Bar Vitteli, Via Rina Savoca, Scicily
My hotel was situated on the beach in Taormina, a great location in the Summertime withviews of Etna to the West, unfortunately I was
in Sicily during March and Unfortunately couldn’t take advantage of the sea front location. After settling in to my accommodation I called a taxi to the town and spent the afternoon in the Wunderbar Caffe , the Caffe played host to celebrities such as Howard Agg, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Greta Garbo, Roger Peyrefitte, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton. Ever since D.H. Lawrence apparently wrote Lady Chatterly’s Lover the town has attracted a long list of actors, actresses, writers and artists, Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck.
I also strolled around the greek ancient theatre which had the most tremendous views with mount etna overlooking. It also made way for a photo-shoot of an smartly dressed gentleman. Later I had dinner at the Mocambo Bar, the shoot continued at the grand piano that dominated the Bar. Chico Scimone was his name. Such a wise inspiring individual, who had time to share a few of his moments with me he actually completed marathons, triathlons and running up the steps of the empire state building until 2004.
When I got back home I watched a documentary about Frank Sinatra and I could have sworn I saw Chico on it? The la Repubblica wrote “Chico Scimone who repeatedly performed for Frank Castello and Willie Moretti, remember without being able to date precisely the fact that once Castello hired him for an unusual task. They organised a kind of audition where I had to accompany the singer on piano, the boy, tells Scimone, was Frank”. La Repubblica article
After exploring the town I headed to the taxi rank to flag a taxi and head back down to the sandy coast line back to the hotel, I became friendly with the local taxi driver who was the most talkative taxi driver I have ever met! My communication as always been taken from the universal language, my main methodology being facial expressions smiles and nodding of my head. Soon the driver became mine and my friends personal chauffeur throughout our stay in Sicily, in fact his number was on speed dial after he came to my rescue at 3am the pervious morning.
The 100€ taxi ride “as I liked to call it” embarked from my hotel in Taormina and ended at destination Bar Vitteli, the bar is situated in a small village named Savoca, Savoca is located on top of a hillside. In fact most of the villages that I saw seemed to always be sitting well above sea level, and to be honest not a great experience travelling the winding roads after drinking vino into the early hours the night before! Although travelling out of season and passengers are light on the ground compared to the summer time, credit was due to the taxi driver who was outstanding after asking me how long I wanted to stay at the location. I responded in that international language of expressions and a little help from my watch “30 minutes ok?”. “No problem” his response.
My gut feeling told me that the bar would be closed, lo and behold it was, although I was intrigued to get a
peak inside of this rustic charming bar, as it could be argued that Bar Vitteli could be the most famous bar ever to have graced the silver screen! The taxi driver took the lead and shouted to beckon the owner! A couple of minutes went by the driver asking me to wait! I said its ok, outside pictures are good, suddenly “a little lady in her winter warmers”, came walking down the street and to my astonishment opened the doors to reveal the original bottle top blinds which laced the doorway in The Godfather. My heart raced before entering the bar and meeting the owner Maria, it was just like meeting a dignitary.
She invited me and friends in and offered us drinks along with out of date Kit Kat’s my guess unsold stock from the previous season “that didn’t matter one bit, it was a wonderfulI experience” We all offered Maria a few Euros each and hopefully made it a worthwhile venture to open those doors. Next stop Forza Di Agro.