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Things to do in Messina

Our most recommended things to do in Messina

Sicily: Godfather Private Tour with Optional Food and Wine

1. Sicily: Godfather Private Tour with Optional Food and Wine

Enjoy the sights and tastes of Italy à la The Godfather in the company of a knowledgeable, English-speaking tour guide.  Your guide will pick you up at your hotel or port at a time suitable to you before beginning your tour in Savoca, a medieval hilltop town where the fictitious Michael Corleone hid out during the "Going to the Mattresses" scene.  In Savoca, stop at Bar Vitelli, which looks exactly as it did in the movie. At Bar Vitelli, you will be invited to take pictures with an authentic Sicilian shotgun, see pictures from The Godfather movie, enjoy the view from the square where the wedding scene was filmed, and purchase souvenirs.  The highlight, however, will be an optional tasting of Sicilian cannoli and lemon granita. Your next stop will be the church of Santa Lucia, where Michael and Apollonia got married. You will follow in the footsteps of the newlyweds down the hill into the town. Once in the town, visit another ancient church, dating back to the 13th century.  Your guide will tell you about the filming processes involved in shooting The Godfather and some fun trivia about the movie, the director, and the actors. Discover the history of the real Sicilian mafia from your guide. Hear how the mafia rose to power, its structure, and about the "Law of Silence", "Men of Respect" and the "Boss of the Bosses". After all this walking and learning, you will be taken to visit one of the best wine bars in Savoca where you can try excellent Sicilian wines and locally produced, traditional food including cheeses, salami, prosciutto, olives, and homemade bread.  During the tour in Savoca, you will also see the mirror monument dedicated to Coppola, on the panoramic terrace overlooking the Ionian coast, the site of Michael Corleone's wedding scene. Your tour will continue to Forza D'Agro, another stunning hilltop town. Your guide will lead you along abandoned streets towards the historic square where you will visit the churches Santissima Trinita and Santissima Annunziata. In Forza D'Agro, you will see the piazza where young Vita Andolini escaped from Don Ciccio's men and you will walk up to the remains of a 12th-century Norman Castle to admire the panoramic view of the Ionian coastline.

From Taormina: Godfather and Mafia Tour with Sicilian Lunch

2. From Taormina: Godfather and Mafia Tour with Sicilian Lunch

Compare the plot of The Godfather saga with the history of real-life Sicilian Mafia during this guided day trip from Taormina to the villages of Savoca and Forza D'Agro. Travel in comfort on a minivan with hotel pickup and drop-off. Enjoy an authentic Sicilian lunch with a glass of wine. Begin the tour with a drive to Savoca and take a guided walk through the old town. Visit locations where The Godfather movie was filmed. See the Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone met the father of his future wife Apollonia, and St. Lucy’s Church, where they were married. Learn about the history of the Sicilian Mafia and how it spread throughout Italy. Hear about the Mafia clan wars for control of the territory. Then, head to your second stop, Forza D'Agro, another small village where the movie was filmed. After a walking tour, stop for lunch in a charming restaurant. Enjoy a plate of fresh pasta with wine from the Etna region on a terrace overlooking the Sicilian coast.

Taormina or Giardini Naxos: Off-Road ATV Tour of Mount Etna

3. Taormina or Giardini Naxos: Off-Road ATV Tour of Mount Etna

Enjoy the experience of riding on an ATV through the unique volcanic landscapes of Etna on this guided tour from Taormina or Giardini Naxos. Pass by some of the most stunning spots in the region like the Moio Alcantara crater and the alpine Piano Provenzana.   Meet your guide and get set up with your well-maintained ATV gear. Set off from the Alcantara Gorges, following dirt tracks in the direction of Castiglione di Sicilia, famous for its winemaking. Stop to admire the breathtaking views of the valley. Continue along the a bike trail to Linguaglossa, where you can see the little volcano of Moio Alcantara which is Etna's farthest crater from the epicenter. Pass by lava flows formed during numerous eruptions.  Climb to Piano Provenzana at an altitude of 1,850 meters for stunning views of the island. Return to your meeting point at the end of your ATV tour. 

Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

4. Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

On this informative tour, follow in the footsteps of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Discover the beautiful medieval villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agrò nestled on 2 beautiful hills where Francis Ford Coppola shot the famous movies. Explore the splendid hidden corners of Sicily as you go off the beaten path. Visit St. Lucy Church where Michael married Apollonia and the Cathedral of Forza d'Agrò where another wedding scene was shot. Enjoy a drink or lemon granita at Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone asked Mr. Vitelli if he could marry his daughter. Then, explore the beautiful Castello Degli Schiavi.

Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

5. Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

Pre-book your entry ticket to the Ancient Theater of Taormina and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a stirring journey through the archaeological ruins and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. The archaeological site offers the opportunity to step back into the past as well as enjoy the views of the surrounding landscapes. The Greek building, built in a dominant position, dates back, by layout, to the III-II century B.C., but the monument you can admire today appears in the forms acquired in the roman imperial age under the emperor Trajan or Hadrian. It becomes an amphitheater under the emperor Caracalla and, in the same period, the orchestra was converted into an arena to host gladiator fights. After centuries of neglect, in 1465, part of the monument was used as a palace of residence of the Zumbo family.

