Savoca is a beautiful hilltop medieval village in Sicily, Italy. The village is set high above the Lonian Sea in the province of Messina and around 130 kilometers east of Palermo and a 30 minutes’ drive from Taormina. Savoca presents its visitors with the pure authenticity of Sicilian environment. A hotel resort has been developed in the village to welcome tourism. Savoca being a nice quaint village is ideal for strolls around the abandoned dwellings, old churches, and wonderful rural views.
The name of the village is derived from a shrub “Savucu” which has white and fragrant flowers and grows wildly in the village. Savoca is perched on the hill with dual tips, one of which has remains of medieval castle and the other has remains of an old church, the Chiesa del Calvario. A lot of restoration wok has been done in the village to maintain the houses and structures. However, there are many remains, and ruins of medieval structures scattered around the dense village. It can get confusing to walk around in the beginning because of the density of the structures, but soon you will have the clear map because of the small size of the village.
The tiny pedestrian-only village of Savoca got its initial fame from the classic Hollywood movie “The Godfather”. Many scenes from the movie have been shot in this village and some locals were also included in the movie as extras. This is the village where the main character of the movie Michael Corleone takes refuge after he flees from New York during dangerous mafia wars. He and his father Vito Corleone have deep roots tied with the village. This is the village where Michael Corleone gets married with Apollonia in the movie.
8 Amazing Places to visit in Savoca Sicily
Church of San Nicolo
The beautiful church was originally built in the 13th century was rebuilt in the 15th century and went through restoration again in the 18th century. These rebuilds resulted in huge changes in the appearance and frescos of the church. The exterior of the church appears like a fortress in the tiny village after all these changes. The church has a nice wooden statue of Saint Lucia.
The Church is also famous because of being an important location in the Hollywood movie “The Godfather”. Church of San Nicolo was also used for the filming of the wedding of Michael Corleone and Apollonia.
Bar Vitelli in Savoca Sicily
The small Bar Vitelli is also famous because of the same reason and the reason is the movie called “God Father”. The movie was such a big hit and is still admired as one of the most classic movies of all time in Hollywood. Everything related to the movie has become famous and important for the world. Its amazing how a movie changed the important of places like Savoca village.
The bar is located in the Palazzo Trimarchi which is an 18th century palace. This bar is the place where Michael Corleone asked Apollonia’s father for his daughter’s hand. The bar has been renovated and looks very picturesque with creeper plants on its walls.
The Sculpture of Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is the famous director of the movie “The God Father” and his work has been commemorated by a steel sculpture that shines in a small square with the beautiful views of Savoca in the background. This sculpture was created by an artist “nino Ucchino”.
The sculpture is located at a spot from where you can enjoy great panoramic views of the whole surroundings, the sea, and the coastal area with a distant view of the Church of San Nicolo. There is also another sculpture of a talking donkey next to the sculpture of Francis Ford Coppola, which gets activated by putting a coin in it and starts making funny noises.
Porta Della Citta di Savoca
Porta Della Citta di Savoca is one of two city gates which were built by the Normans when they arrived in Sicily. These gates were the part of the fortified wall that was built around the city in the 12th century. Now there is only one gate called Porta Della Citta di Savoca, made with sandstone and looks like a pointed arch.
The Convent and the Church of the Capuchins
The Convent and the church of the Capuchins are located near the historic center of the Savoca village. The convent has two floors and was built in the 17th century on a land donated to the village by Antonio Crisafulli who was a member of a noble Sicilian Family.
The church of the Capuchins is located next to the Convent and is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. You can visit to see many nice and important art works in the church. There is also a crypt with the mummies of the Savoca’s aristocracy.
Church of Santa Maria in Savoca Sicily
The Church of Santa maria is the mother church of the village of Savoca. The church’s construction started in the 12th century in the era of Normans. The church also had the Norman architectural style which was changed to Renaissance style during the rebuilding process in the 15th century. The bell tower and the rectory were built between the 16th and 18th century.
Church of San Michele in Savoca Sicily
Church of San Michele is a catholic church in the village of Savoca. The Gothic styled exterior has a Baroque interior. This church was built between 1250 and 1420. You can visit this church to learn about the history and to admire the beautiful artworks and frescoes. The wooden pulpit and the baroque altars are also very attractive. There are some tombs of the local families of Savoca in the church.
Castle of Pentefur in Savoca Sicily
The Castle of Pentefur dates back to the 6th century and is located on one of the hill’s dual tips. Unfortunately, there are only ruins that are remaining for the visitors to see and learn about the centuries of history around it. The strategic location for the castle was chosen to protect the village from invaders. The location is a wonderful spot for the panoramic views of the whole area around Savoca.
Read about the best places to visit in Italy
Read About 13 Wonderful Attractions in Palermo Italy
Read About Treviso “Mini Venice”
Read about the breathtaking views of Nargo Torbole
Also Read about Florence which has streets full of art.
Read about San Gimignano and its Medieval Sky Scrapers