The Godfather movie from 1972 is perhaps one of the best and epic movies ever made. A tale and depiction of the Italian families of 1940s and 1950s New York City with connections to the island of Sicily, Italy. Francis Ford Coppola used New York as a backdrop for most of the film but there are also important scenes shot in Sicilian villages, after the main protagonist Michael Corleone escapes New York having shot two men who planned to kill his father. Most tourists visit the town of Corleone, where the family gets their name from, but the fact is that the town was never used as a location, it was too modern for Coppolas liking, and this
made him choose different locations around Sicily instead. Two of those locations are situated in the beautiful small village of Savoca, not far from Messina in the south of Sicily. Bar Vitelli plays a pivotal role in the meeting between Michael Corleone and his bride to be, Apollonia. With his bodyguards Michael discusses a beautiful woman one of them had seen earlier in the countryside, not knowing this is the daughter of the bar owner. And this is how Michael Corleone is introduced to this first love, by inviting himself to dinner at the bar owners house to meet his daughter.
Bar Vitelli is still open and still looks just like in the movie. A wine covered patio perfect for sipping a cool beer and having a small meal. The people who run it are immensely proud of the history of the bar, and on the inside walls there are photos from the movie, as you would expect. It was so cool to sit in the shade and chat with the local cats while drinking a limoncello and watching Sicilian life roll by.
As a bonus just up a picturesque path from Bar Vitelli is the church where Michael and Apollonia got married in the movie. Chiesa Santa Lucia overlooks Savoca and it was used for the ceremony were they get the blessings on the church steps from the priest, and then the whole procession is led by a marching band down the road to the reception at Bar Vitelli. Two iconic film locations in a small village, we came by in the afternoon, and we had the place more or less to ourselves. It was truly epic. And of you have not seen the Godfather movie yet, you need to see it as soon as possible!