Behind the Lens: Savoca (You HAVE Seen The Godfather, Right?)

Savoca, a small town in Sicily, actually, a VERY small town in Sicily is famous for one thing–Francis Ford Coppola‘s masterpiece, The Godfather.

Michael and his bodyguards meet the father of Apollonia, Michael's future wife.

Bar Vitelli in 1972.

Bar Vitelli in 2011.

Remnants of the movie are everywhere:

The lady on the right was the only resident of Savoca to have a speaking line in The Godfather, although most of the villagers were in the movie as background fifth business. This woman seems to kind of walk around, waiting for tourists, embracing her status as Queen of Savoca. She played Apollonia's mother.

Famous for one, admittedly GREAT movie, but honestly, without Sicilian gangsters, Savoca would still be wonderful. It’s situated up in the mountains above Taormina, and it’s just lovely.

As an interesting side note (well, interesting to me, I kind of adore hagiography), Saint Lucy (or Lucia) is the patron saint of Savoca.

In her bowl? Yep, her eyeballs.

Those silver pieces on the side are actually pairs of eyes given as tribute from those who have had their vision saved by praying to Saint Lucia.

She is also the patron saint of the blind. Why? Her eyes were gouged out before her martyrdom.

She was a wealthy young Christian martyr who is venerated as a saint by Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christians. Her feast day in the West is 13 December; with a name derived from lux, lucis “light”.

Saint Lucy is one of the very few saints celebrated by members of the Lutheran Church among the Scandinavian peoples, who take part in Saint Lucy’s Day celebrations that retain many elements of Germanic paganism.

Saint Lucy is one of seven women, aside from the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

Hagiography tells us that Lucy was a Christian during the Diocletian persecution. She consecrated her virginity to God, refused to marry a pagan, and had her dowry distributed to the poor.

Her would-be husband denounced her as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse, Sicily. Miraculously unable to move her or burn her, the guards took out her eyes with a fork. In another version, Lucy’s would-be husband admired her eyes, so she tore them out and gave them to him, saying, “Now let me live to God”.


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