- "But Vito is only nine, and dumb-witted. He never speaks."
"It is not his words that I am afraid of."
- ―Signora Andolini and Don Ciccio[src]
Don Ciccio ruled over the small Sicilian town of Corleone, the birthplace of Vito Andolini, who would later grow up to be the great Don Vito Corleone. Don Ciccio murdered Vito's father, Antonio Andolini, after the hot-headed Andolini refused to give tribute, which was seen as a great insult to the Don.
This act provoked Vito's brother, Paolo, to swear a vendetta against Don Ciccio, who then had Paolo killed during his father's funeral. His mother went to Don Ciccio to beg that he spare her only remaining son's life. Don Ciccio refused, fearing that he would grow up and seek vengeance on him. Signora Andolini grabbed the Don at knifepoint, allowing Vito to make his escape. Don Ciccio's bodyguard shot and killed her with a lupara. When word got out that Don Ciccio had put a price on Vito's head, Vito managed to escape to the United States with the help of friends.
- "I see you took the name of the town. What was your father's name?"
"You'll have to speak up. I cannot hear so good."
"My father's name was Antonio Andolini... and this is for you... Don Ciccio!"
- ―Don Ciccio and Vito Corleone[src]
More than 20 years later, a grown Vito, by that time known as Vito Corleone, exacted revenge on Don Ciccio. He murdered Don Ciccio's enforcers, Strollo and Mosca. He and Tommasino then arranged a meeting with Don Ciccio, ostensibly to get his blessing for Tommasino's joint venture with Vito's Genco Pura Olive Oil Company.
Don Ciccio was amazed that Vito had taken the name of his hometown, and asked him the name of his father. When Don Ciccio couldn't make out what Vito said, he asked Vito to come closer. Vito then replied, "My father's name was Antonio Andolini–and this is for you!" He then stabbed Don Ciccio from his chest to his throat ritual style, thus finally avenging the murder of his family. In his final breath, Don Ciccio shouted an insult to Vito ("figlio di puttana" which means "son of a whore"). Tommasino, who was shot in the legs by Ciccio's guards and crippled while they escaped, took over as Mafia chief of Corleone.
Personality and traits
One of the "old style" mafiosi, Don Ciccio was known to never let an insult go unavenged, and it was due to this that he had Antonio Andolini murdered. He was also smart enough to have Andolini's children eliminated too in order to prevent reprisals.
Don Ciccio could be loosely based on Don Ciccio Cuccia, who was a mayor of the small Sicilian town, Piana dei Greci. When Benito Mussolini, Il Duce, rose to power and started breaking down the mafia, his first victim was Don Ciccio Cuccia, who was sent to jail without trial.
Behind the scenes
In the novel, Andolini does not refuse a tribute to Don Ciccio (who is not named), but actually kills him in a public struggle before being killed the following day by the chieftain's guards, wielding luparas.
He was portrayed by the late Giuseppe Sillato (1904 - 2001).
- Ciccio is a southern Italian diminutive of Francesco. In fact, he is referred to as Don Francesco in the screenplay of The Godfather Part II and the cast list of the final film.
Notes and references
|Don of Corleone|