|— Comune —|
|Città di Corleone|
|• Mayor||Leoluchina Savona|
|• Total||229 km2 (88 sq mi)|
|Elevation||600 m (2,000 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2010)|
|• Density||50/km2 ( 130/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Leoluca|
It is known primarily as the birthplace of several Mafia bosses, some fictional, such as The Godfather's Vito (Andolini) Corleone, and some real, such as Jack Dragna, Giuseppe Morello, Michele Navarra, Luciano Leggio, Leoluca Bagarella, Salvatore Riina and Bernardo Provenzano.
The local mafia clan, the Corleonesi, led the Mafia in the 1980s and 1990s, and were the most violent and ruthless Mafia clan ever to take control of the organization.
Uncertain is the etymology of the name, which underwent 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, Coriglione from which the Sicilian Cunigghiuni originated. The modern name ascend from 1556.
A lookout tower built between the 11th and 12th century, known as Saracena, still stands. The view from the tower includes the Cascata delle Due Rocche, a sheer drop following the path of the Corleone river.
At one time the town was surrounded by defensive walls that connected the Castello Soprano and Castello Sottano. The latter is better preserved than the Soprano, but it cannot be visited since it serves as a Franciscan retreat.
Corleone was known as "Courageous Civitas" because of its position on the front line in all wars fought in Sicily. Halfway between Palermo and Agrigento, the town controlled one of the main arteries and was therefore one of the most strategic locations on the island.
Corleone was largely repopulated by Ghibellines from Alessandria (modern Piedmont), Brescia and elsewhere - "Lombards" led by one Oddone de Camerana - when it became obvious that emperor Frederick II of Sicily could not prevail over the Guelph-leaning Lombard communes in the middle of the 13th century.
Corleone became a royal property around the end of the 14th century, and later passed into the feudal holdings of Federico Ventimiglia.
Remarkable demographic growth was reported in the 15th and 16th centuries, following the arrival of several religious orders.
Main sights 
The Chiesa Madre ("Mother Church"), dedicated to the 4th Century French Bishop St. Martin of Tours, was started in the late 14th century. Its appearance today has been influenced by numerous changes and renovations. Its interior has a nave and aisles divided into various chapels containing precious artwork, including a wooden statue representing San Filippo d'Agira from the 17th century, a statue representing San Biagio (Saint Blaise) (16th century), and a fine marble panel depicting the Baptism of Christ from this same period.
The Chiesa dell'Addolorata is a church of the 18th century, dedicated to the Basilian abbot and patron saint San Leoluca, the Chiesa di Santa Rosalia, and the small Sant'Andrea (the latter two from the 17th century), all with important frescoes and paintings, are notable landmarks. The Santuario della Madonna del Rosario di Tagliavia, a religious building from the 19th century, is now a destination for pilgrims on Ascension Day.
Corleone today 
The most notable recent event in Corleone was the arrest in 2006 of Bernardo Provenzano, "Boss of Bosses", who had been in hiding for more than 40 years. This gave rise to much celebration. "Liberation Day" on April 11 (the date of Provenzano's capture) and naming a street "11 Aprile" shows just how much the arrest has affected Corleone. Gaetano Riina, Corleone's recent mob boss, was arrested on July 1, 2011.
The former mayor of Corleone, Nino Iannazzo, is a direct descendant of Cardinal Antonio "Bognor" Iannazzo (1476-?) of Catanzaro and Palermo, an associate and political ally of Pope Alexander VI and Cesare Borgia, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances after a shipwreck off the coast of West Africa in 1512.
In literature and film 
The name of the town was used as the adopted surname of the title character in Mario Puzo's book and Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather. In the novel, Vito Andolini emigrates from the village of Corleone. In the theatrical release of The Godfather, Part II, young Vito is assigned the Corleone surname while passing through immigration at Ellis Island. Shy and unable to speak English, Vito is unable to respond when asked for his proper name and is given the last name Corleone by an immigration official. Throughout the film series, various members of the Corleone family visit the town. Michael Corleone is played by Al Pacino, whose real-life maternal grandparents were Corleonese.
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See also