Place:Corleone, Palermo, Sicilia, Italy


Coordinates37.817°N 13.3°E
Located inPalermo, Sicilia, Italy
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Corleone (; or ) is an Italian town and comune of roughly 11,158 inhabitants in the Metropolitan City of Palermo, in Sicily.

Several Mafia bosses have come from Corleone, including Tommy Gagliano, Gaetano Reina, Jack Dragna, Giuseppe Morello, Michele Navarra, Luciano Leggio, Leoluca Bagarella, Salvatore Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. It is also the birthplace of several fictional characters in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather, including the eponymous Vito (Andolini) Corleone.

The local mafia clan, the Corleonesi, led the Mafia in the 1980s and 1990s, and were the most violent and ruthless group ever to take control of the organization.

Corleone municipality has an area of with a population density of 49 inhabitants per square kilometer. It is located in an inland area of the mountain, in the valley between the Rocca di Maschi, the Castello Soprano and the Castello Sottano. Corleone is located at above sea level.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


The etymology of the name is uncertain, undergoing various modifications from the Ancient Greek Kouroullounè to the Arabic Kurulliùn \ Qurlayun of the Emirate of Sicily, from Latin Curilionum to the Norman Coraigliòn, from the Aragonese Conillon, Coniglione from which the Sicilian Cunigghiuni originated. The modern name originates from 1556.

Another belief is that the name derives from an Arab fighter named Kurliyun (cf. Coeur Leon, Lionheart), who conquered it for the Aghlabids in 840.


The territory of Corleone has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Recent research has identified several settlements distributed around two main areas: Pietralunga and The Old One (La Vecchia). This name refers to a mountain that rises to about , and is about from today's town. The site of Pietralunga was occupied from the final Neolithic Period to the Bronze Age (the presence of a glass bell decorated in pointillé) while the site of The Old One has been inhabited since the Middle Ages (the presence of an imposing castle with towers has recently been identified). However, the biggest part of the settlement was built in the archaic and classical period. "A few materials relating to the Hellenistic period found at the site have supported the identification of the ancient town situated on the Old One with the ancient town of Schera, cited by Cicero, Cluverio and Ptolemy, although the archaeological remains on which this theory is based are still too unstable. (D'Angelo - Spatafora).

Middle Ages

In 840, Corleone was conquered by the North African Aghlabids during the Muslim conquest of Sicily. It was during the Muslim occupation that it gained economic, military and strategic importance. In 1080 the city was conquered by the Normans, and in 1095 it was annexed to the Diocese of Palermo. Even in the 1170s it was recorded that the majority of the population of the area was Muslim (more than 80%), including those bearing Arabo-Islamic names derived from Greek. There was also a mosque, called Masgid al-Barid, within the town. Following the large-scale anti-Muslim attacks by Lombard settlers in eastern Sicily in 1161 led by future King of Sicily, Tancred, the town became a refuge for many fleeing Muslims. In 1208, a Muslim uprising succeeded in retaking the town from Christian rule. In 1222, while speaking with the pope, Frederick II of Sicily cited the need to fight the Muslims of Corleone as a reason for his inability to send a large crusader army to Jerusalem. To this day, the rock formation, Castello Soprano, has a Saracen lookout tower on top of it. While the town's other rock formation, Castello Sottano, did not preserve its own Saracen fortification, it is nonetheless still known as Castello di Saraceni.

Nearly a century later, in 1180, it was enfeoffed (deeded) to the new diocese of Monreale. In this period, Corleone was largely repopulated by Ghibellines from Alessandria (modern Piedmont), Brescia and elsewhere—"Lombards" led by Oddone de Camerana. The migrations were encouraged by Emperor Frederick II of Sicily, to strengthen his position against the Guelphs. In 1249, however, he revoked the privilege and gave the city to the royal property, though the migration of the inhabitants from the Po Valley continued until the beginning of the Sicilian Vespers in 1282. Another Camerana, named Boniface, distinguished himself in the revolution of the Sicilian Vespers. He led the insurrection against the Angevins with three thousand people from Corleone, in alliance with the city of Palermo. In recognition, the Senate of Palermo called Corleone soror mea (my sister).

During the reign of Frederick IV of Sicily, called The Simple, the city successfully rebelled against the crown but was recaptured in 1355. Corleone was besieged from Ventimiglia in 1358. During the reign of the four vicars, Corleone became the property of the powerful Chiaramonte family, but in 1391 was donated by Mary Queen of Sicily to Berardo Queralt, canon of Lerida, but he never took possession. Instead, it was occupied by Nicholas Peralta, vicar William's son, but King Martin the Younger returned it to the royal property, confirming its privileges in 1397 and giving it some tax relief.

Medieval history

In March 1434, King Alfonso the Magnanimous went to Corleone and conceded some tolls to the city with the aim of restoring the walls and to meet other needs, promising also the inalienability of the city to which he gave the title of Animosa Civitas (brave city). However, in 1440 Corleone was sold to Federico Ventimiglia for 19,000 florins. This concession was revoked in May 1447 by King Alfonso, to be resold in the same year to a certain John of Bologna. In 1452 the city was finally granted to attorney James Pilaya. In 1516, Corleone joined the revolutionary movements of Palermo against the Viceroy Moncada. The revolt of Corleone, led by Fabio La Porta, received popular support as its purpose was the request for tax relief. However, the revolt was violently repressed by the viceroy's troops led by the Vicar General Gerardo Bonanno. Towards the end of the same century, social conditions in the city worsened further because of the plague of 1575–77 and the famine of 1592. On June 3, 1625, Corleone was sold, with other cities, to some Genoese merchants from whom Corleone redeemed itself upon payment of 15,200 florins. The terms of sale were, however, very serious. In 1648, the city was sold to the jurist Joseph Sgarlata, who then accepted the redemption upon payment.

Remarkable demographic growth was reported in the 15th and 16th centuries, following the arrival of several religious orders.

Contemporary history

Corleone contributed to the events of the Italian Risorgimento through Francesco Bentivegna who, after participating in the riots of 1848, captained an insurrection against the Bourbons in the surrounding cities until he was arrested and then shot in Mezzojuso on December 20, 1856. On May 27, 1860, the city was the scene of a fierce battle between followers of Garibaldi, led by Colonel Vincenzo Giordano Orsini, and the bulk of the Bourbon army led by General Von Meckel, which had been diverted from Palermo via a ploy hatched by the same Garibaldi. On that occasion, a team of volunteers (Picciotti, Sicilian for "boys"), led by Ferdinando Firmaturi, joined the march of Garibaldi in Palermo.

The nineteenth century ended with the social action by Bernardino Verro, a leader of the social movement Fasci Siciliani. After founding the Fascio of Corleone on April 3, 1893, he founded the new Farm Lease that was entered into between farmers and agricultural Sicilian gabelloti in Congress on July 30, 1893, held in Corleone—so much so that the city began to assume the title of "peasant capital". Corleone contributed to the Great War with 105 deaths and numerous injuries on the field. After World War II, a peasant movement occupied vacant lands, led by trade unionist Placido Rizzotto, who was killed by the Mafia.

In 1943, the Duke of Aosta created the title of Count of Corleone, awarded to Arturo Faini for his valour during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia.

Since World War II, Corleone has become notorious for being home to several dangerous bandits and mobsters (including: Michele Navarra, Luciano Leggio, Bernardo Provenzano, Salvatore Riina and his brothers-in-law Calogero and Leoluca Bagarella) who became the protagonists of a violent and bloody mafia power struggle. The mayor of Palermo, Vito Ciancimino, was also born in Corleone and linked to the Corleone clan.

Research Tips

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Corleone. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.