Our car will pick you up from your ship
at the pier in Messina. The tour will begin with an
introductory drive through Taormina and the picturesque
road of the Medieval village of Savoca. It is situated
in the saddle between two beautiful hills.
This village is an important one for film enthusiasts.
There is a private home with a most
gorgeous terrace view, and an attached sign that reads
Bar Vitelli. Once inside, you'll be able to
view a fine collection of photographs taken at this
location during the shooting of Francis Ford
Coppola's 1974 masterpiece, "The Godfather: Part
II". Since the town of Corleone was too developed,
Savoca was the stand-in where Michael Corleone lived
in exile. Our next stop will be at the village
of Santa Teresa Riva. This is the largest coast town
between Messina and Taormina. The tour will continue
on to the Cappuccini Convent. Below the
church, you will find 16th century catacombs where there
are thousands of corpses of men, women and
children. Some are mummified and in an excellent state
of preservation. They're fully clothed and
hanging on walls in rows. The Capuchin monks were responsible
for this ritual from about 1560
through 1880. Many of the mummies are, in fact, Capuchin
monks. Be advised that this site is not for
the faint of heart. Very close by is the attractive
village of Forza d'Angro. Here, your
lecturer-guide will explain the origin of this charming,
tiny Medieval village. There are lovely views to the
bay and inlets. It also overlooks the
Arab-Norman castle of Cape Sant'Alessio and continues
on toward the Messina Strait. There will be a brief
excursion through Messina, known as Zanclos in ancient
times. Due to its strategic location,
it was a trade center. As such, there were exchanges
of artistic trends and ideas. At the beginning
of the last century, an earthquake and tidal wave leveled
the city. Since then, tall buildings were
prohibited. Yet, in spite of all this, Messina was rebuilt,
triumphed and became a thriving
community. We will then pass in front of City Hall and
the 12th century Medieval church, Annunziata dei Catalani.
The Piazza del Duomo was destroyed in the 1908 earthquake,
and was rebuilt in its original
Norman style. There is an adjoining bell tower that
has a very large, mechanical clock of great
complexity and beauty. In the sanctuary, there stands
a Byzantine Black Madonna. It attracts many
pilgrims to this site in the spring and fall. The tour
will continue on to the area of
Tindari. It was originally a Greek colony, founded in
396 BC, and it became home to refugees. It is
beautifully set high on a cliff in the northeastern
section of the Messina province.
You'll be back at your ship at 5 PM.
This tour is for
a party of up to 8 people,
and it includes private car transfers and
a fluent, English speaking driver-guide.
Meals and site tickets are not included
in the price.
Please contact us for more information
and price estimates.