Apollonia Vitelli was Michael Corleone's first wife.
Apollonia Vitelli was born in the hills around Corleone, Vito Andolini's native village in 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 Apollonia grew into a very beautiful young woman.
Shortly after Michael Corleone arrives in Sicily following his escape from New York, Apollonia encounters Michael, who returning from an escursion in the village of Corleone with his bodyguards, Calò and Fabrizio. The two men claim 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 courts and marries her.
After several months, a pregnant 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
- "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.