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Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

by Andrea and John on February 3, 2013

614156 Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

It’s been almost six years since the cryptic and controversial finale of HBO’s masterpiece series, yet Sopranos fans from all over the world are still gathering on Saturday mornings to relive scenes from the show. On Location Tours runs the Sopranos Sites tour, taking guests from the meeting point in midtown Manhattan on a rollicking tour of North New Jersey, stomping grounds of Tony Soprano, his crew and the colourful cast of characters in The Sopranos.

john vito spatafore nyc Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Joseph R. Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore, poses with John before the tour.

Before the tour we had the opportunity to meet one of the actors, the talented Joseph R. Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on the show. He signed autographs and posed for photos with fans before we all piled into a comfortable coach to begin our journey.

Appropriately, we began along the route featured in the opening credits of each episode, which is supposed to take Tony from New York City to his home in North Caldwell, NJ. We saw many familiar locations from this iconic sequence throughout the day on the tour, including the Lincoln Tunnel, Pulaski Skyway, Valley Landscape Silo, The Muffler Man and the Route 1/9 Truck Bridge.

manhattan view Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

sopranos on location tour Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

pizzaland sopranos Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

sopranos opening houses Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours
Our guide was Marc Baron, an extra on 13 episodes of the show. He kept everyone entertained with trivia and interesting anecdotes about behind the scenes information that will entertain any fan. Prizes were awarded for the extra tough questions and we were pretty impressed with the knowledge of some of the other guests on the tour. We’ve probably seen the show two or three times in full ourselves and couldn’t guess a lot of the answers. So they showed some pretty serious dedication!

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The alleyway where Pussy meets Agent Lipari

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Snow had just started to fall when we reached St. Cecilia’s Church in Kearny, home of friend to the ladies, Father Phil.

the real stugots Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Aaay – it’s the real Stugots

 

sopranos pussys auto body Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Big Pussy’s Auto Body

In addition to the photos shown here, we drove past or made stops at a number of familiar sites, including the Hackensack River Bridge where a significant whacking took place, the dead Czech’s grave, La Pizza, Searchlight Diner (actually Seabra’s Rodizo), Richie Aprile’s private club, Carmine’s Funeral Home and Party World, among many others. In between we watched clips from the show to refresh our memories. The atmosphere was really enjoyable and well-organized, with plenty of time for guests to ask questions and a nice pace for the day.

barone sanitation Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Er, waste management…right. Site of Barone Sanitation in Jersey City

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Remember when Sil took action over the Columbus Day protests?

 

on location sopranos bus Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

If ever there was a useless nephew it was Christopher Moltisanti. To make things worse, he was actually Carm’s cousin.

 

pork store location soprano Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Get your gabagool and prozhoot’ at Satriale’s…or not. Residents of the neighbourhood thought they were getting a pork store, but in reality Satriale’s was built exclusively as a set for the show. When shooting finished, the owners sold it off brick by brick. Today? A parking lot.

onlookers sopranos tour Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

These onlookers seemed to enjoy our tour as much as we did.

The two major stops were Holsten’s, setting of the infamous final scene, and the Bada Bing, which is actually a real gentleman’s club called Satin Dolls. At Holsten’s the staff welcomed us with a taste of their delicious onion rings and we were invited to order lunch from their menu. This is no tacky tourist trap – we had the best grilled bacon and cheese sandwiches of our lives, still hot and delicious when we got back to the bus to eat them. The place was filled with regulars enjoying a Saturday lunch. Everyone lined up to take pictures in the booth that Tony, Carmela and AJ sat in, held open for us with a reserved sign.

holstens nj sopranos Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Holsten’s is a real place in Bloomfield – an awesome spot to have a meal, even if it may be your last…

holstens inside sopranos Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Holsten’s inside

 

holstens booth sopranos Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

As you can see John squeezed into this infamous booth at Holsten’s. Do you think Tony would fit in there?

