The Ridulfo Surname is a unique variant of the more common Italian surnames Ridolfo
and Ridolfi, which can be found all over Italy, but our Ridulfo spelling traces exclusively
to Corleone, Sicily. (Yes, Corleone, Sicily, and we know all about “The Godfather”
movies, the real mafia, etc., so let’s just move on…)
Corleone has a very distinctive Seal (shown below left). The inscription "Animosa
Civitas" or "Courageous City" was the title conferred on Corleone by Carlo V in occasion
of his visit in 1556, for the courage that the population of Corleone exhibited,
always on the front line in all the wars that have been fought in Sicily.
Where is Corleone? The “City” of Corleone is a small town or comune of about 12,000
people, located in the west of Sicily (the island at the “boot tip” of Italy). More
precisely, Corleone is located about 21 miles (33 km) directly south of Palermo,
the major city and capital of both Sicily as well the Province of Palermo itself.
By road, however, Corleone is about 35 miles (56 km), or an hour or so by car, from
Palermo. Use the Google Maps box below to explore Sicily, Palermo, and Corleone.
Not too long after our “cugino” Mario Ridulfo first contacted me several years ago,
I had the great pleasure to visit him in Sicily in 2004. He took me to several local
towns (including where my paternal grandmother’s family came from) on the way to
see the sights in Palermo, where he lives. The next day Mario and his brother Gino
took me to Corleone, and boy, what a thrill it was to visit our Ridulfo hometown.
They even took me on a hike to the top of Castello Soprano, which overlooks the
entire town. Here are some of the pictures from the “pilgrimage” to Corleone.