|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Simonetta Stefanelli|
Apollonia Vitelli was Michael Corleone's first wife.
Apollonia Vitelli was born in the hills around Corleone, Sicily. Apollonia was the daughter of a Greek mother and a Sicilian father, both of whom were incredibly protective of her and never wanted her heritage to be confused. She was the third child, having two older brothers. Apollonia grew into a very beautiful young woman.
Apollonia and MichaelEdit
Shortly after Michael Corleone arrives in Sicily following his escape from New York, Apollonia encounters Michael, who returning from an excursion in the village of Corleone with his bodyguards, Calò and Fabrizio. The two men claimed Michael has been hit by what Sicilians call "the Thunderbolt" – a powerful, almost dangerous longing in a man for a particular woman. After making inquiries with Apollonia's father, Michael gains a careful approval from Signor Vitelli to begin an Old World courtship, whereupon the entire Vitelli family would be chaperoning. Michael willingly agreed to this out of respect for the Sicilian way and Apollonia. Over the course of time, the couple was shown doing activities such as picnics and talking walks while Vitelli family members casually participated, and Michael presenting Signora Vitelli with jewelry to gain her approval before she passed it on to her daughter as a gift. The courtship served a dual purpose; that Michael would be marrying into the entire Vitelli family and for him to honor the fact she was a virgin. After a term of this courtship, Signore and Signora Vitelli grant their blessing for Michael to marry Apollonia, and Signor Vitelli gives her away in an elaborate wedding ceremony.
After several months, Apollonia is killed by a car bomb intended for Michael. The attack was orchestrated by Michael's trusted bodyguard, Fabrizio, who was paid off by the Barzini family from New York.
After Apollonia's death, Michael returns to the United States and marries Kay Adams, though she is unaware that he had been married, then made a widower, while he was living in Sicily. Years later, Fabrizio was killed by a car bomb set by Al Neri, avenging Apollonia's murder.
Her death made Michael a man with an uncontrollable thirst for revenge, which would lead him to betray his family.
- "She was wonderful, beautiful. I loved her. And then she died. My trusted bodyguard planted a bomb in my car. She drove it before I did"
- ―Michael Corleone[src]
Despite re-marrying and having two children with Kay, Michael carried the memory of Apollonia with him until his death. He was particularly reminded of her by the Sicilian ballad 'Brucia La Terra', which his son Anthony performed for him upon his return to Sicily in 1980.