The “Godfather” villages & Taormina
The “Godfather” villages, Savoca and Forza d’Agrò, are two pretty Medieval hamlets set high in the hills near the coast. This excursion balances their small-town charm with the sophistication and history of Taormina.
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
About 3 hours in total.
On a rocky hilltop, amidst vineyards and groves of citrus and olives, emerges the Medieval hamlet of Savoca. Known to tourists as one of the two locations where Francis Ford Coppola shot scenes for The Godfather, Savoca is reputed amongst Italians as one of the loveliest villages in the country.
Here time seems to have stood still. Enjoy the almost mystic silence, lush wooded territory and views of the Gulf of Taormina, or visit some of the locations made famous by Coppola's capolavoro.
When you stroll its narrow, stone-paved streets (not passable by cars) you will understand why Coppola chose Forza d’Agrò as a filming location. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and fascinating old churches, or climb the winding streets to the ruins of the Norman castle that dominates the village.
Perched high on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, Taormina is a beautiful place with a great story to tell. It was inhabited prior to the the arrival of the Ancient Greeks, who established Taormina as one their earliest colonies in Sicily. Today you can touch still touch this part of Taormina's past by visiting the Greek Theatre, which is in excellent condition and offers stunning views of the brilliant blue sea with Mt. Etna beyond. (If history and scenery aren't your thing there are lots of shops and restaurants to explore.)
Over the millennia, as in so many parts of Sicily, Taormina has been influenced by many diverse peoples and cultures -- everything from the Moors to the Normans to the Crown of Aragon to the Bourbons -- which can still be seen in its architecture. Its prosperity has endured throughout the various eras, evidenced today by the elegance and size of its cathedral and many of its buildings.
By the end of the 19th century Taormina had become a haven for artists, writers and intellectuals, attracting such notable visitors as Oscar Wilde, Richard Wagner and Tsar Nicholas II. Today the town is host to a variety of arts festivals encompassing film, music, dance and theatre.
DURATION: 8-9 hrs
look for other excursions from Catania, Giardini-Naxos, Syracuse or Taormina
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