First organized in 1991, Oldways International Symposiums are week-long explorations designed to educate opinion leaders, food and travel journalists, chefs, food importers and retailers about the cultural, culinary and touristic highlights of specific countries or regions. Each symposium is customized to its venue to raise awareness of these countries or regions.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1:  Benvenuto
Delegates arrived at Mursia Hotel in Pantelleria, Italy and gathered that evening for welcome to Pantelleria reception and dinner.

Day 2:  A Day of Introductions
The Symposium formally opened at Cala Tramontana, with an overview of the Symposium and primer to the island basics: history, archaeology, architecture, food and wine. An evening at Donnafugata Winery included a vineyard tour, wine tasting and dinner.

Day 3:  A  Day of Capers
A day of capers in the town of Scauri was hosted by Bonomo & Giglio taking delegates from the caper field to production, laboratory, and then lunch, with plenty of capers, at La Nicchia restaurant. The day closed with a classic country dinner at Zinedi.

Day 4:  The Mediterranean Diet — Pantescan and Sicilian-Style
An Oldways Symposium in the Mediterranean would not be complete without a nod to the Mediterranean Diet. The day began with a trio of experts providing nutritional background and perspectives on the Mediterranean Diet (historical, practical, and about successful aging). An afternoon cooking demonstration and lunch featured Pesto Trapanese and a wine tasting at Abraxas Winery. Dinner at the Pantelleria Dream Hotel included a cooking demonstration of one of Pantelleria’s signature dishes, Seafood Couscous, prepared by a Pantescan chef.

Day 5:  A Pantescan Wellness Day
This day of health and wellness took delegates to visit the natural wonders of the island, beginning with a visit to the natural mountain saunas. A lunch at Basile Winery was followed by afternoon swim and cleansing mud bath in the Lago di Venere (Lake of Venus). Delegates also toured a dammuso, the traditional style home of the island.

Day 6:  A Day of Tastings
Delegates were invited to the dammuso of Fausto Luchetti, long-time executive director of the International Olive Oil Council, where they participated in an olive oil tasting lead by Fausto. Delegates enjoyed lunch by the sea and a relaxing afternoon before the farewell dinner and exhibit of Pantescan products and wines from the island.

The Secrets of Pantelleria

This program provides a day-by-day itinerary of the trip, information about the culture and foods of Pantelleria, and recipes from La cucina di Pantelleria by Gianni Busetta.

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Photos by Rachel Greenstein of Oldways