Jaza's World Trip

Corleone

The very name brings with it allusions that almost everyone in the world should recognise (that is, anyone who's seen or who's read The Godfather). Situated in the highlands south of Palermo, Corleone is the heart of the traditional Sicilian mafia territory. Today, there's no evidence of the mafia still being here — and indeed, the locals will tell you that they haven't been here for years. So they claim: I have the bullet wounds to prove otherwise :P.

A field near Corleone

After meeting the locals in Prizzi, I continued my tour of Sicily's mountainous Mafia heartland this afternoon, by riding through the town of Corleone. Despite the fact that the town's name is infamously recognised worldwide — thanks to the classic Mafia book and movie, The Godfather — there really ain't much to see here. Basically, I rode through Corleone, and now I can say that I've been to Corleone; that's about all, as it's a plain and unexciting (and somewhat run-down looking, in my opinion) highland town. From Corleone, I continued cycling for as long as I could this afternoon, until the day grew dark, and I found an empty field on the side of the road in which to camp it rough for the night once again.

Filed in: CorleoneFieldsIllegalMafiaWindy

The Prizzi gang

"The Prizzi gang" is the friendly, local folks whom I met today, upon collapsing into the hilltop town of Prizzi after a wind-buffeted morning's ride. There were the owners of the cafe on the main drag: English-speaking, they've returned to Sicily after living for many years in the USA (you know New YaahkBraahklyn?), and they're very hospitable to tourists. There was the gang of "local boys": none of them were at school (apparently it was a teacher's strike today — but I don't think they attend much anyway), so they were just hanging around the cafe. And there were the quintessential random old men, who were also hanging around the bar, and who insisted on helping me change my flat tyre (they're all experts on bike repairs, of course). Cool crowd, and as Sicilian as anything I could ever imagine.

Filed in: CorleoneEccentric encountersLocalsMafiaQuaint