Taormina: Ancient Theater Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

6. Taormina: Ancient Theater Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

Visit the Ancient Theater of Taormina with this guided tour and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a journey through the archaeological ruins and learn the history. Step back into the past with a visit to the Ancient Theater of Taormina. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. Learn about the Greek building that dates back to the 3rd-2nd century BCE. See how the Romans under Emperor Trajan and Hadrian changed the monument/ Discover the amphitheatre and orchestra, converted under Emperor Caracalla and hear tales of gladiator fights during this period.

Giardini Naxos: Semi-Submarine Tour to Isola Bella

7. Giardini Naxos: Semi-Submarine Tour to Isola Bella

Discover the rich underwater world of Giardini Naxos, Taormina, and Isola Bella on this guided tour aboard an air-conditioned submarine. Have the chance to spot sea creatures like dolphins, barracudas, octopuses, big groupers, and stingrays. Hop aboard a comfortable, bright-red submarine in Giardini Naxos and plunge down to the seabed. Have the option to go below or head up to the above deck area. Look for moray eels and schools of juvenile barracudas as you cruise through the vast meadow of oceanic posidonia grass in Isola Bella.  Feel the romance as you pass by the Cave of Lovers and experience the Blue Grotto from below. Take a look under the waves at the Bay of Sirens and venture into the protected waters of a nature reserve.   Upon returning to your meeting point, if the weather and sea conditions allow it, there is the possibility of spotting playful dolphins which populated this stretch of sea in eastern Sicily.

Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

8. Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

Europe’s highest active volcano is studied extensively by scientists and is popular with trekkers and nature lovers as well. Visit Mount Etna and the clifftop village of Taormina on this 11-hour excursion from Palermo. From Crateri Silvestri you’ll take the funicular with a local mountain guide all the way up to 2,500 meters above sea level. From this point you’ll experience unforgettable panoramic views. Just south of Taormina is the nature reserve of Isola Bella, and further south you’ll see the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Visit the village of Taormina, a 45-minute drive from Mount Etna. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, the village features an ancient Greek theater, many old churches, antique shops, lively bars and fine restaurants.

From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

9. From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

Depart from Taormina to visit the Sicilian hill towns of Savoca and Forza D’Agrò. Explore the sets of the popular movie The Godfather. See the famous Bar Vitelli and wedding venue, among other places you’ll recognize from the films. Hear stories about the movies and Sicily from a local guide. Enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside. Take a pleasant stroll in the villages. Easily find filming locations of the movie. Visit the Trimarchi building, the venue for the famous Bar Vitelli. Then, see the location of the wedding shoot, the Church of Santa Lucia. Learn about tales behind the great film, and the equally captivating history of the island that inspired this masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola. Many scenes of village life were filmed on the cobblestone streets and traditional houses of Forzà d'Agrò. Explore SS. Annunziata Square, Church of SS. Annunziata, and the birthplace of Vito Corleone. Admire the charm of the Sicilian countryside in this amazing place, nestled between the provinces of Messina and Catania.

Giardini Naxos, Taormina and Castelmola 5-Hour Tour

10. Giardini Naxos, Taormina and Castelmola 5-Hour Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in Catania, and then travel by bus to the seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Continue to the beautiful almond wine village of Castelmola on the Ionian coast. View the small and lovely island of Isola Bella from above, connected to the mainland by a thin strip of sand. Get stunning views of the bay and promontories of Capo Sant’Andrea. Move on to the pretty resort town of Taormina and get a stunning view of the Messina Gate from the Corso Umberto on arrival. See the important monuments of the historic town center, including the Palazzo Corvaja, Teatro Antico, and medieval Cattedrale Fortezza. Get some time to browse the boutique stores and handicraft shops before the return trip to Catania.

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What people are saying about Messina

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 423 reviews

11/10 Experience! Highly recommended for ALL fans! Had an absolutely fantastic day on the Godfather tour. Visiting these sites has been on my bucket list for a long time and this tour was a fantastic way to accomplish this. Alessio is a friendly, enthusiastic and expert guide and provided us with an exceptional experience. Given Alessio’s extensive knowledge and palpable enthusiasm for the films, this is a tour run by a fan, for fans. That said, anyone who has seen the Godfather films will get a lot out of this tour, from casual moviegoer to film zealot. The places you visit (Savoca and Forza d'Agro) are also beautiful in their own right and it was a great way to see Sicily. Visiting Castello Degli Schiavi (an optional extra) was another highlight and great privilege that Alessio organises with the owner of the mansion (The Baron, an extremely welcoming, friendly and polite host). Thank you so much, Alessio! We had a truly spectacular and holiday-defining experience.

The trip was excellent and exceeded our expectations. Our guide Gianfranco picked us up at our hotel right on schedule and stopped at several great viewing locations on the way to and from Mt. Etna. He was very knowledgeable about Mt. Etna and also gave us a lot of great information about Sicily and other things to see and do in the area. I would highly recommend this excursion and Gianfranco as a guide.

Claudio was an excellent guide, showed us around and gave us an excellent overview of the history of the area and the influences that impacted the political sphere. It was a pleasure to spend a few hours with Claudio and to learn all he had to offer.

Our time with Gianfranco was fabulous! He is a lovely man, so knowledgeable, friendly and articulate. He explained everything so well and made it all so easy. An amazing day!

Alessio was a great tour guide and it was a great tour highly recommend!