Our unique Godfather tour begins in Savoca, unchanged since the arrival of Paramount Pictures in the early 70's and only a few kilometers away from eternally fashionable Taormina. The road leading to this lovely village passes through some beautiful seaside towns along the rugged coastline of Sicily overlooking the italian peninsula. It's a breathtaking scenic drive with some twists and turns and, for sure, not one for the fainthearted. Once we arrive in town, we stop at the picturesque Bar Vitelli that looks exctly the way it did when Michael Corleone managed to inform Apollonia's father that he was "an american in hiding" and threaten him with an untimely death in the same sentence. The bar is now managed by the heirs of signora Maria who owned the establishment during the shootings. After checking out some pictures and memorabilia, you can sit at a table and enjoy a cup of coffe or a refreshing lemon granita while recalling the most memorable dialogues from the movie scenes. Later we will stroll around the town and reach the church of Santa Lucia, where the scene of the wedding was shot. After visiting this lovely little church, we will set forth for another wonderful town used as a shooting location: Forza D'Agrò. Only a few kilometers away, here we'll recall more scenes from the Trilogy and hopefully meet some Sicilians that took part in the movie who can tell us little anecdotes about director F.F. Coppola and the film crew.
The history of the town of Savoca has its roots in the Roman era, when, according to some historians, the first nucleus of the present historical center was founded. The site was frequented by the Byzantines and subsequently was enhanced by the Arabs, starting from the ninth century. But it was with the Normans (in the twelfth century) that the hill town acquired the prestige that allowed it to reach between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries a remarkable political, religious, economic and cultural development. In the nineteenth century decadence began, the depopulation due to the migration of the inhabitants to the coastal centers or outside Sicily has seriously endangered the survival of Savoca, which under the fascist regime lost its municipal autonomy, regaining it only in 1948. Only in the last 45 years, this decadence seems to have stopped, thanks to the discovery of tourism. Today Savoca is a City of Art inserted in the circuit of the most beautiful villages in Italy and since 2016 holds the third place in the ranking of the 10 most beautiful villages in the world.