Satin Dolls (aka Sil’s club, The Bada Bing) was an interesting stop because the club is, in reality, quite different than on the show. First of all, New Jersey has a law prohibiting topless dancers where alcohol is served. You can only have the ‘boobs or the booze’ so to speak. So seeing the girls with clothes (albeit minimal) on was a surprise. Second, the club looks a lot bigger on the show because of all the mirrors inside. This is the one place on the tour where photos were prohibited and apparently some of the staff members have appeared on the show.

bada bing sopranos Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

Aspiring dancers can work at the real Bada Bing, aka Satin Dolls in Lodi

All in all, On Location Tours makes you feel like you’re a friend of theirs, taking guests on a fantastic exploration into the world of The Sopranos. You can almost see this as a tour of North Jersey as well, which is a really interesting place often overlooked by visitors to New York. We had a great time on the tour and would recommend it to every Sopranos fan. If you’re a fan of other New York area movies and televisions shows, check out On Location Tours for their full range of excursions.

Who’s your favourite Sopranos character?

Thanks to On Location Tours for hosting us on the tour. All opinions are always our own.

614156 Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours Marone! The Sopranos Sites Tour With On Location Tours

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Zubi Travel February 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Hmm, seems like a great tour, and I bet it’s quite popular considering the success of the series.
Vito Spatafore seems happy too :)

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Yeah, we were quite surprised when we got to meet one of the actors. Vito, I mean, Joseph was cool!

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Jennifer February 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I loved the Sopranos! What a cool tour to go on! And how fantastic that you got to meet “Vito” and visit so many of the spots where the show was filmed. I’d love to do this the next time I’m in NYC.

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

You definitely should, Jennifer. It was great!

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Sophie February 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I like following along the steps of literary or film characters, but I’ve never done a tour. Definitely something to think about. This one sounds fun.

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm

It sure was a lot of fun, Sophie. I thought I knew all the trivia about the show, but now I’m even more informed!

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D.J. - The World of Deej February 4, 2013 at 1:20 am

Great stuff…I was a huge fan of the show, and got to meet a few of the actors when I was in the hotel business. This would definitely be up my alley…

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm

It’s been a good couple of years with meeting famous people after Tom Araya of Slayer in 2011!

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Krista February 4, 2013 at 1:45 am

What a hoot! :-) I never watched the Sopranos, but I still found myself grinning through this whole post. :-) So glad you guys had such a great time. :-)

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thanks Krista! We highly recommend watching the show :)

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ChrisCavs February 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Nice writeup! I lived in a little town just outside Hackensack for 3 years (New Milford), and spent a lot of time in that area. Good for a tour (if you’re a fan of the show), so-so place to live.

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Thanks! One of the best things about the tour was definitely driving through the different suburbs of North Jersey. And then it snowed when we were outside to top it off!

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Koren @ City Gal February 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Love this! I have done Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, but no Sopranos yet!

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Then you’ll have to put it on your list!

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Ali February 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I’ve never seen the show, but my parents loved it, and we lived in NJ (maybe 45 minutes away) for about 13 years. Sounds like an interesting tour, glad you had fun!

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Cheers Ali! As above, please watch the show. It’s fantastic!!

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Jess @UsedYorkCity February 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Love that your guide was an extra on the show, how cool! I went on their NYC Movie Tour and Sex and the City Hotspots Tour, both were fab!

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Yeah, the guide was great. He told us that all the actors, including extras, were a tight knit group on the show. I guess that’s why it’s such a modern classic!

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Andi February 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

My Dad would LOVE this!!!!!

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

It didn’t disappoint, Andi!

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ChrisCavs February 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm

If you guys like tours like this, there’s a great Tumblr blog called FILMography where the guy takes stills from famous movies and goes to the actual spot where the movie was filmed and inserts the still into the actual scene. It’s very cool and a nice way to at least virtually tour famous spots. Check it out here: http://philmfotos.tumblr.com/ (I have no affiliation with them. I just like the blog!).

