Have you seen The Godfather movies yet? Many scenes throughout the epic trilogy were filmed in the Sicilian villages of Savoca and Forzà d’Agrò, that you can visit by booking an organised tour at reception or using public transport for the more intrepid.
I [staff member of Gianni House :))] travelled to Savoca recently, to taste delicious Granita Limone at Bar Vitelli, where some of the most memorable scenes from “The Godfather” were shot [*Michael Corleone asked Apollonia’s father to meet his daughter*]. It’s a must for Godfather fans!
Savoca village with it’s tiny streets is a pleasant place to hang out for the day and we highly recommend a visit to The Cappuccini Monastery which has an impressive collection of 32 ancient mummified monks, priests and advocates – some intact some not – in their catacombs, which date back to the 18th century.
Situated at the foot of the magificent Mt Etna are a collection of small villages and towns which each have a unique feel – you can explore these either by car or on the cute little train that slowly makes it was around the base of the mountain – the Circumetnea train stops at two of the most impressive towns, which are Bronte (where Sicily’s famous pistachios are cultivated) and our favourite, Randazzo. The town is famed for the construction of most of its monuments from the dark volcanic lava-rock which is a feature of the landscape due to the eruptions of Etna. It is the town nearest the actual crater. If you are travelling by car you can easily combine Randazzo with a visit to the beautiful Alcantara Gorge. Ask us at reception for more information.
The link to this summer’s train timetable is
Castelmola is located just above Taormina and is reachable by bus, or if you’re ambitious you can walk. The small town has amazing charm and some really fun restaurants and bars to visit. It’s topped off with a castle at the top with some truly amazing views. Watch the video to see some of these breath-taking views.
Sea, sun, sailing, my three favorite things in the world. And now I enjoyed all of them at once here in Sicily, in this perfect warm weather. The boat trip, booked directly via Gianni, started on the harbor of Giardini Naxos that is just a 10-minute walk from Gianni House Hostel. In the harbor our captain Antonio was waiting for us. And it’s our very own private boat, nice!
The views here amaze me all the time. From the sea the whole beach boulevard, mountains and Mount Etna opens in front of your eyes. During the trip we went in a small cave that was amazing, and we saw also Taormina, Castelmola, and “The pearl of the Ionian Sea” (Isola Bella) that is now turned into a nature reserve. The boat swung from the waves and warm wind blew nicely on my face. The sights were great and so was the swimming, although at the time the water was ice cold. There was some sort of lemon wine offered by Antonia, and it tasted so delicious even though I usually don’t like sweet liquor. I was so happy and my smile was so wide that it almost hurt. I am already waiting for the next boat trip.
Tip: Remember to take with you: sun glasses, swimsuit and sun cream.
As I write this, Palermo has just hosted an international wine competition (even if Europe’s best wineries usually avoid such “popularity contests” which they characterise as amateurish) and with Spring upon us it’s time to think about travel to Sicily.
There’s really no “best” time for a wine tour, though many travellers prefer early Autumn when the grapes are being harvested – well, late August in Sicily. What’s important to keep in mind is the quality of your itinerary.
A number of travel agencies can plan a personalised itinerary, which is usually the best approach. Sicily Concierge is one such company, and there are others. Sicily’s wine region is a good springboard for such an itinerary, while the Etna region offers a pleasant change of pace. Along the way there are plenty of traces of the past, such as Segesta’s ancient Greek temple.
Do avoid the public relations pitching one winery over another, or a particular programme. It’s easy enough to invent your own. Before you go, check out our Sicily wine page.Posted byRoberta Gangiat9:12 PM