The Enchanting Sicilian Town of Savoca and Its Godfather Connections

Savoca, a town rich in history and charm, is often hailed as the "country with seven faces." This beautiful Sicilian gem, along with the neighboring village of Forza d'Agrò, is renowned for its association with...

Savoca, a town rich in history and charm, is often hailed as the "country with seven faces." This beautiful Sicilian gem, along with the neighboring village of Forza d'Agrò, is renowned for its association with one of the greatest movies in cinema history - The Godfather. Stepping foot in Savoca is like taking a journey back in time, immersing yourself in the evocative atmosphere of a bygone era.

A Town Steeped in Origins and History

The story of Savoca begins in 1134 when Count Ruggero founded the town. Initially protected by a wall and a castle, Savoca's origins can be traced back even further to a community referred to as "i Pentefur." Throughout the centuries, the town experienced the influence of Romans, Byzantines, Normans, and Arabs. Despite enduring attacks by Saracen pirates and power struggles, Savoca remained a point of reference for the nobility and bourgeoisie of Messina. This is evident in the numerous well-preserved sumptuous palaces that still grace the town.

The name "Savoca" is believed to have originated from the Elder plant, known as "savucu" in Sicilian dialect. The presence of this plant is depicted in the town's coat of arms.

A view of Savoca Image: A view of Savoca

Sicily Savoca and the Godfather Locations to Explore

Visiting Savoca means stepping into an archaic atmosphere that captivates at every turn. The main square of this Sicilian town houses the famous Trimarchi Palace, dating back to 1773. Scenes from The Godfather were shot inside this iconic building. The ground floor is still occupied by the Bar Vitelli, mentioned in Mario Puzo's novel and replicated by director Francis Ford Coppola. The bar showcases ancient tools, photographs, and memorabilia from the film.

One mustn't overlook the beautiful church of San Nicolò, where Michael Corleone and Apollonia's wedding scene was filmed. Another religious marvel is the Church of San Michele, an architectural gem dating back to 1250. Climbing the church's seven steps was a documented act of penitence performed by unbelievers seeking baptism.

In addition to these attractions, Savoca offers the chance to explore the church of Santa Maria, the main church of the town. Built in 1130, this church is included in the Italian National Monument list. The Capuchin Monastery, founded in 1574, once served as a center of education for the aristocracy and houses the crypt with 367 mummified bodies of Sicilian nobles.

The allure of Savoca doesn't end there. Visitors can discover the ruins of an ancient synagogue that once served the Jewish residents of Savoca and the surrounding villages.

The Church of St. Lucy in Savoca Image: The Church of St. Lucy in Savoca

Exploring the Enchanting Village of Forza D'Agrò

Just a stone's throw away from Taormina lies Forza D'Agrò, a scenic Sicilian town. Perched at an elevation of 420 meters, this ancient land boasts a rich history colored by centuries of invasions. The town derives its name from the castle, initially known as "Fortilicium d'Agrò" and later abbreviated to Forza d'Agrò. The ruins of the castle still stand as a testament to its strategic significance.

Forza D'Agrò takes great pride in its deep-rooted traditions, particularly its religious celebrations. Among these, the secular feast of the Trinity holds great importance. This annual event brings together the population of Forza d'Agrò and the nearby village of Gallodoro in a celebration that alternates between the two locations.

This quaint Sicilian town has also made its mark as one of the Godfather Sicily locations. Francis Ford Coppola chose Forza D'Agrò, alongside Savoca, as the backdrop for several scenes in the legendary Corleone family saga.

Embrace the Magic of Sicily Savoca and Forza D'Agrò

A visit to Sicily wouldn't be complete without exploring the enchanting towns of Savoca and Forza D'Agrò. Embark on a journey to experience the allure of the Godfather Sicily locations firsthand. Step into the world of cinema and immerse yourself in the captivating history and beauty that awaits.

Bar Vitelli, Godfather location Image: Bar Vitelli, Godfather location