Visit the sites where Francis Ford Coppola shot parts of the movie
Where was the godfather filmed? The Godfather is a film published on 1972, made by Francis Ford Coppola and interpreted by Marlon Brando with Al Pacino, James Caan, John Cazale, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire and Diane Keaton. The story was inspired by the homonymic novel written by Mario Puzo. The film was awarded three Oscars, and together with his entourage, is considered a milestone in movie history.
The story of The Godfather tells the events of a mobster: as Don Corleone dies, his son Michael agrees reluctantly to take care of the family business. He will learn soon how to do it. It is a story of a family and a clan with a nostalgic feeling for the strength of those ties that in America today seem devalued (as he was elected by the majority of the public), but it has also a deep and fruitful ambiguity.
There is the parallelism mafia-politics, the masterful reconstruction of an era and that of the crime morality. The trilogy is set in New York, as well as in Sicily.
In the movie, Sicily appears beautiful, very far from the city of New York in the 50s: a golden land, quiet, silent, at times seemingly innocent and sensual, just like the charming Apollonia, with whom Michael falls in love.
It’s a land lacerated by ancient and dark derangements which eventually end up spoiling and canceling it, in parallelism to what happens in the story of the guiltless girl.
The events of the movie run in the city of Corleone, but the scenes were shot elsewhere.
The film was in fact released in the early 70s but is set in the 50s. At that time Corleone had already modernized, therefore Coppola opted for other locations.
Where was the godfather filmed?
Forza d’Agro; Savoca; Motta Camastra and Fiumefreddo di Sicilia.
A village of the district ” Valle d’Agro ”. Elected one of the ”most beautiful villages in Italy”, this town still retains its medieval style.
Here a particular scene of the movie ” The Godfather ” was filmed: Michael, the protagonist, meets Apollonia and asks her to marry him. In particular, this scene is filmed at the ” Bar Vitelli ”, whose name was given by Coppola and has never changed since.
Nowadays, tourists compete to sit right on that table where Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) sat and talked to Vitelli – Apollonia’s father – in the scene where he asks for her hand.
Now, at the Bar Vitelli, in addition to tasting the delicious homemade lemon granita and the typical wine dessert Zibibbo (that one that Coppola loves), you can also take souvenir photos with cap and shotgun.
In Savoca, you can find also the San Nicolò Church, where the scene of the marriage between Michael and Apollonia was filmed.
The second of The Godfather Cities is a village of 900 inhabitants, where the love for a past rich of glory, history, culture, and tradition brakes any tendency to innovation.
This little village is the location of the scenes where Michael Corleone and his henchmen are walking the streets of Corleone.
A very small town with a strong religious spirit and agricultural traditions, was used to film the scene where Michael Corleone and his henchmen arrive in Corleone.
Fiumefreddo di Sicilia
Other scenes were shot in Fiumefreddo di Sicilia, where the “Castle of the Slaves” is. This castle is a gorgeous jewel of the Sicilian rural baroque of the ‘700, located on the Via Marina.
The place is owned by the Platania Family, the barons of Saint Lucia and it was built between 1750 and 1756, while the upper loggia was built between the end of ‘700 and the beginning of ‘800.
The Castle of Slaves was already famous because of its cinematographic value, as it was chosen by acclaimed directors for their movies: for example, in 1968 Pier Paolo Pasolini shot some parts of “The Orgy”.
He became world-famous thanks to Francis Ford Coppola, who chose it as the setting for memorable scenes, such as the unforgettable explosion of the car after the wedding, in the “The Godfather”.
The Castle appears both in Part I of the film that in Part II.
Godfather’s places are many: aside from Corleone and Bagheria, some scenes are actually filmed in Acireale, a town near Etna which is also famous for its Carnival, one of the most important in Sicily. Other places are the San Marco Castle in Calatabiano, on the homonymous beach, and Taormina’s train station, where Michael and Kay meet.
Furthermore, the most important scenes of the end of the trilogy were set in Sicily: Michael’s son, Anthony, performs at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo as an opera singer.
These scenes were shot at Villa Malfitano. The staircase is the location where the tragic death of Mary, Michael’s favorite daughter, occur.
For the last shots they went back to the Castle of Slaves, where Michael, alone, dies. You can reach easily from Taormina the Godfather cities, this tour.
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