The guided tour of Savoca & Forza d’Agrò leads us to the discovery of a lesser known Sicily, made of slow rhythms and ancient traditions. We leave the frenzy of the city and go back in time that here, seems to have stopped.
Savoca guided tour: authentic Sicily
Perched at about 300 meters above sea level, Savoca welcomes us at the end of a drive between olive groves and rich vegetation. The heart of this village is definitely the main square, covered with thick trees of Ficus. From here we see the road that climbs up to the church of San Niccolò and from here also the way to reach the Convent of the Capuchins. The crypt of the convent houses the embalmed bodies of notables and priests of the village dating back to the XVII and XVIII centuries.
Walking along the main road, allows us to enjoy the view of the Strait of Messina on one side and Mount Etna on the other. We go under the Norman City Gate and enter the oldest part of the village. Here we will see some of the most important buildings:
- The remains of the Castle of Pentefur with the city walls;
- San Michele church: dating back to the XV century, it was the church of the Castle and its portals are in a magnificent Gothic-Sicilian style;
- Church of San Niccolò, also known as Santa Lucia. Initially built in the fifteenth century, it has been modified several times and it looks like a fortress;
- The Cathedral: it was built in the 12th century but the main façade was reworked later;
- The fifteenth-century mullioned window: : a medieval house shows this particular window on its front part.
Forza d’Agrò Guided Tour: genuine Sicily
This village has the typical Sicilian aspect: it is located on top of a hill, you can get there thanks to a winding road, the streets are narrow and the houses are close one to another. The road that leads to Forza d’Agrò is spectacular, overlooking the sea and the Castle of Sant’Alessio, and after a series of hairpin bends you get to the main square. Here it seems to step back in time, everything tells us of a glorious past.
- Church of the Assumption: it is the mother church and dates back to 1400 but today it has a eighteenth century style.
- The remains of the Castle: built by the Normans, more than 420 meters above sea level, its strategic position has made it one of the most important bulwarks for centuries. Losing its military importance, it was transformed into a cemetery until the 1980s.
- The Church of the Holy Trinity: it has a single nave, dating back to the fifteenth century, it keeps inside valuable works of art.
- Arco Durazzesco: a spectacular staircase leads to this gateway of Gothic-Catalan style. One of the few examples remaining in Sicily.
Savoca & Forza d’Agrò Guided Tour: The Godfather
In 1971 the American director Francis Ford Coppola and his crew landed in Sicily to shoot the scenes of a film that will become a classic of world cinema: The Godfather.
After a series of reconnaissance in search of the perfect set, the choice fell on these two villages of the Sicilian Ionian coast. Even today visiting them, we can perfectly recognize some places in the set:
- The Bar Vitelli in Savoca: here Michael Corleone ( Al Pacino) will ask for the bar owner’s daughter’s hand (Apollonia)in marriage ;
- The Church of San Niccolò ( or Santa Lucia) in Savoca. Here takes place the marriage between Michael and Apollonia;
- The facade of the Cathedral of Forza d’Agrò: you can briefly see it in the American trilogy;
- The churchyard in front of the Church of the Trinity of Forza d’Agrò: Godfather Part III.
Thanks to these scenes and more ones, both villages of a Sicilian province became famous and now attract many curious tourists who, however, once arrived forget about the film and enjoy the beauty of this corner of Sicily. Let’s come and visit together Savoca & Forza d’Agrò!