Savoca, Italy

Savoca is a small municipal area located near the northern tip of Sicily approximately 22 miles south of Messina. Savoca is best known for its cameo in the Francis Ford Coppola classic The Godfather. The rustic Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone meets Apollonia’s father is a prominent fixture is this small town. The Chiesa di Santa Lucia, a church honoring Savoca’s patron saint, was also featured as the location where Michael Corleone and Apollonia marry.

Today, the village of Savoca is nearly the same as it was in the 1970s when The Godfather was filmed. Savoca is small, historically rich and very unlike Italy’s major tourist destinations and developed cities. Travelers who journey to Savoca, Sicily, can experience authentic Sicilian culture and cuisine. A visit to this bucolic village is like stepping back in time. The cafes, bars, restaurants and bed and breakfast accommodations all have a friendly, home-spun feel.

Village of Savoca, Sicily, ItalyWith a population of 1,700, Savoca is a small village often overlooked by travelers that visit Messina, Taormina and larger Sicilian cities. This small village has a long and interesting history. Sicilians believe the village of Savoca was established more than 1,000 years ago by a mythical group of criminals known as the Pantefur, who escaped from prisons in Taormina and built a castle in the remote hills of Savoca. The ruins of this storied castle are a popular tourist attraction today. By the Middle Ages, Savoca evolved into a fortified city with a protective wall, a town castle and administrative offices located in the protected area.

Although Savoca is small, it is home to 17 churches constructed during the Middle Ages. Visitors can tour many of these historic buildings as well as the Pantefur Castle, the city’s Ethno-Anthropological Museum and a 17th century crypt that contains 32 mummies of dignitaries, religious officials, judges and poets.

Due to its location in the coastal hills of the Mediterranean, Savoca enjoys pleasant weather with winter lows in the 50s and summer temperatures in the mid-80s. Visitors can experience local culture at the annual Feast of Saint Lucia, which occurs on the second Sunday of August. The village also hosts an annual gastronomic festival known as Savoca Flavors. During the second and third weeks of November, wine makers, local food producers and craftspeople gather in a public square. Savoca, Sicily, is a historic tourist destination that is quaint, charming and pleasant year round.


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