Hidden Sicily: Corleone

Im staying a week in Palermo and I wanted to go visit this enigmatic town an hour away from the capital of the island.

I asked a few Italians and they all killed my hopes saying “there was nothing to see there. Only American tourists go to see where the movie ‘The Godfather’ was made”.

I am a huge fan of this movie, and I am a huge fan of Sicilian culture. This is part of Sicilian culture. I am the most respectful of it, but I still felt intrigued by this town that inspired Mario Puzzo’s book “The Godfather”. 
DSCN2161It wasn’t easy to find a bus to take me there from Palermo. I tried googled and nothing…

In palermo there are mainly two bus companies “AMAT” and “AST”. The AMAT busses run around Palermo and nearby towns like Monreale. Most of these busses leave from the train station of Palermo. You can buy tickets for AMAT at any Tabacchi stores (you will recognize these because of the “T” sign outside, they are everywhere) or at the AMAT blue stand by the Palermo Cle. station. 

To get tickets for AST busses wasn’t as easy. The place where you find the tickets its a bar called “New Bus by the train station. It is located on Via P. Balsamo, 32. Inside the bar you will also find all the bus schedules for AST busses.

The bar is across the street from the tram stop “Palermo Centrale”. This is on the left side of the train station (if you stand in front looking at it). 

In the corner of “New Bus” Bar there is a blue stand that sells music and movies, that is how I found this place. 

The roundtrip Palermo-Corleone ticket costed me 8.50 Euros (price April 2016). The bus will stop at the blue music stand that I just mentioned, and it doesn’t have a bus number, just a sign that reads “Corleone”.  The bus will leave you at the Eni gas station on Via Santa Lucia right in the city center, and that is the stop to come back to Palermo. Busses run every 2 hours or so. The last bus leaving Corleone is at 4.50 PM.

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After 1.30 hours, a bit of zig zag road… (people that suffers of motion sickness like me be aware) and some beautiful Sicilian landscape, we made it to Corleone.

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Corleone has 12.000 habitants. It holds on to its rural and small town environment, which makes it even more charming. Here in Corleone they don’t make it pretty for the tourism. Corleone it is what it is, and I love it.

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I started walking down the street the bus left me at and I made it to the “Antico Central Bar”. This is the location where they shot the famous scene in “The Godfather” when Michael Corleone accompanied by Fabrizio and Calo, his personal guards, arrived to the bar of Apollonia’s father, il Signore Vitelli.

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Keep in mind that Corleone is not a touristic town, and you wont find tons of restaurants, shops or people speaking English. I was lucky to find a small restaurant in the piazza of the fontana Benedetta on Via Francesco Bentivegna. They sell Sicilian street food, I got a slice of pizza, an arancina and a glass of wine while I enjoyed the tourist-free vibe.

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I read somewhere there is a  beautiful waterfall nearby called “Cascata delle due rocche”. I was guided by some random and sporadic signs but the sound of the waterfall helped me find it. And it was amazing.

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This small waterfall is gorgeous, there is a rocky path that will take you there but you have to get adventurer and get through the plants and trees. When I made it I was alone there, the waterfall was there just for me.

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I tried to make it up to a panoramic point but some dogs scared me away and I went back down. Corleone still one of those hidden small towns with kids playing outside without supervision.

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It is a small town with a lot to say. I do not regret for a minute to have come here.

 

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