for wine. Baron Planeta was also influential in the local cooperative winery and promoting the wines of the region. They began their own label in 1995. Listen to Francesca speaking about the wines and winery.

Foresteria kitchen, decorated like the home kitchen at their home.
Wine and food go hand in hand in daily life in Italy and a winery shows it wine off the best when paired with food. I find dining at the Foresteria one of my favorite places to eat in the area, but not only meals, but cooking classes to learn how to recreate the Planeta family recipes at home.

Chef Angelo Pumilia and myself

It is a perfect base for exploring the area, Selinunte is nearby, wonderful Greek ruins or going a little farther Agrigento can be easily be reached. Castelvetrano with eating olives, great oil and bread made with heirloom wheat is just a few minutes from the archeological site.

Sicilian twist
Each trip brings new discoveries. This trip while at Selinunte, it was hot enough that the granita man was out with his little cart and he suggested a local specialty. Lemon granita topped with tea, sort of like an Arnold Palmer. It was so refreshing.

my screensaver, the view at breakfast

It is an easy drive up to Palermo  and a visit to the market is a MUST. I enjoy the Capo market, not far from the Teatro Massimo.

Last March we came down for the San Giuseppe Festival and often in May we are here for a festival in Sambuca della Sicilia. In 2015, I will be creating more programs based around these festivals. I love a party. During those weeks we will also cook the traditional recipes for the holiday.

decorations for the San Giuseppe altars

Grazie Mille to the Planeta Family for creating such a wonderful space.

I am gathering the dates for next year for my Sicilian Celebrations Culinary trips. I hope you can join me. Stop by the Divina Cucina site and fill in the feedback form if you would like to join me.


  1. One of my favourite places in the whole world! The People, the View,the Food...all exceptional!

  2. You make Sicily look so wonderful, Judy. What a fabulous place to visit—perhaps on one of your tours? That would be divine.

  3. Bob-- you would adore it!

  4. Magnificent place. I love this :)