Mayor Nicolò Nicolosi told Corleone’s 11,000 residents in a video on Facebook on Friday that they should try to live their lives “as normally as possible,” while acting responsibly. “Corleone is not a red zone,” he reassured them, using the term that Italian officials had given to the hardest-hit areas at the beginning of the crisis in February.
Acknowledging that Corleone’s economy was already suffering in the pandemic, Mr. Nicolosi said he would try to limit the closures as much as possible while still “taking all the necessary precautions to contain the virus.”
The town, less than 25 miles south of the Sicilian capital, Palermo, became infamous as the hometown of some of the most prominent members of the Corleonesi clan, which in the 1980s ended up dominating the Mafia, or Cosa Nostra.
Corleone also gained notoriety through Mario Puzo’s “Godfather” books — whose protagonists were from and named after the town — and then through the film trilogy by Francis Ford Coppola. The first of the three, which won the 1973 best picture Oscar, began with a wedding in New York and later showed a second wedding set in Corleone.
Though Italy has fared better than Spain and France in containing cases after a widespread relaxation of social distancing rules, officials have been concerned by steadily growing numbers.
Reporting was contributed by Ian Austen, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Marie Fazio, Denise Grady, Jennifer Jett, Andrea Kannapell, Sheila Kaplan, Sharon LaFraniere, Adam Liptak, Choe Sang-Hun, Mitch Smith, Apoorva Mandavilli, Bryan Pietsch, Daniel Politi, Elisabetta Povoledo, Katherine J. Wu and Mihir Zaveri.