Corleone is a hill town in the Province of Palermo in Sicily. The city was founded in the early Middle Ages and in 2019 had a population of around eleven thousand people. The name Corleone will seem familiar, as it is the surname of the Mafia family in the “Godfather” film cycle. The hamlet of Ficuzza, which is part of Corleone, has a Royal Palace.
Corleone Travel Guide
The tourist office of Corleone is located in the villa comunale Giovanni Paolo II, piazza Falcone e Borsellino (Tel. +39 0918463655). Postal code: 90034. Area code: 091.
The main church of Corleone is the Chiesa di San Martino, built in 1382. The main attractions of this church are a 14th century wooden crucifix and some works by Novelli.
The Santa Maria del Gesù Church has a beautiful 15th century cloister.
Other churches are the 17th century Santa Rosalia Church, the 14th century Sant’Andrea Church and the 18th century Addolorata Church.
Some ruins of the old Saracen Tower can still be seen.
However, Corleone is also known for its natural beauty. Halfway down the street to Ficuzza is the so-called Gole del Drago, a stream characterised by picturesque waterfalls.
The Municipal Museum (Museo Civico) of Corleone was founded in 1991, after the municipality bought it from the Provenzano family. The 19th century building is located in Via Orfanotrofio in the historical centre of the city. The highlight is a Milestone with an epigraph by Aurelio Cotta Console.
The early-medieval foundation of Corleone is confirmed by archaeological finds that point to a Byzantine origin. The oldest document referring to the town dates back to 575, when the Benedictine Maddalena Monastery was founded there.
The Normans later defeated the Arabs and took power. The Norman Count Ruggero gave the municipality to the Diocese of Palermo as a fief. In 1176 it came into the hands of the abbot of Monreale.
In the 14th century, the then ruler Frederick II repopulated the town by bringing in a colony of Lombards.
The population later took part in the revolt against the House of Anjou, known as the Sicilian Vespers.
In 1892, one of the first trade unions was founded in Corleone. This Fascio dei Contadini stood up for the interests of the peasants.
Ficuzza and the Royal Palace
Corleone has only one single borough. Ficuzza is actually an enclave in the municipality of Monreale. Although it has approximately 150 inhabitants, it also has a Royal Palace, the former hunting lodge of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. This palace, which was constructed in 1799, and the adjacent nature reserve make it into one of the biggest attractions of Corleone.
Location and public transport
Corleone is located in the middle of the province of Palermo. The municipality is located along the SS118 road, which leads from Bolognetta to Agrigento.