The Godfather Sicilian shooting locations

The Godfather saga is a major part of film history. The movies directed by Francis Ford Coppola are a transfer of a Mario Puzo novel written in 1969, also titled “The Godfather.”

godfather locations shooting

There is no mistaking the cinematic significance of The Godfather films. These movies were created from the novel by the same name from Mario Puzo, which he wrote originally in 1969.

Francis Ford Coppola would be the director for the saga.

Sicily was excellently recreated through many of the scenes (such as Corleone’s home during his daughter’s wedding) that would be shot in New York City. The people, traditions, and structures all mimic that time in Sicily to an impressive degree.

Michael is forced to flee after he murders his father’s assassin and comes to Sicily. He finds himself in Corleone, a small village from which his family took their names.

Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you here. Most of the Bagheria and Corleone scenes were actually shot in Forza d’Agro, Motta Camastra and Savoca villages. When Michael and Kay meet at a train station in Godfather III, this is shot in Taormina.

Corleone was too modern in the 1970s to provide the authenticity that Coppola needed for the film, so scenes happened in many other locations around the island instead.

A good example of this is Michael’s home in the film, which is actually Castello degli Schiavi (Castle of the Slaves) which can be found near Mt. Etna in Flumefreddo (Catania Province).

This is perhaps one of the best examples of rural Sicilian baroque architecture. The bar and marriage scenes would be filmed in a small village close to Messina called Savoca, where Michael and Apollonia would meet.

Villa Malfitano would be another location for celebration scenes for the saga. Palermo would have two influential scenes from the film shot here as well for Godfather III.

In the Teatro Massimo, you will see Michael’s son Anthony performing in an opera. On the staircase leading into the theater here, Mary’s death would be filmed.


Don Tano Bongiorno


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About Don Tano

I’m full-blooded Sicilian born from the noise of the Vucciria market and the gentle sound of the waves of Mondello. I grew up eating “pane e panelle” and “pasta con le sarde”. But most of all, I grew up with an awareness: Palermo is a beautiful city to live intensely and to love without question!

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