Savoca, the town of seven faces

Savoca, the town of seven faces

Savoca, the town of seven faces

Thus defined by Leonardo Sciascia, giving credit to a popular refrain, for the seven different viewpoints of this splendid medieval village.


Today is a hot day in May, and we islanders get back on the road to try new experiences in the province of Messina. First stop Savoca, included in 2008 among the most beautiful villages in Italy: a small and delightful art village perched on a hill, which in the historic center still preserves its medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque origins and, in its many hamlets surrounded by greenery, the typical Mediterranean vegetation, including citrus groves, vineyards, and olive groves.

We arrive in the small square of the historic center of Savoca, where the first things that stand out are the Palazzo Trimarchi and the Bar Vitelli, chosen by the director Francis Ford Coppola to shoot some scenes from the film “The Godfather”, to which a steelwork exhibited on the Belvedere has been dedicated.

While we are waiting for our guide, to start an “unconventional” visit to the town, we take the opportunity to take some photos and to enjoy the beautiful sunny day, sipping a good coffee and enjoying the beautiful view.

Suddenly, we see in the distance Salvo, an expert connoisseur and inhabitant of the village who arrives in the saddle of Gina followed by Caterina (who in turn carries the delightful little dog Molly), two beautiful specimens of donkeys, which proceed with a slow and delicate step, typical of these animals.

We begin our urban trekking through the streets of the village, partly on foot and partly on donkeys. And to our great surprise, walking by walking who do we meet? An icon of Savoca, for having taken part in the filming of Francis Ford Coppola’s film: a big woman of other times who, when asked by Daniela – “But is she really ?? “-, he replies jokingly -” Why? Who should I be? “- And so, after laughing softly at the joke, we continue our tour stopping in front of the village bakery, intoxicated by the good scent of freshly baked biscuits that emanates from inside and enchanted by an exhibition of well-packaged baked goods placed in front of the door. We stop to chat with Nino, the baker, talking about this and that and how the summer season will take place following this long period of closure. Nino chats briskly, telling us how pleasant it is to welcome travelers accompanied by Salvo during the donkey ride. He is a courteous and jovial person and after a customary photo, he greets us by giving us a package of really delicious almond biscuits.

But it’s time to start our tour and, in this way, the donkeys are assigned and we take turns enjoying this beautiful walk, between a shot and a stop for some brief explanation and analysis. Generally, the complete tour lasts about 3 hours, but today Salvo has reserved a light version for us, to give us a taste of what is offered to guests from all over the world.

He thus accompanies us through the streets of Savoca, between glimpses and beautiful panoramas telling us along the way the history of its monuments and churches. During one of the stops, we enter the Mother Church, inside which we find very suggestive paintings and statues.

The walk proceeds and once she gets on the saddle, Roberta no longer wants to get off: after all, we know, the contact with the animals and their warm breath always give her a unique sensation. She defines it as therapy for the soul!

Salvo tells us about all the beautiful realities and experiences you can live here in Savoca, about the magic of its silence, from sunrise to sunset, and we do not hide from you that we have started daydreaming, looking forward to a possible summer aperitif outdoors.

Among the stages of the tour there is also a stop in a small restaurant where you can enjoy tastings of typical products and for the more adventurous, even a cooking class, and then conclude with a lunch based on the cooked products. Delicious!

But as always, the time has come to go and so, albeit, with reluctance (since we were really relaxing), we say goodbye to Salvo, his donkeys, and his faithful dog, who accompanied us all the way, wagging his tail happily.

We move towards Santa Teresa Riva to get to know a well-rounded artist and his property.

A few years ago, with many sacrifices and, above all, regardless of those who thought he was crazy, Mr. Pippo decided to give life to the dream of realizing the Sicily in miniature, reproducing the focal points of our splendid island: inside a vast land, with patience and passion, has reproduced the main monuments of the 9 Sicilian provinces, also paying homage to other lesser-known countries to which he is particularly attached. We find ourselves in a large park where the works are expertly located along a path created with the shape of Sicily. Mr. Pippo tells us how his passion was born, the time it took to create each monument, illustrating work after work, the history and the curiosities that represent them, of how his love helped him during the lockdown period. , during which he had the opportunity to give life to new works.

Despite the late hour of our visit and the beating sun, we equip ourselves with umbrellas and walk all over Sicily (it would be our first time!), Being struck by the precision and beauty of these monuments which, despite being in miniature, are made in such a meticulous way and responding to the original that they really give the idea of ​​the wonderful works of art of which our island is rich!

Even today our 5 senses have been caressed.

And so we go home repeating once again…. Wonderful Sicily!

We are ready to live a new experience … and you? 

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