Sicily as a perfect place for Love and Passion Storie

Taormina and the International Gay Community

The international gay community has always loved Taormina, where one of the first gay club of Europe was founded: “Le Perroquet ”, despite the typically conservative attitudes of many Sicilians and the Catholic Church. In fact it was in Taormina, beginning in the 1950’s, where movie star Rock Hudson used to spend his vacations with his closest friends, who included the American novelist Armistead Maupin, as well as his lovers Jack Coates (born 1944); Hollywood publicist Tom Clark (1933–1995), who also later published a memoir about Hudson (Rock Hudson: Friend of Mine); and Marc Christian. Here, far from Hollywood, with its paparazzi and curious journalists (in 1955 Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson’s secret homosexual life) Hudson and friends enjoyed their Sicilian vacations in peace.. But long before Hudson and his friends arrived, gay artists and writers from Europe and America flocked to Taormina. One of the most famous, and perhaps most scandalous, was the German baron Wilhelm Von Gloeden, whose 19th century nude photographs of local men in classical Roman, Greek and Arab settings still can be bought in souvenir shops in Sicily.

by Vanvakys Edited by George De Stefano

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from #4,, edited by Vanvakys

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Savoca and Forza D’Agro

Here, a few miles north of Taormina, the film director Francis Ford Coppola shot some of the most unforgettable scenes of “The Godfather” films, in Forza D’Agro and Savoca, two beautiful medieval hilltop towns between the Peloritani Mountains, which face Calabria and the Ionian Coast of Sicily.
It was in this area where Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) went to hide after shooting a New York police captain and the mafioso Solluzzo. One day, while hunting with his companions, he saw Apollonia, a beautiful Sicilian girl and daughter of a local mafia boss. He immediately fell in love with Apollonia and convinced her father to let him marry her.
As you look around and admire the landscapes, you will recognize  places from the “Godfather” movies, including the Bar Vitelli, with its “Godfather” memorabilia and signed photos of the stars on the walls, the ancient church, and the beautiful Sicilian Baroquecountry villa where Michael and Apollonia had their wedding party. Passing Sicilian carts, souvenir shops and delicious gelato – just like in the movies!

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