John & Connie Europe 2013 travel blog

The Sicilian Coast

Church Steps From The Godfather I

Narrow Street

What a View

Lets walk up there!

Hop on hop off tour bus

The Carnival Sunshine in Messina harbour

We arrived in the Port of Messina, Sicily around 8:00 am and by 8:15 we were in our coach heading out on our “In the Godfather’s Footsteps” shore excursion.

The excursion took us to two very old and beautiful Sicilian villages which were used in the movies “The Godfather”. We enjoyed a scenic drive in our tour bus along the coast south of Messina until we arrived at the village of Forza d’Agro about 1200 feet above sea level. Our bus driver did an excellent job negotiating the bus around numerous switch backs and hair pin curves. Once we arrived in the village we strolled the narrow streets of this quiet village. We were able to see part of Mt. Etna in the distance. We stopped at a small bar/restaurant where we enjoyed a Sicilian Canolli and a local beer from the area. After leaving Forza d’Agro we were driven back down the steep mountain road with the bus driver honking at every switchback to alert oncoming traffic, to the coast where we drove along the sea front for a short distance and saw many people enjoying the Mediterranean beaches we passed. Our driver then navigated up another narrow mountain road to the village of “Bar Vitelli”. Both of these villages were used in the filming of Godfather I and Godfather III. In the village of Bar Vitelli we enjoyed a local lemon granite drink and biscotti biscuit in the restaurant that was used in the filming. After leaving the village we headed back to Messina along the scenic coastal highway.

When we arrived back at the cruise ship terminal we decided it was too early to go back aboard the ship so we decided to walk around the downtown area of Messina. We encountered a group selling tickets for a hop on hop off tour of the city, so we decided to take that tour. The tour was just OK and really did not show us a lot more than what we had already saw driving away from the ship earlier. After the tour we boarded our cruise ship and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing.

At 5:15 pm Connie and John attended complimentary drinks and appetizers for VIFP Club members. This is one of the perks that the Carnival Cruise Lines offers people who have sailed with them on a more frequent basis. This was our third cruise with a total of 25 nights spent on one of their ships, 25 nights placed us in the Gold category. They also have two other categories higher than this; the next is Platinum (200 nights) and Diamond (365+ nights). We don’t think we will ever reach those levels.

After the VIFP Club we went for dinner and then off to bed for the evening. In closing out the day we have cruised over 1960 nautical miles and visited 5 different ports. We now have 5 ports remaining to visit on our cruise with Naples being our next stop.

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