Named by the Writers Guild of America as the best-written TV series of all time, The Sopranos remains a fan favourite. The Sopranos sites tour by On Location Tours offers a “real-life peak” into the NYC and New Jersey filming locations used in the show.
We recently experienced the tour with guide Marc Baron, who worked on 13 episodes of the show amongst other film and television credits.
Baron is of Italian-American descent, which he explained was an important aspect of the shows casting policies. He shared a number of insider anecdotes with the group including the time when filming shut down due to pay negotiations with the late lead actor James Gandolfini. Gandolfini eventually received a pay increase which he used for altruistic purposes that are a testament to the man’s character.
The tour takes place on a bus throughout Manhattan and New Jersey where much of the show was set. It is four hours in total, which is a considerable amount of time, however, our group remained comfortable and engaged throughout.
The tour is a mix of Sopranos trivia with prizes, film clips on the bus, photo stops and some walking through areas with a number of locations grouped closely together.
The first treat is an up close encounter with one of the long standing cast members and the opportunity to get a photo and an autograph. I won’t ruin the surprise by saying who it is, but for a fan of the show this experience alone makes the tour well worth the price.
The tour includes over 40 locations from the show. The highlights for us were a stop at the Bada Bing (Tony’s main place of business in the show), driving the route of the opening credits through the Lincoln Tunnel and past the Manhattan skyline, Big Pussy’s auto body shop, Father Phil’s Parish and sitting in the restaurant booth where Tony sat in the final scene of the series.
We recommend the tour to anyone who was a big fan of the show, has seen all of the episodes and is interested in an up-close look at the locations used. Based on our experience as first time visitors to New York, those from out of town will get the most out of the tour as you get a good look around the Jersey suburbs and parts of New York where filming took place.
The tour runs weekly on Saturdays at 10am and tickets can be purchased online.