Savoca – Sicily Filming Location for Godfather Movies

Savoca winding roads, Sicly, ItalyGuest Post By: Margie Miklas

Most travelers to Italy have never heard of Savoca, a small village in the hills of Sicily. Yet this commune is famous for being the filming location of several scenes in the Academy award-winning Godfather II.  Not far from Taormina, Savoca is an easy day trip if you are up for the winding and sometimes treacherous roads leading up to the town.

Because the real town of Corleone was too developed at the time of the filming in the early 70’s, the moviemakers chose to film in Savoca instead. Two of the major attractions there are Bar Vitelli and Saint Nicolo Church, or Chiesa di San Nicolò. Bar Vitelli is where Michael Corleone met Apollonia’s father to ask for her hand in marriage. Chiesa San Nicolò is the church where Apollonia and Michael were married.

Savoca view of coastline, Sicly, ItalyBoth times I have been to Savoca I felt like I was one of a handful of people in the town, it is a very small village with a population of less than 2000, and easily walkable in an hour or so.  It is so quiet here, far from the business of the resort town of Taormina below. The views from Savoca are awesome as you look down on the Ionian Sea and Sicily’s eastern coastline. As is the case in many of these small villages, the locals speak Italian and Sicilian only. There is a small tourist office where I was surprised to find someone who did speak English.

Bar Vitelli looks exactly as it appeared in the film, right down to the hanging beads in the entrance door.  The tables and chairs are not the same as those from the film but are arranged so that I had to sit in the one where Michael sat. Inside the proprietors are happy to make a lemon granita no matter the time of day. Memorabilia from The Godfather lines the walls in a back room, sort of taking away from the ambience, yet this is the draw here for many people.

Savoca Chiesa di San Nicolo, Sicly, ItalySaint Nicolo Church sits high on a hilltop and can be seen from different vantage points. In front of it is the winding road that Michael and Apollonia walked along with all the wedding guests. There are two other churches in this small town and one of them was decorated for a wedding during my last visit. The priest informed me that weddings happen in Savoca every day and not just on weekends.

A neighboring town, Forza d’ Agro, also was a filming location for a scene from Godfather II. The Church of Sant’Agostino was featured in the scene where Vito escapes back to the U.S. Some scenes from the sequel, Godfather III, also were shot in Forza d’ Agro.

Savoca Bar Vitelli, Sicly, ItalyAside from the interesting filming locations in Savoca, the village is very appealing and peaceful. The homes are built on hills and I can only imagine how difficult everyday life is here for the local Savocesi people. The drive to Savoca is totally worth it for the views and the history especially for movie fans.


Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Plugin from the creators of iPhone :: More at Plulz Wordpress Plugins