Corleone is a small town with a population of only about 10 thousand people located on the island of Sicily, 30 km from the city of Palermo. This very calm southern city, with the filing of the famous Francis Ford Kopolla, who has filmed the novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo, is associated worldwide with the mafia. The name of the "godfather" was borrowed from this quiet town. In addition to the city, the name "Corleone" is a mountain and a castle located nearby.
First of all, it is worth visiting this city for those who love archaeological antiquities. They will not be bored. Indeed, despite its size, and maybe even precisely because of them, Corleone is surrounded by medieval ruins and the remains of ancient settlements.
City `s history
The earliest of these settlements near Corleone dates back to the 6th millennium BC. - This is the largest site of an ancient man discovered in Sicily. There are several similar prehistoric finds in the district. This may indicate that thousands of years ago this area was already quite lively. The first mention of the city of Corleone was found in chronicles dating back to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC.
During the time of the Roman Empire, a road was built connecting Palermo with Agrigento. And the city located in the center began to control the most important strategic artery of the island. And such a value in Corleone remained for many centuries. Every war taking place in Sicily affected Corleone in one way or another.
This city was able to survive more than one occupation. At the beginning of the 1st century A.D. Sicily fell before the Arab invaders. This period left its mark in the form of a mosque, preserved to this day. After about a century and a half, the city was occupied by the Normans, who in turn were captured by the Saracens. In the 14th century, the entire island bows to the Habsburgs. After so many foreign invaders, it is not surprising that the city, located in the center of all military operations, becomes the birthplace of famous Sicilian revolutionaries. The loudest names from them are Bernardino Verro, Francesco Bentivena and Ferdinando Firmaturi. All three protested against the current situation. Bentivenha and Firmaturi opposed the Habsburgs in the 19th century, and Verro defended the rights of peasants in the early 20th century.
Bosco della Ficuzza Park
Particular attention in Corleone should be given to Bosco della Ficuzza Park, located in the vicinity of the city. This best park in Sicily is the former hunting ground of King Ferdinando I, and today it is part of the national park.
The park’s most majestic spot is a sheer cliff with a flowing waterfall from the turbulent San Leonardo River, and the Regional Wildlife Hospital deserves attention. In this unique place, crippled and sick animals are healed and returned to natural conditions after special adaptation.
Corleone could well be called the city of a hundred churches. After all, there are a lot of religious buildings. This is the monastery of the Savior, dated the 13th century, and the church of the Blessed Virgin (about the same period), and the church of St. Augustine (14th century), and the church of St. Domenic (16th century), and the Capuchin monastery, located in the Villa Comunalle park. The center of the modern city, grew up in the Middle Ages, and it is still permeated by the harsh spirit of passionate Catholicism. After all, most city holidays, one way or another, are also associated with religion. From the procession behind the Holy Sepulcher to the bonfire on St. Luke's Day.
Arriving in Corleone, it is very unlikely to get around the topic of the mafia in a conversation. Even if we forget about the "Godfather", the city has indeed for a long time been considered the stronghold of Cosa Nostra. Over the past decade, thanks to the state total war against the mafia, the city has ceased to be considered a center of crime. Most authorities in the criminal world are serving their sentences in prison, and wheat is grown on their lands. By the way, Italian pasta is subsequently produced from this wheat, part of the funds from the sale of which goes to the Fund of Mafia victims.
The most striking confirmation of the fall of the rule of the mafia was the opening in 2000 of the Museum of the Mafia. The museum presents printed, photo and video materials collected during the fight against mafia clans. Today, museum documents are most in demand among the servants of the law.
Hotels in Corleone
If you are a fan of books about the Italian mafia Mario Puzo, then you should definitely stay at least one day in Corleone to feel the atmosphere of the city. There are not many hotels in the city, prices are reasonable from 50 euros per day, but during the tourist season, all available rooms are reserved for several months. Pay attention to the following options:
- Hotel Leon D'oro. This charming, family-run hotel is located in a quiet and beautiful area of Corleone. It offers bright, spacious and comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi. This small, charming hotel has only 7 rooms. A warm, warm welcome and personalized professional service await you.
- Agriturismo Ridocco is a 10-minute drive from Corleone. It features a restaurant, outdoor pool and rustic-style rooms. Guests can relax in the garden and on the sun terrace, and ride horses on the farm. Breakfast includes pastries, yogurt, preserves, cold and hot drinks. The restaurant specializes in typical Sicilian dishes, and a diet menu is available on request.
- Agrirelais Baglio Farmhouse features an Olympic-sized pool, a Sicilian restaurant and a private winery. Baglio Di Pianetto's restaurant serves local specialties, including pasta with sardines and wild fennel. Breakfast includes pastries with a cappuccino or crushed ice dessert. In summer, you can enjoy it in the courtyard.