Corleone, Sicily; town of a hundred churches and fictional home to Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather'

Photo of Corleone in West Sicily

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Visit Corleone

Corleone is mostly on the tourist trail because of its mafia connections and particularly as the fictional home to Vito Corleone the main character in 'The Godfather'. Corleone is inland in the north-western part of Sicily

Explore Corleone

After the Second World War Corleone became a Mafia stronghold and a number of Mafia bosses come from here including Tommy Gagliano, Jack Dragna, Michele Navarra, Bernardo Provenzano and Salvatore "Toto" Riina.

Inspired by the true life Mafia world Mario Puzo's book 'The Godfather' became a best seller and was immortalized in the film of the book directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola's Godfather was not filmed in Corleone as Coppola decided it was too developed and instead the beautiful hill villages of Savoca and ForzĂ  de Agro on the east of Sicily were used as the main filming locations.

Corleone

Corleone has managed to escape the grip of the mafia and celebrates this with its excellent anti-mafia museum, the CIDMA museum (Centro Internazionale di Documentazione sulla Mafia e del Movimento Antimafia). The museum has three main sections: one with transcripts from the famous anti-mafia trials, one with photographs and exhibits relate to life under the mafia, and one with photographs of mafia bosses and of the lawyers who fought them.

A second anti-mafia museum is the Laboratorio della LegalitĂ  which is housed in the confiscated home of Bernardo Provenzano, a mafia boss who is currently serving a life sentance in jail. The museum is dedicated to Paolo Borsellino, an anti-mafia judge who was assassinated in 1992. In the museum are paintings by Gaetano Porcasi depicting the murders and massacres of mafi life.

Corleone town itself is most notable for its large number of churches. The main church, the 'Mother Church'  was built in the 14th century. It houses some important artworks including a 17th century wooden statue of San Filippo d'Agira and a 16th century statue of Saint Blaise.

The 16th century Santa Rosalia church contains important frescoes as does the 17th century San Andrea church. The 18th century Chiesa dell Addolorata is another of the main churches to visit.

Other sites to look out for are the Provenzano Palace (now the Laboratorio della Lagalita museum) and the Cammarata Palace.

On the edge of town is a waterfall, the Cascata della Due Rocche (cascade of the two rocks)  which though often dry in the summer is an attractive spot when it is still flowing.

Places to visit nearby

The beautiful coastal city of Palermo and the stunning golden mosaics of the Monastery of Monreale should definitely not be missed.

The area surrounding Corleone is quite beautiful and contains a number of nature reserves that are worth exploring further.

See also:

Map of Corleone and places to visit

Corleone places to visit