Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10: Book, Place, Movie and Product Review

The Challenge of the day was to review either a book, a place or a product

Tale of the Godfather . . .

Two of the locations that were used in Sicily for the filming of The Godfather (book made into a movie) were the little villages up high on the hills, Savoca and Forza d'Agro. Let's take a brief look...

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name 'Sicily'? Listen to this music as you scroll down the next few photos...



It seemed that if I was going to be in Sicily (a small island off of Italy, which makes it a place) I should take a look at these villages...

Our tour guide for the day placed the flag of Sicily at the front of the bus...


The lady in the centre of their flag is none other than Medusa, a goddess of Greek mythology, known for her ugliness. But Medusa was not always ugly, in fact she was very beautiful until she became very jealous and angry with Athena, a more powerful goddess, who turned Medusa into a very ugly woman with snakes in her hair. Interesting centre piece for a flag.


We had a beautiful blue-sky day for our trip. As we headed south and started up into the mountains to the villages we looked at Mt. Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe. That is the far away mountain you see in the middle of the photo... It is in an almost constant state of activity. As recently as April 15 Etna gave up smoke and ash.


The roads were steep, winding and very narrow.  It was amazing to see the bus drivers make the corners without backing up.


It seems the buses have a special steering capability in the front that allows them to turn sharply sideways even as they are moving forward.

The tour began in Savoca...


with a hike up the hill to the church at the top...


This church was used in the wedding shots of Michael and Apollonia, from 'The Godfather' movie. Apollonia was Michael Corleone's first wife. This is what we saw...


You will recognize this doorway in the very opening scenes of the wedding in the clip below.


Now look at the street scene of Michael and Apollonia's wedding...



Their reception scene was filmed in front of the Bar Vitelli where we stopped for a local specialty drink, granitas...


and cannoli (the product).


The next scene will impress on you the importance of cannoli... even used as partial payment on work rendered.



"My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse."
-Michael Corleone

Everywhere you turn there is some reminder that Francis Ford Coppola and his movie happened here.


We travelled another half hour to visit Forza d'Agro.  The village was as hilly as the last one with churches...


and views...


and homes very similar.


This next church...


was being used while we were there so we were unable to take a look inside...


though it gave the whole place a rather authentic 'Godfather' feel.



The economy of those remote villages has been greatly enhanced over the years since Mr. Coppola first dropped in. They do make lovely cannoli. The views are forever and the granitas were perfect on a hot June day.

But Sicily is probably one of those places in the world that was never on 'my list' of places I was dying to see. And I won't be trekking back there any too soon.  I was there.  I saw where it took place and I am done.

           "My father taught me many things... 

He taught me, keep your friends close 
but keep your enemies closer."
- Michael Corleone

Be well.
See you tomorrow!



















2 comments:

  1. What a great blog post!

    And music was great to listen to while reading!

    It was a good reminder of a wonderful afternoon spent in Godfather country.

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  2. Remember coming down that mountain in the bus with 'Godfather' movie running? Such beautiful music with such a grim story. Thanks for the memories.

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