Before travelling with my family to Corleone Sicily i read the comments here about the mafia tours and honestly felt a bit unsure about whether it was worth our while to take one of the tours. When we finaly arrived in Corleone my husband(A huge Godfather fan) was very excited at the sight of "The Godfathers bar", after ordering one of their famous don Corleone amaro we got chatting to the owner about the different types of tours through the town. He recommended what was a newly opened "Galleria" in town that told the story of the town including the mafia. After the main street we eventually found the gallery and were greeted by the lovely Luca, the owner of the gallery. We started our tour in the quaint gallery with Luca, and all i can say is wowww!!! The towns story expands much farther beyond the mafia as we had originally thought!! the story illustrated by beautiful photos and was brought to life by Luca. The hour flew by and soon we were back on the streets of Corleone guided by Luca. It meant so much more seeing the streets while listening to more incredible stories of Corleone's past. We were also lucky enough to have booked the 'Full experience package',because it meant we were able to see the beautiful scenic points of the town.Including a waterfall which was hidden away among the terrain! All i can say after aour wonderful experience is, that to what we have seen and the people we have talked to there is no glofication of the mafia in Corleone. If anything they are humble quiet people who speak more proudly of the saints and brave people that stood up against the mafia. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this beautiful, peaceful town and when we come back we'll definitely be visiting Galleria Corleone again!!!
This is to clarify that the actual village of Corleone, Sicily is approximately 40 miles (as the crow flies) south of Palermo and the movie 'The Godfather' was not filmed there. We visited Sicliy in 2010 and stayed in Taormina on the eastern coast, after flying into Catania. From there, we took a private tour up the mountain 15 km to the ancient hilltown of Savoca, where we did visit Bar Vitelli, where Francis Ford Coppola filmed Al Pacino (as Michael Corleone) and his bodyguards stopping there and Michael asking Apollonia's father for her hand in marriage. Actually had a 'granita' from the same machine that Coppola wanted to buy from the proprietor in 1972--he wouldn't sell! Also, near there we also visited the villages of Forza D'Agro & Castelmola, where various parts of Godfather I and II were filmed, such as when a young Vito Corleone was smuggled inside a horse-drawn cart through the town before emigrating to America.
In fact, for all three of these villages, you would not know unless looking for it that they were the film locales for 'The Godfather', the 'movie Corleone'. The only visual nod to the filming was a small bronze statue of Coppola and his camera pointing up the hill towards the church where the marriage scene of Michael & Apollonia was filmed. No gift shops or tourist areas of any kind. We visited on a foggy, rainy day and it was pretty much deserted.
While there, I did hear a rumor that Coppola originally wanted to film in the town of Corleone, but that the mafia chieftains would not allow it for whatever reason. Again, just a rumor.
In reply to where i am talking about, it is most definitely the town of Corleone!! We flew directly to palermo and rented a car from there! The mafia originated from the town of Corleone where we spent our trip!!!Although my husband is a huge fan of the film, the town where they filmed it didn’t interest us very much as that is all it is!! A movie set!! The town of Corleone is where the real mafia originated way back in the 18th century!!! It’s a town full of the real history of the mafia. I would recommend the next time you are in Sicily to take a trip there!!