Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Don Corleone

There's no question that the most famous references to Sicily in north america all stem from Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" trilligy... besides maybe Sofia Patrillo's Sicily peasent girl stories from "The Golden Girls" ;-) Anyways, the Godfather movies are probably in the top 10 greatest films of all time, there was no way I was going to visit Sicily without hitting Corleone (even though most of the scenes from the movie are actually filmed in other areas on the island!).

It didn't take me long.

Day 2 and I was already standing in the city itself. Here's my best impression of me reaching inside my imaginary vest for a gun... it doesn't really work with my hiking gear on ;-)




Despite what the pic below appears to show, Corleone is actually built along the side of a steep hill, near the top of a valley. Despite being quite old and nearly forgotten by the outside world, it's actually incredibly beautiful in a traditional way and the people (despite not understanding a word of English, French, German or even Italian it seems!) are amazingly generous and nice.

That hill you see in the distance (actually near the centre of the town itself) is quite a sight. Rising straight up from the city it was once used as a prison, however for many years now its been a monestary:



After checking out the "mob museum and tour" which is a story all into itself, my goal was to get to the top of the mountain, here it is as approached:



All that effort and it ended up being closed for 2 weeks for prayers... darn it! At least I got to talk with one of the monks and take this pic at the top of the mountain stairs:



All cliche's aside, Corleone is nothing like you expect it to be and yet it's even better than you can imagine. Even the Australian we met who had moved to Corleone a few years ago (to be with his wife) seemed to enjoy his new, more simplistic life (although he said he suffered quite alot before acquiring a satelite dish to pick up the weekly F1 races ;-)

My advice, forget about the movies and go to Corleone to experience some traditional Sicilian life. Unfortunatly a day of hiking and experience Corleone was all I could spare... I was now off to Agrigento...

"you mean Pal-ermo."
"No a bus to Agrigento please..."
"no, no, no. Palermo."
"No thanks I'll take another bus line to Agrigento."
"No other busline for Agrigento, you want Palermo."

Things got a little sticky trying to leave Corleone for Agrigento to say the least!
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