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The Godfather's...and an invitation you cannot refuse

When a bloody war between Italian mob families in New York broke out in the second half of the 1940s, Michael Corleone took refuge in Sicily. One day, after hunting, he sat at a table outside Bar Vitelli.

The two ‘picciotti’ who are his bodyguards translate for him. He wants to know about the beautiful girl he just noticed on the road to town. One of them explains to the innkeeper, She wore a red dress, and a red ribbon in her hair. She looks more Greek than Italian. Realizing the three young men are praising his own daughter, the man cuts the conversation short and abruptly goes back inside.

A few moments later, he finds out just how important the man asking for his daughter’s hand is. He is a “big shot”, and is making him “an offer he can’t refuse”, so he agrees to a meeting according to local customs.

The scene is obviously from “The Godfather”, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, filmed between Italy and the United States. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize Bar Vitelli at first glance: it is exactly the same as it was on the silver screen.

This old, traditional Sicilian bar located in the 18th-century Palazzo Trimarchi di Savoca, in a town outside Messina, is definitely worth a visit. In fact, we hope this may be an invitation “you cannot refuse”.

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