Tag Archives: Sicily

Maria Santa Annunziata Church, Farza Di Agro, Sicily

Part of the 100€ taxi rideg888
Like many Sicilian villages Farza di Agro is set at the top of a hill. The taxi driver pulled up in the what I would say to be the main square and it gave me the chance to get myself together, as this was my second location visited and the evening before taking was beginning to take its toll, with the winding streets on the way up reminded me of travelling along the Amalfi coast!

It seemed like the town knew strangers were afoot and showed its gratitude in welcoming us, with a hymn that was broadcasted through the towns antenna system. I assume it was for us as the square seemed to be derelict at that specific time, and no one else was in the square other than friends and the taxi driver! This somewhat reminded me of “The Prisoner”, I’m guessing due to the sense that we seemed to be watched along with the antenna system. The whole experience blew me away, I felt privileged to have been able to see the village, which was quaint and quiet unlike the touristy town of Taormina.

My first port of call was to shoot the Maria Santa Annunziata Church, where on screen of the The Godfather part II you would find the the young Vincent Andollione escaping past the church front in a basket on a donkey. Maria Santa Annunziata Church is also used in The Godfather part I, when Michael goes to Bar Vittelli, he passes the church and also during The Godfather part III when Al Pacino reminisces with Diane.


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Vito Andolini’s House, Forza Di Agro, Sicily

Part of the €100 taxi ride.

g3After finding the Maria Santa Annunziata Church, I pursued a group of locals who seemed to be chatting like there was no tomorrow, whilst showing them my pictures of the doorway and asking them if the doorway from the Godfather movie was shot within Forza di Agro, and still standing upright! The paperwork was taken from my hands and they took over the conversation in what seemed to me to be a heated debate between the locals and in the mix of waving arms, raised voices and thoughout the discussion a lot of pointing! In fact it was just like watching the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz.

g233After 10 minutes of standing pretty much like when you’re at a wedding of a distant relative or friend, the discussion concluded when a local older gentleman took the lead, and showed the way into the narrow streets of the heart of the Forza Di Agro and well into the local community. After 5 minutes he led me into a serial environment the narrowing streets with echoed conversations, but no one around.

The gentleman man pointed at the doorway to Vito Andolini’s House. With a heartfelt “grazie” and a much appreciated exchange of a couple of Euros, the man smiled, tipped the front of his cap and strolled back down the cobble stone street towards the centre.

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Corleone House, Castello Degli Schiavi, Fiumefreddo, Sicily

Since starting movie locating 6 years ago, the Sicily exhibition was the one that I was waiting for. The hunt for The Godfather locations has been the one that I hold closest

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to my heart. One of the reasons is my admiration for the actors involved, the likes of Al Pacino and De Niro, Sicily itself with its vast landscape and countryside views and also the intrigue that surrounds the history of the Mafia.

The hotel was located just south of Taormina and a five minute taxi ride away from Fiumefreddo. However, the first location the Corleone Sicilian House is seen in Godfather part 1 where Pacino goes to exile, then later on Apollonia, his first wife, gets blown up in the car whilst learning to drive in the grounds.

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And finally Godfather part 3 where Pacino reminisces about his life and of course the last scene were Pacino passes away is located south of Taormina in Fiumefreddo. The taxi driver pulled up outside the wrought iron gates and to be honest, I thought that was it, so got my camera out to take a couple of shots from outside the gates. I heard the driver shout something in Italian and was frantically buzzing the intercom.

A man came out of the huge house and let us in to take shots of the classic Italian style villa, the owner was so hospitable and friendly and so was his dog! He told me that the BBC had been there the week before filming! For me it was a privilege to be at this location, but to actually be able to go inside and speak with the owner was just the icing on the cake, with the film being my all time favourite gangster genre!

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