Giardini Naxos: The Godfather of all tours, Corleone family footsteps in Sicily

Sicily has over a hundred tours, but only one Godfather. The island is huge. Giardini Naxos, between Cape Taormina and Cape Schisò was a quiet fishing village, but has recently become a popular seaside resort. Taormina sits in the hills and can be easily accessed by bus. Naxos was founded in 735 BC, by Greek colonists from Chalcis in Euboea. The temple of Apollo Archegetes now sits outside the city which has many churches and an archaeological park. Leontini and Catania were both colonized from here. Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela, captured Naxos in 494 BC. Its destruction in 403 BC at the hands of Dionysius the tyrant saw people move up the hill into Tauromenium. There is so much more to discover here because Sicily has been famous and popular for centuries! We show over 100 tours in Sicily which tells you there is a lot to do and see, but looking at the tours by your ship or here will show you what Sicily think is best of what they have. Giardini Naxos is near and overlooks Taormina. Messina is about one hour away by train and Italian trains are normally very good but there is much to see locally,  including a number of Godfather tours, some will take you to Corleone, nicknamed the town of 100 churches. The Aurora, Oceana and Arcadia all cruise to Giardini NaxosClick here. Fred Olsen’s Islands of the Mediterranean on the Balmoral stops there. Here is an ariel film of the coast line.MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE DESTINATIONS – MENU  – CLICK HERE FOR GUIDES, TOWNS, CITIES & TOURS

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See the best of the locations used in the Godfather’s three films from below.

The Godfather Tour and Castello Deli Schiavi Visit –  Click here for meeting point and availability, this tour is likely to sell out)

This tour goes to the nearby beautiful medieval villages of Savoca and Forza D’Agrò where Francis Ford Coppola shot some parts of The Godfather movies. The guide explores splendid hidden corners of authentic Sicily, way off the beaten paths. Fall in love with these medieval villages nested on the peak of two beautiful hills. Visit St. Lucy Church, where Michael married Apollonia and imagine them leaving followed by the brass band playing. The Cathedral of Forza d’Agrò, where another wedding scene was shot.Have a drink or a lemon granita at Bar Vitelli, where Michael Corleone asked Mr. Vitelli for the hand of his daughter Apollonia. Then explore the splendid “Castello degli schiavi” (on demand, subject to availability). This tour is about £45 (summer 2017)


Corleone: The Godfather’s Real History 5-Hour Tour – Click here for meeting point and availability, this tour can sell out.
There is a 90-minute drive through the hilly landscape of Sicily before arriving in the town of Corleone, nicknamed the Town of 100 Churches, which at the beginning of the 1960s became famous as where the Sicilian Mafia had their headquarters. This was the Clan dei Corleonesi, ruled by Totò Riina, head of the cupola, or hidden Mafia council. You can admire the mother church, named after St. Martin on the way to the Palazzo St’Agostino, where a photographic exhibition of judges Falcone and Borsellino is displayed. In this 5-hour excursion, your guide will bring to life the most infamous recent history, explaining how the Sicilian people, led by these judges, eradicated the Corleones blood bond that had ruled the whole Island. This tour is about £41 from the meeting point, ask for price to be picked up (summer 2017) 
Or Drive in a convoy of convertible Fiat 500’s
Starting from your cruise ship, drive the medieval hill town above Taormina with breathtaking sea and Etna views, then drive to arrive in Savoca and it will be like taking a step back in time following your expert driver. This tour is two per car. You need to be able to drive a manual with clutch and have a driver’s license. It starts in Taormina, so to be picked up from somewhere else you will need to contact them here. You may be able to book this on the ship. Explore the towns of Savoca and Forza D’Agro.

Bar Vitelli was featured as the place where Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) meets Mr. Vitelli (the bar owner) and ask his permission to court his daughter Apollonia (Simonetta Stefanelli), and also for the official engagement and for the party after the wedding cerimony. While in town “a must” is the stop for a Lemon Granita in this famous bar.

Aurora Ship Tour  Azura Ship Tour  Britannia Ship Tour  Arcadia Ship Tour


Following the Godfather’s steps, next film location is the Cathedral of Maria S. Annunziata in Forza D’Agrò, that appears in the Godfather I when Michael goes to Corleone for the first time with his bodyguards (Calò and Fabrizio), and where the young Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) escapes to America hidden in a donkey hotly pursued by Don Ciccio’s men (The Godfather – Part II).


Here in Forza D’Agrò old Michael (GF3) shows his American wife (Diane Keaton) the house where his father Vito Andolini (Marlon Brando) from Corleone was born. Whichever tour you choose, whichever expert guide you have to humour you, enjoy.

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