The Great Vintage – Giardini Naxos Taormina
Discover Sicily off the beaten track with this round up of some awesome hidden gems on this beautiful island driving a classic Fiat 500 coming from the sixties.
Starting from Taormina / Giardini Naxos, you’ll drive one of our classic and convertible Fiat 500 until reach the Castle of the Slaves (Castello degli Schiavi), a rural Sicilian Baroque jewel dates back to the 1700’s, located in Fiumefreddo di Sicilia. This Castle is also known as the “Godfather Villa” because it was used by the director Francis Ford Coppola as Michael Corleone’s home in the “The Godfather” film trilogy and here was shot one of the most famous and memorable scenes of the film, the murder of Apollonia by a car bomb.
Here, you will have a welcome drinks with some typical Sicilian cookies, and then, leading of the landlord Baron Franco Platania, you’ll visit all the rooms, the church and the underground of the Castle.
After the visit, you’ll drive the Fiat 500 through the Alcantara river valley and the Etna wine road, among citrus orchards, century-old olive groves, until you reach one of the Etna’s best wineries. Here you’ll visit the vineyards and a beautiful “Palmento”, an old stone wine press, and have a charming pic-nic in the countryside.
Castle of the Slaves – Fiumefreddo
About 20 minutes driving from Taormina, this Castle is one of the most evocative buildings of the whole Sicily island. It is a private house but also a fascinating museum with a lots of documents, books, images, objects and memorabilia of the Godfather film. Today is pretty much the same as it appears in the motion picture.
The old stone wine press – Castiglione di Sicilia
The ancient “Palmento” or wine press house, that was used up until a few decades ago to make wine, with its giant wooden press and multi-level stone tanks and drainage channels is one of Sicily’s most picturesque features.
Cuba – Byzantine Church
Near Castiglione di Sicilia, the Church of Santa Domenica (a Byzantine church that dates back to the VII century) is also called “Cuba” ( for its cupola roof). It is one of the 100’s most important monuments of Italy and national monument since 1909.
Charming Pic-nic in the countryside – Castiglione di Sicilia
A traditional Sicilian pic-nic surrounded by nature tasting all locally produced organic fresh food such as cheese, salami, bruschetta, olives, dried tomatoes, mushrooms, vegetables, roasted sausage, domestic olive oil and home-made bread.
You will drive one of our classic and convertible Fiat 500 following our tour leader car that will be driven by our staff.
A fun and professional fully licensed English-speaking tour guide will lead you through this fascinating trip.
Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license with you.
To drive in Italy you need an EU driving licence, or an International Driving Permit, which is a translation of your non EU licence.
All drivers must be able to drive using a manual clutch / trasmission (stick shift gears).
Occasional driving experience with manual cars is not enough to handle our vintage cars.
Our full day “The Great Vintage” tour usually starts in the morning (9.30am) or in the afternoon (3.30pm) during the hottest days of the year.
Usually this themed tour on the “Unveiled gems of Sicily” lasts about 6 hour.
We can also arrange a tailored itinerary according to your needs.
The most important Sicilian scenes of the Godfather trilogy were filmed in Savoca, Forza d’Agrò and in Fiumefreddo di Sicilia but not in Corleone (as many believe).
Corleone, near Palermo in Sicily, was too modern and developed even in the early 70s to be used for filming a story dated back to the early 1950s.
Castello degli schiavi ( Castle of the Slaves ) is a private house but we can also arrange this visit thanks to the good collaboration between our company and the owner.