This is the time of year when everyone is thinking about how they can improve themselves from last year. As humans, we love the thought of “rebirth”. A do-over if you will. Travel seems to be on the top of everyone’s list. For that may I suggest Savoca?
In September 2019, I traveled to Sicily with my husband. We spent time in the capital, Palermo and the second biggest city Catania. I have been a fan since the book and movie, “The Godfather” for years. Both works are artistical masterpieces. I did my research and found that one town, in particular, had two major sites: the church where Michael got married and the bar where he met the father of his bride to be. This town is Savoca.
Savoca itself is in the county of the Province of Messina. It is a small town/village up the hill from Taormina. We arrived around 8 pm, and getting to this town was a bit of a trip. We were driving in the dark up a hill for some time. The views were spectacular, but also quite difficult. We made our way to the Resort Borgo San Rocco.
We booked this hotel last minute as our original place did not work out. Luckily the first place didn’t work out because Resort Borgo San Rocco was just wanted we needed. The staff greeted us with some champagne and even still had a table ready for us in their dining room. We sat at our table, and the owner of the resort came to our table and instantly offered us a bottle of wine. We ate our lobster and sea bass and took in the views. The resort was grand, and lavish but welcoming at the same time.
Our room overlooked the valleys of Savoca. As the sunlight came into our room the next day, and the bells of the church echo through the valley, Nick and I took a moment to take this moment in. We were miles away from home but felt like we were home. As I got ready, Nick went to eat breakfast in the resort dining room. The staff was so generous and waited for me. I am always the last one to a morning breakfast. After breakfast, we walked for 10 minutes to the church that was in the Godfather. I was beyond giddy as never dreamt I would be here. It was a simple one-story church that was on top of the hill. We went in and said a prayer, and gave thanks.
We wanted to see the Bar Vitelli that was in the Godfather movie as well. It was the bar, where Michael Corleone asked his future father-in-law permission to date his wife to be Apollonia Vitelli. The church, though, was at the top of a hill; we couldn’t walk down to the village. We grabbed our car and drove down the hill. Bar Vitelli was packed with tourists. The walls were lined with photos from the filming of The Godfather. We ordered two espressos and of course, took some photos.
With a song in our hearts, we left Sicily. This was the Sicily we wanted to see- the valleys, the hills, the small hilly towns. Give yourself a rebirth in Savoca, Sicily.