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Sunday October 21st 2018

The Godfather Part III | 1990

The Godfather Part III filming location: Teatro Massimo, Palermo
The Godfather Part III location: The operatic climax: Teatro Massimo, Palermo | Photograph: Wikimedia / Zause01

Locations for the overambitious end to what became the Godfather trilogy are split between New York and Italy, where studio interiors were shot at the famous Cinecittá Studios in Rome.

Michael Corleone is awarded the Order of St Sebastian the Martyr at Old St Patrick’s Cathedral, 264 Mulberry Street, Little Italy (site of the christening in The Godfather, its graveyard was featured in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets).

The Italian-American street festival, during which Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna) is gunned down, is on Elizabeth Street, which runs parallel to Mott Street, the Little Italy location where Don Corleone was shot in the first film, and in fact, more filming took place at the Mietz Building, 128 Mott Street, which served as the ‘Genco Olive Oil company’ in Part 1.

Vincent (Andy Garcia) and Mary Corleone (Sofia Coppola) drink at was Mare Chiaro, now the Mulberry Street Bar, 176 Mulberry Street between Broome and Grand Streets, a familiar film location, seen in Donnie Brasco as well as TV's The Sopranos. The neighbourhood lady is a cameo from Martin Scorsese's mother, Catherine.

The Godfather Part 3 location: Mulberry Street Bar, Mulberry Street, Little Italy, New York
The Godfather Part 3 location: Vincent and Mary Corleone drink at Mulberry Street Bar, Mulberry Street, Little Italy, New York

‘Palazzo Azzurro’, site of the ’copter attack on the mob convention was Trump Castle Casino Resort, now the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, 1 Castle Boulevard, Atlantic City, New Jersey (though the interior was recreated in the studio at Cinecittá). It was still Trump Castle when it featured as the casino in Woody Allen's Celebrity.

Family lawyer Harrison (George Hamilton) visits shifty Archbishop Gilday, staying modestly at the Waldorf Astoria New York, 301 Park Avenue. The luxury hotel can also be seen in Analyze This, Woody Allen’s Hannah And Her Sisters and Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums

Michael meets Gilday in St Patrick's Cathedral, 5th Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets.

The Corleone apartment is 956 5th Avenue at East 77th Street, on the East Side.

The Godfather Part II filming location: National Museum of the Native American - previously the old US Customs House, Broadway at Bowling Green, Lower Manhattan</p>
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The Godfather Part II location: The Immobiliare takeover meeting: US Customs House, Bowling Green, New York

The Immobiliare takeover meeting is at the old United States Customs House, 1 Bowling Green at Broadway, now housing the National Museum of the American Indian. The building was featured in Ghostbusters 2, as the site of the Riddler’s flash party in Batman Forever and was transformed into the ‘City Public Archives’, in which the young Tenenbaums camp out, in – again – Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums.

Long-disused Palermo Town Hall was opened up and refurbished for Michael’s return to Sicily. Sicilian locations from the previous Godfather movies were revisited, including the village of Forza d’Agro north of Taormina.

When Kay visits Sicily for her son’s opera debut, she’s met by Michael, seemingly, at ‘Bagheria Railway Station’, though the scene was in fact shot at Taormina, on the other side of the island. In the real Bagheria, just east of Palermo, you can visit the extravagant villa seen in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 60s classic L’Avventura.

The toast to Anthony’s debut as an opera singer was filmed at Villa Malfitano Whitaker, Via Dante 167, in Palermo. The villa, in extensive grounds, was built in 1886 for wealthy Englishman Joseph Whitaker, who planted trees from from all over the world in its gardens, including the rare Dragon's Blood, an enormous banyan tree. The gardens are open and the villa, furnished with antiques and works of art, can sometimes be visited (admission fee). A few years ago, life seemed to imitate the movies when the Mafia were discovered to have been hiding weapons around the villa gardens.

The archbishop’s office is in the pentagonal Villa Farnese, at Caprarola, a small village near Viterbo, about 30 miles north of Rome. It’s the Sala del Mappamondo (Room of the World Map), displaying frescoes of the whole known world as it was in 1574. Today the casino (a small summerhouse) and its gardens are used as one of the homes of the President of the Italian Republic. The empty main villa, which is owned by the State, is open to the public.

Michael is absolved by Cardinal Lamberto, the future Pope John Paul I, at the Church of Santa Maria della Quercia, Piazza del Santuario in Viterbo itself.

The grandly operatic climax was filmed at the Teatro Massimo, Piazza Verdi in Palermo, and though renovation work meant that the interior opera scenes had to be filmed at Cinecittá, the tragic conclusion to the saga is staged on the opera house steps. The theatre is the largest in Italy, and the third largest opera house in Europe.

The Sicilian villa of Don Tommasino, where Michael finally dies, is Castello degli Schiavi, near Fiumefreddo, where Apollonia was killed in the original The Godfather).