Corleone and the Mafia
Why Puzo chose the name of Corleone for the main character of the Godfather
Anyone who is a fan of the Godfather trilogy will be familiar with the name Corleone, the name chosen by Mario Puzo for his main character. In fact, many of the bosses of the international crime network, such as Luciano Liggio, had come from the town. His second-in-command, Salvatore Riina, who at the time of his arrest in 1993 was the most wanted man in Italy, had also lived in Corleone for over 20 years with his family. Subsequently, amongst the many members of the Corleonesi clan, Bernardo Provenzano was the most famous, convicted for a series of murders and finally captured in 2006.
As many will know, the film was not in fact shot in Corleone, which, even in the 70’s, had become too modernised for Francis Ford Coppola’s vision of the books. Instead, several scenes, such as Michael and Appollonia’s wedding, took place in Savoca near Taormina, and in Forza d’Agrò, also on the east coast. Several tours are available to these towns, including a stop at the famous Bar Vitelli for a lemon granita.
The town of Corleone today hosts CIDMA, then Anti-Mafia Museum which offers Italian and English tours. The area around Corleone is a favourite with walkers and hikers thanks to the Borgata Ficuzza nature reserve and the waterfall of La Cascata delle Due Rocche.