Savoca Sicily: Catacombs and Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola immortalized Savoca Sicily in his silver screen masterpiece ‘The Godfather’, yet when the tour buses roll out of town you are left with a piece of perfect Italy. The village etched into the cliffs with its dusty crumbling homes, its sleepy trattorias and its wisteria draped balconies is a page torn from a history book, one where family names run deep and the Virgin Mary adorns every mantelpiece.

The lofty perch that has become home to Savoca Sicily is fragranced by citrus groves, littered with thirsty cacti plants and boasts mesmerizing views across the expanse of the Ionian Sea. This could be as authentic as old world Italy gets with shutters being drawn in the afternoon, the hypnotic feel of siesta hanging heavy in the air and cracked stone buildings providing the perfect backdrop. Movie lovers will fall hard for the living movie set where you can wander through the 14th century church where Michael Corleone married Apollonia. You can sit beneath the shaded nook of vines and sip lemon granita and you can of course buy movie shot stills from the local stores, even if they are a little faded.

Savoca Sicily

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Bar Vitelli is a must for those seeking a slice of true Sicily, the old cane sofa, the faded throw rugs, the proprietress who actually played a role in Coppola’s movie and the age old groceries marking the shelves bring a sense of old world time and place that is hard to shake from your heart. Those with a strong stomach for the weird, the wonderful and the slightly macabre can slip inside the catacombs to see mummies housed eternally behind glass cases. With over thirty mummies dating back to the 17th century, the grisly vision may cause some to blanche at the sight but is something completely unique to the area.

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San Roco is the best place to stay, the medieval village has been transformed into a four star resort boasting bright and airy rooms, stone terraces overlooking the sea, a lagoon like pool for cooling off in the fierce Sicilian heat and blooming bright flowers clinging to every corner.

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Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes