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The Barzini crime family (pronounced Bart-zee-nee) is one of the Five Families operating in New York.


Don Emilio Barzini at Connie's wedding.


During the final stages of the Olive Oil War, Emilio Barzini began to see a change in the wind as his boss, Giuseppe Mariposa, began to lose power to Vito Corleone, once a small time neighbourhood padrone and now leader of the increasingly powerful Corleone family. After all attempts to kill Corleone failed, and Mariposa killed Barzini's friend "Tits" purely on suspicion, Emilio sold Mariposa out to Corleone. Barzini inherited the remnants of the Mariposa organization and preceded as boss of his own family. He also gained a seat on the newly formed Commission.

Barzini's master plan

Sollozzo meeting with the Corleones.

"I didn't know until this day that it was... Barzini all along."
Vito Corleone[src]

In 1945, Barzini saw a new chance to achieve to supplant the Corleone family and gain dominance in New York, plotting with Virgil Sollozzo and Philip Tattaglia, the latter of whom he used as an unwitting scapegoat. Barzini almost succeeded, pushing Vito Corleone to call for peace after the death of his eldest son, Sonny. From the late 1940s to the mid 1950s the Barzini family was at the height of its power and became the strongest family in New York. They began moving in on Corleone territories, which forced Salvatore Tessio, Vito's most savvy capo, to make a secret deal with Barzini.

Future of the Family

The death of Emilio Barzini.

However, the wily Don Vito discovered Barzini's plot and his son Michael took revenge, having Al Neri kill Barzini, who was succeeded by Paul Fortunato.[1] Under Fortunato's leadership the family expanded its narcotics operation and focussed on Manhattan's garment sector. Fortunato resented the Corleone family's hypocrisy by getting into the drug business, but defended Michael Corleone against Carlo Tramonti's accusations at a Commission meeting. After this relations softened.

Emilio Barzini's's family structure (1920s-1955)

 Don Emilio Barzini 

 Underboss Ettore Barzini

 Consigliere Barzini's consigliere

 Caporegime Carmine Barzini

 Soldato Unknown

 Caporegime Paul Fortunato

 Soldato Unknown

 Associate Philip Tattaglia

 Associate Virgil Sollozzo

 Associate Carlo Rizzi

 Associate Fabrizio

Historical Leadership

Barzini family hitmen.




In the video game

"Midtown is the heart of New York. You got all those famous landmarks you'd seen in pictures; the big hotels and swanky night clubs and the richest of businesses, and of course some of the most valuable rackets in town. One family maintains a stranglehold over Midtown; the Barzinis. Don Emilio Barzini is in charge, and he rules with an iron fist."
―Peter Clemenza

In The Godfather: The Game, the Barzinis control Midtown, considered the most profitable and most desirable territory to control. Like in the book, the Barzini Family are the main antagonists of the game and the main enemy of the Corleones.

About a decade before the events of the film, the Barzinis attacked and assassinated Johnny Trapani as Emilio Barzini watched in satisfaction, Johnny's son Aldo witnessing the event and seeing Emilio leaving. The Barzinis then made a secret allegiance with the Stracci, Cuneo and Tattaglia families with intent on wiping out the Corleones, the latter having hindered their plans to sell narcotics with the assassination of the Tattaglias' drug trafficking associate Virgil Sollozzo. In revenge, the Barzinis sent members of the other three families to ambush Sonny Corleone and kill him at the cross-way.

Vito Corleone arranged a meeting where Emilio Barzini established a false peace with the Corleones, only to be recognized at the meeting by an older Aldo. Later, Monk Malone defected from the Corleone Family and worked with the other families, serving as an informant and assisting a federal agent in selling the Corleones to the FBI. Barzini soldiers guard the building when Monk and Aldo storm the building and kill the agent, Aldo being unaware of Monk's defection. The Barzinis were finally wiped out when Aldo took his revenge on Emilio with the help of Al Neri and later destroyed the Barzini Compound.

The Barzini Family color is green. The typical Barzini attire is a green dress suit with a matching green tie and occasionally a green fedora, while the undershirt ranges from white, brown to light grey. The Barzini family's crest is a green rook chess-piece outlining the letter B, the only crest to not feature an animal.

They also seem to have some connections to the Rockefeller banking family, as Eileen works for/with them at Hotel Madison, further showing that their wealth and power exceeds far up the American upper class.


"The Barzinis? Ah - they seem okay. Keep to themselves pretty much."
―A Corleone Soldato

Although they are not exposed to be the true villains until much later in the book or the film, the game establishes them as the antagonists from the very beginning.

In spite of that, the Barzini Family harbors the most positive response from the Corleone Family in the earlier parts of the game. Their immense power as the controllers of Midtown along with their demonstrated reason-ability helps them to be regarded as a great ally. However, beneath the presentation of power is an underlying paranoia and the fear of losing their power to another family. This paranoia is made known in the excessive protection placed by Emilio onto his highest members, fearing their being targeted by a rival family. They have little tolerance for opposition and generally seek to eliminate threats in the most efficient and least complicated ways.

Due to their respectful ways at the beginning of the game, some Barzini mobsters will also show NPC movements, like sign of respect towards Trapani when upgrading a skill or taking over a racket.


"I hear the Barzinis are good allies, long as ya don't cross 'em."
―A Corleone Soldato

The Barzini family is the strongest family in the game, and the most difficult for Aldo to defeat. Besides a head-shot, any gunfight between a Barzini and an unprepared, ill-equipped Aldo will be extremely one-sided. Only the highest level weapons are capable of wiping out Barzinis with any kind of efficiency.

Barzini Family Structure

"Barzini gangsters are smooth, charismatic, classy, but deceptive and treacherou; they're leaders with a persuasive and evil streak."
―Tom Hagen in the game's strategy guide

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Godfather Returns Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "The Godfather Returns" defined multiple times with different content