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History of Savoca

History of Savoca

Savoca is a village perched on a hill top and is part of the Club of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy since 2008. It is enclosed in the municipality of Valle d'Agro in the Taormina – Etna Tourist District.

Elevation: 330 m a.s.l.
Area: 8.80 km2


Cathderal (XV century)
Saint Michael Church (XV century)
Saint Nicolò Church (XV century)
Capuchin Fathers Cloister and Catacombes (XVII century)
Mt. Calvario Church with Via Crucis (XVIII century)
Immaculate Churc, at present Philharmonic Center (XVII century)
Minor Churches: Saint Rocco, Saint John, Holy Family (ruins of XVI century
) Castle (X century)
Gateway of the walled city (XIV century)


Ethno-anthropological Municipal Museum

The Origine

On the etymology of the name of Savoca several hypothesis have been made. The most reliable one traces the word Savoca to the typical elderberry plant that thrives in the area, and that the Arabs, on their arrival, renamed "Zabut" (elder).

History of the Village

Historical sources report that Savoca has been founded by Roger II, around the year 1134, and classified as a Barony of which the pro tempore Archimandrite of the Monastery of SS. Salvatore Messina was appointed Lord. In the Middle Ages, Savoca was built as a walled city, had a Castle, city walls, administrative and judicial offices and two delimitation doors of which the entrance one is still existing. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Savoca had a both economic and demographic shine period. Censuses of that time classified Savoca as one of the biggest and relevant villages of the area, together with Taormina. In the seventeenth century the village experienced a period of decline that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries led even to a relevant demographic decadency. Savoca lived a period of abandonment between 1970 and 1990, while today, thanks to its traditions and history and to the beauty of the region landscapes, is a village that aims to become one of the main tourist destination of the province of Messina.


Savoca is known for being in 1972 the set of some cult scenes of the movie by Francis Ford Coppola "The Godfather". It was also the set of international and national short-films and spots and in 2007 of a fiction for RAI television “La vita rubata”.