Savoca (Messina) is one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. Its name comes from the plant of elder (savucu, in Sicilian dialect), which is a shrub with fragrant white flowers that still grows in cracks between houses. This is also represented in the medieval village coat of arms.
The small settlement, which is situated on the hill of the dual tip, has seen the attention of archimandrite prelates and popes in a series of periods of prosperity and crisis. You’ll find old cisterns and ruins in the rocks between the basalt blocks.
The ruins of the castle Pentefur are high above, looking out at the city. This building is of unknown origin and could be Phoenician or Arab, or even Norman. This bastion was awarded the title of Royal Castle by Philip IV of Sicily. The Normans built a double-entrance wall around Savoca in medieval times. This impressive structure is still the City Gate, a pointed arch of local stone.
You will pass through the old entrance and reach the old town. Here you’ll find the old Town Hall as well as the Archimandrite Palace. Little remains. The evidence of the Archimandrite’s activity in Messina can be seen in all of the city’s facilities and throughout the country. Roger II of Hauteville was the ruler of Sicily in 1139 and placed Savoca at the center of a huge feud. It is a testimony to these events that it remains immobile challenging eternity, and the Mother Church from the XII Century, which all other churches in the territory, urban and rural, followed.
The church has three naves, each with Romanesque capitals. It also contains the Archimandrite pulpit made of wood. The basement of this church is where corpses were mummified. This practice continues today for those who are interested.
Another place worth visiting is the Church of San Michele. It dates back to 1250 and has two portals built-in Gothic-Sicilian design with sandstone arches. One nave within the church has baroque-style features. It also contains many works of art and frescoes. Non-believers who wanted to convert to Catholicism were required to “on their knees” to perform penance and complete seven steps before they could be baptized.
The Church of San Nicolo is last. It is built on a huge outcrop of rock and seems almost to stretch into space. The church has three large aisles and a fortress-like atmosphere over the valley. It is interesting to note that this church was featured in the film “The Godfather”, along with the Bar Vitelli. They were housed within Palazzo Trimarchi, an 18th-century Palazzo Trimarchi. Recently, a Byzantine mural depicting St. John Chrysostom (the father of the Christian church of the East) was discovered.
Savoca is a great place to eat if you’re hungry.
Savoca’s gastronomy refers to rural and Sicilian cuisine traditions. We can try piscistoccu and dried cod with lots of extra virgin oil. Also, we can try cunzatu bread homemade bread that are baked in wood ovens and seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. granita zzuccarata, a local lemon granita with zzuccarata, is a crisp biscuit topped with sesame seed.