Savoca, the town of The Godfather

savocaSavoca is a small and pleasant town placed in the district of Messina, 30 km from the above named city. Sheltered in the breathtaking landscape of the Sicilian hills, Savoca borders the main beaches of the following cities: Casalvecchio Siculo, Forza d’Agrò, Furci Siculo, Sant’Alessio Siculo and Santa Teresa di Riva. This dreamy place can be easily reached from the sea town of Roccalumera, another beautiful place in the district of Messina, with thin and pebbles sand and crystal and shimmering waters.

the metal sculpture of Francis Ford Coppola

the metal sculpture of Francis Ford Coppola in Savoca

Savoca has not over 1800 inhabitants and alone, it would not be so important if one day, and in the early 1970s, exactly, Mr Francis Ford Coppola ( see the image) didn’t shoot the superb movie The Godfather, with, among the actors, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Andy Garcia. Savoca is just the place where Michael Corleone asked Apollonia’s father in marrying his daughter. The entire movie was set in Corleone, but instead of this city, Mr. Coppola picked the beautiful town of Savoca.

The buildings and the monuments of the movie are still here, in Savoca. With its narrow alleys and streets, a church, the same where the characters of the movie got married and a stunning sight of the green hills facing the marvellous sea of Taormina, Savoca is the best place to organize your vacancy and your marriage. You can also drink excellent Sicilian wine and the best European beer at the Bar Vitelli, the same bar used to shoot The Godfather. This ancient bar is still open and visited by tourists coming from around the world. Many things are remained as seen in the famous movie, such as rooms, tables, walls.

Outside, in front of the bar, there is a small square with the iron sculpture dedicated to Francis Ford Coppola. Furthermore, Savoca was also used to shoot another Italian movie titled: La vita rubata, (The stolen life), produced by the Rai (The national Italian Television) and dedicated to the mafia murder of young Sicilian girl Graziella Campagna. Savoca ha a rocky surface, with some alleys paved with stone.

The town is 300 metres over the sea level and is a medieval hamlet with very few inhabitants by now. The history of this place dates back to the Roman Empire, when, according to some scholars, the first foundation of the downtown was started. The town was later visited by the Byzantines and embellished by the Arabs and the Normans. After an epoch of decadence, Savoca flourished under the tourism side thanks to the movie The Godfather. As of then, the tourist arrivals have been unstoppable.

Savoca Bar Vitelli

Savoca Bar Vitelli

There are about 15 churches in Savoca, but the best known is the one of San Nicolò, this is the church used to shoot some famous scenes of the Godfather. Built in the XIII century, it was abundantly embellished with Bizantine paintings. The current building has an architectural style of the eighteenth century that is the result of an afterwards renovation. The Church also contains a wooden statue of Santa Lucia made by sculptor Reginaldo D’Agostino. In Savoca you can also visit the capuchin convent and the crypt. The Convent was built in the XVI century, while the crypt contains the mummified bodies of 37 people who belonged to Sicilian nobles. The bar Vitelli ( see the image above), instead, is in reality a noble palace with two levels and an underground floor used as a cellar.

savoca - synagogue

savoca – synagogue

Between the XVIII and XIX century, the palace belonged to the wealthy Trimarchi family who carried out renovation works. You can also visit a medieval house with a typical and double medieval window, the ancient palace of the Curia and the prison, the old entrance of the city, in addition to the ruins of an ancient synagogue ( see the image) built in the Middle Age by the Sicilian Jews of Savoca. To reach Savoca I advise you land in the Palermo airport and go to Messina. Here you can rent a car with a tourist guide in order to go through the narrow hills that lead to Savoca. If you go alone, you risk to end up lost, because this small Sicilian town is not easily visible during your tour to the surroundings of Taormina.

However, in Savoca, you can find cheaper hotels and accommodations than in Taormina. They are a good option to stay in this picturesque town and simountaneously visit the nearby beautiful village of Taormina.  Hence, if you want to book accommodations in Savoca, click here.

2 thoughts on “Savoca, the town of The Godfather

  1. Pingback: Sicilian Mafia. What you must know before visiting Sicily

  2. Pingback: Sicily wedding: things to know before organizing this important day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.