From pistachios and eggplant to Etna Rosso wine, Sicily is rich in flavorful, homegrown products. The end of July through October is tomato-harvest time on the island, when the farms around the historic city of Siracusa are flush with fresh, fragrant Pachino varietals. During the season, upscale travel planner Access Italy—the Italian branch of Access Europe Network and a celebrity favorite—can arrange for a 2-hour Pachino Harvest Experience in one of the area’s noted family-run farms.
A private driver will escort guests to a cherry-tomato greenhouse, where the farm owner and workers will chat with them about the cultivation of Pachino tomatoes and take them on a tour of the facilities. Guests will then be invited to try their hand at picking enough produce to fill a box. A rustic lunch of mozzarella and tomato salad, homemade pasta with eggplant and fresh Pachino tomatoes, and traditional Sicilian cannoli will then be served, and guests will be given a take-home jar of sun-dried tomatoes. An upgraded experience with a singer and traditional musicians can also be arranged.
Access Italy itineraries include accommodations in top hotels; for the harvest experience, guests typically stay at the cliff-top Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo or bay-side Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea in the tourist hub of Taormina—both of which feature lots of fresh local products in their excellent restaurants.