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John February 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm

We’ll have to check that out. Thanks, Chris!

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A Montrealer Abroad (@amontrealer) February 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm

That is so cool! I need to watch the Sopranos so I can do the same.

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John February 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm

It’s the best show ever…I tell no lie :)

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Laurel February 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

This looks like so much fun! I love that actors from the show were involved in the tour as well. It’s the behind-the-scenes stuff that I would want to know about.

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John February 6, 2013 at 11:40 am

It was fantastic to hear some of those stories, for sure. And driving through North Jersey was definitely a highlight!

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Babs February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I LOVE the sopranos, this is right up my street x

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John February 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Too right, Babs!!

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Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 7, 2013 at 1:44 am

I never watched the Sopranos, but I would definitely be into a tour like this for a show I was into. I want to do the Sex and the City Tour next time I’m in NYC.

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John February 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

Stephanie, I’m sure that tour is just as good, too!

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Emily in Chile February 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Fun! My dad and I once got a “cab” from our hotel that was actually a car used for Sex and the City tours, and the driver gave us a mini tour of a few spots from the show. It made me think that a full tour for a favorite show would be a fun idea.

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John February 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Yeah Emily, any tour of New York is fun alright!

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Dave @Budget Travel Guide February 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I was a huge Sopranos fan when it was on TV. I am definitely adding this tour to my bucket list. :)

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inspiringtravellers February 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

It’s a must-see for you then, Dave!

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TammyOnTheMove February 11, 2013 at 6:16 am

Now this looks bar far much cooler than the Sex and the city tours you can do in New York! Love the Sopranos!

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John February 11, 2013 at 6:44 am

The Sopranos definitely rules, Tammy!

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inspiringtravellers February 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

I think you can inadvertently do a SATC tour when you’re in NYC, haha – that show was on for so long and covered so many spots, I know I’ve unintentionally found myself in lots of the locations. But to see Sopranos stuff you really have to get off the beaten track.

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Kevin Finnerty February 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Take away that beard and Vinnie Paul grin, and Johnny is a dead ringer for Tony! Sounds like a great tour, espesh that bacon and cheese grill thingy damn you i’m hungry now. Woulda been cool to order a continental roll for satriale’s, with extra czech sauce. Vito sure is a happy looking fellow, did you ask him if he was happy the way his character ended on the show?

No you have to go down to Balmore and do The Wire tour, ask for McNutty.

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John February 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Kevin, that grilled cheese and bacon was the BEST thing I’ve ever had. Truly magnifique! They showed a clip on the bus before the tour started and Vito said that he was actually the one that came up with the idea of his character’s ways changing.

Ah McNutty. Where’s Bubs? Go RAVENS!!

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Marc Baron March 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I’m so pleased you enjoyed the tour! Technically, I wasn’t an extra – I was a double/stand-in for many actors totalling 13 episodes. I’m developing an indie film called MEGABALL$, a comedy about the lotto and … the Mob. Joe Gannascoli (Vito Spatafore) has committed to a supporting role. You can follow the progress on our web site http://www.MegaBallsMovie.com, on Twitter @Oroloro and on Facebook.

It’s always nice to know clients on my Sopranos’ Tour had good time!

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inspiringtravellers March 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Hey Marc – that’s awesome! Best of luck with the film =)

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Michael J. Ludgate September 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Thanks, this really inspired me. Planning a trip from England, so great to get a good feel for the quality of the tour experience. The fact I plan on renting a Cadillac Escalade, gives an indication of where this tour ranks in must do activities whilst state side.

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inspiringtravellers September 20, 2013 at 10:02 am

Haha – enjoy it!

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joe January 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Im not sure you can say chris was carm’s cousin. Him, tony, and tony b went on about how they use to spend the summers up north at the farm when they were children. Chris continues to talk about how when tony and tony b are together they treat him differently. I love the idea of the tour, being from new jersey/north jersey i see all these sights when i go visit family.

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