Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bar Vitelli, Savoca, Sicily

On a recent location scout I was delighted to stumble upon Savoca, the village where they filmed the Sicilian scenes of The Godfather. It was a very odd experience as I had, only two weeks previously, turned on my television in a French hotel room and found this exact scene being played out. Incredibly the bar is preserved virtually identically to as it was when the movie was filmed almost 40 years ago. Maurizio, our local production guide, assured me it would have even had the same wooden chairs and tables had the owner, Maria, not sadly passed away last summer. By all accounts she was a very engaging character who ran the bar with a passion until her last days, making her famous granita lemoni everyday. Her nephew now runs the bar, and I suspect it is very similar still to how it was, save for the generic new rattan chairs and tourist t-shirts. A nicer touch is the video running in an ante-room of Maria describing her village and love of la campagna. It is a lovely spot, quite apart from its Hollywood history, and I can vouch that the granita is still ottimo. Although, Maurizio disagrees.

The granita machine

The late Maria, in her bar

There are plenty of movie stills framed inside the bar

The bar today

The original tables were like these typical Sicilian ones here

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